Strategy and general business consulting firms in Australia 2012

[Last Updated: 31 May 2012]

THE list of strategy and general business consulting firms is part of the full list of consulting firms in Australia:

Tier One – Global

1. Bain
2. BCG
3. McKinsey

Tier One – Australian

4. Nous Group
5. Pacific Strategy Partners
6. Port Jackson Partners

Classic – Global

7. Accenture
8. A.T. Kearney
9. Booz Allen Hamilton
10. The Birchman Group
11. Deloitte
12. LEK
13. Oliver Wyman
14. PwC

Classic – Australian

15. Crescendo Partners
16. Momentum Partners
17. Oyster Consulting
18. SMT Consulting

1. Bain & Company


Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain operates in 47 offices across 30 countries. In Ausralia, Bain operates out of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Bain is well-known for offering services like due diligence, IPO preparation, portfolio profit improvement and revenue enhancement geared toward leveraged buyout and venture capital firms.

2. BCG


Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, BCG operates in more than 75 offices worldwide. In Australia, BCG operates out of Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

BCG specialises in business strategy and draws most of its clients from the 500 largest corporations worldwide, as well as working with smaller companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies.

3. McKinsey


Founded in Chicago in 1926, McKinsey remains one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms. It is worth noting that, as at May 2012, McKinsey continues to receive negative publicity due to the ongoing Rajat Gupta insider trading scandal. It is still unclear what the ultimate impact of the scandal will be on McKinsey’s brand. McKinsey operates in 98 locations worldwide. In Australia, McKinsey operates out of Sydney and Melbourne.

McKinsey works internationally in a broad range of industries with large private sector institutions, governments and other non-profit institutions.

4. Nous Group


Founded in 1999 by Tim Orton (ex-McKinsey), Nous Group has grown to be one of Australia’s most influential strategy firms. In 2012, the BRW Client Choice Awards named Nous “best management consulting firm in Australia” including most innovative firm and best client outcomes from across the professional services sector. Nous has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Manila and a workforce of 150 people that includes some of Australia’s leading critical thinkers, ex senior bureaucrats and business people.

Nous is best known for its ethos to create positive influence and use bold thinking to solve complex societal and business challenges. Nous service lines include business strategy, public policy, leadership & people development, organisational capability, and information management & technology.

5. Pacific Strategy Partners


Founded in 2003, Pacific Strategy Partners has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Pacific Strategy Partners deploys low leveraged teams to provide clients with Strategy Development, Operational Improvement, and Transaction Support.

6. Port Jackson Partners


Founded in July 1991 by Terrey Arcus and Fred Hilmer to counsel the CEOs of select corporations. PJP is a boutique consultancy firm based in Sydney.

PJP’s Australian clients come from a diverse range of industries (e.g. financial sector, service industry, and industrial sector) and are typically top 100 listed companies, but a few are large government owned corporations. PJP focuses on helping companies with strategy and organisation.

7. Accenture


Established in 1989, Accenture has offices in more than 200 cities in 54 countries. In Australia, Accenture operates in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Accenture offers management consulting services covering finance & performance management, talent & organisation performance, strategy, customer relationship management, and supply chain management.

8. A.T. Kearney


Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney operates across 57 locations world wide. In Australia, A.T. Kearney operates out of Sydney and Melbourne.

A.T. Kearney’s mission is to help the world’s leading corporations gain and sustain a competitive advantage, and to achieve profound, tangible results for its clients. Services offered include complexity management, enterprise transformation, operations, procurement solutions, strategic information technology, strategy and sustainability.

9. Booz Allen Hamilton


Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, BAH operates in 115 offices across six continents. In Ausralia, BAH operates out of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra.

BAH has its main area of expertise in strategy and technology consulting, working in both the commercial and government sectors.

10. The Birchman Group


The Birchman Group operates across 7 countries. In Australia, Birchman operates in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide.

The Birchman Group provides six core services: value management, business advisory, IT advisory, enterprise applications, software development, and business change.

11. Deloitte


Founded in 1893 in the US, Deloitte has a strong global presence and operates in all capital cities of Australia.

Although offering a large number of accounting services, Deloitte also has a consulting practice. The consulting practice offers HR, outsourcing, strategy & operations, and technology consulting.

12. LEK Consulting


Founded in 1983, LEK operates in 20 offices worldwide. LEK has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

LEK’s portfolio of services draws on its core capabilities of research, benchmarking, modelling, analysis and strategy development to help companies determine the best way forward.

13. Oliver Wyman


Founded in New York in 1984, Oliver Wyman operates in 60 offices across 23 countries. In Australia, Oliver Wyman operates out of Sydney.

Services offered by Oliver Wyman include business transformation, organisation & leadership, finance & risk, marketing & sales, operations & technology, and strategy.

14. PwC


Created in 1998 out of the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC has historical roots going back some 150 years.  PwC  operates in 159 countries worldwide. In Australia, PwC has offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.

PwC provides assurance, advisory and tax services. PwCs consulting arm indicates that “people engage PricewaterhouseCoopers to help them design, manage and execute lasting change.”

15. Crescendo Partners


Crescendo Partners is based in Sydney and has extensive experience providing value to clients across the globe.

Crescendo Partners is an elite high value consulting, advisory and private equity firm. Services include strategy consulting, M&A support, capital raising, and private equity investment.

16. Momentum Partners


Founded in 2003, Momentum Partners has offices in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

Services include strategy, operational performance, organisational effectiveness, corporate advisory, business systems and processes. Momentum has consulted to thousands of different organisations across more than 50 countries. Clients include public and governmental organisations, private companies ranging from large global corporations to small, fast growing start-ups.

17. Oyster Consulting


Oyster Consulting is based in Perth.

Oyster Consulting has strong resource industry experience, and offers a range of services including corporate strategy and business planning, business analysis, services optimisation, business improvement, and organisational design services.

18. SMT Consulting


SMT is located in Sydney and Melbourne.

SMT Consulting is a specialist provider of supply chain and logistics services.

Management consulting – where did it begin?

EXECUTIVES often rely on the advice of expert management consultants. Was it always this way? Where did it all begin?

The very first management consulting firm was Arthur D. Little, founded all the way back in 1886 by a professor at MIT whose name was (funnily enough) Arthur D. Little.

Almost 30 years later, Booz Allen Hamilton was founded in 1914. Booz was the first management consultancy to serve both industry and government clients.

Interestingly, McKinsey & Company was the world’s first pure management and strategy consulting company. Founded in 1926, McKinsey is is now the world’s most prestigious consulting firm.  The culture of the firm was heavily influenced by a man named Marvin Bower, who served as managing director from 1950 to 1967. Bower believed that management consultancies should adhere to the same high professional standards as lawyers and doctors. To this day, the core guiding principle at McKinsey is professionalism.

Boston Consulting Group, arguably the world’s second most presigious consulting firm, was founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson. It all began when Henderson left Arthur D. Little to accept a challenge from the CEO of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company to start a consulting arm for the bank.

Ten years later, in 1973, Bill Bain and others left the Boston Consulting Group to form Bain & Company, which is also one of the world’s leading consulting firms.

List of consulting firms in Australia

AN IMPORTANT step towards obtaining a job in a consulting firm is to create a target list of firms that you would like to work for. This can be a very time consuming process.

With the view to saving you a couple of hours, I have prepared a list of consulting firms operating in Australia. This is not an exhaustive list, so if I have overlooked any good consulting firms (I have), let me know.

To make it easier to find the consulting firm you are looking for, consulting firms have been grouped in one of four categories: Strategy and general business, Human resources, Information technology, and Sustainability. Where a consultancy could have been placed under more than one heading, I have placed under the heading I thought was most relevant.

Although some of the consulting firms listed below operate internationally, I have created this list specifically for Australia, but don’t despair! I intend to create specific lists for other countries, for example, India, the UK, USA, Singapore, and China. I plan to do this over the next few months.

Of all the firms I looked at, I have only included the ones that appeared to be of good quality. If you have used any of these firms, please let everyone know what you thought of them – the good and the bad.

Since there are quite a few firms, I have broken the list down into four categories:

  1. Strategy and general business consulting
  2. HR (human resources) consulting
  3. IT (information technology) consulting
  4. Sustainability consulting

#4 Booz Allen Hamilton – an overview of the top four consulting firms 2008


  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Company
  4. Booz Allen Hamilton

NOTE: In July 2008, Booz Allen Hamilton separated its two core businesses into two companies. Booz Allen Hamilton now provides U.S. government consulting, and Booz & Company provides commercial management consulting.

4. Booz Allen Hamilton

Organisation type

Private company


McLean, Virginia, USA

Key people

Dr. Ralph Shrader, Chairman and CEO

Other key people


19,000 employees in 115 offices across six continents


$4 billion (2006)


Main expertise is strategy and technology consulting, in commercial and government sectors.


To deliver results that endure.

Operational structure

Firm’s services are broken into strategy and leadership, organization and change management, operations, innovation, sales and marketing, and information technology.


After WWI, Edwin Booz increasingly used his ties to Washington and the public sector, establishing a tradition of government service that continues at Booz Allen to the present.

Booz clients also include the world’s largest corporations and emerging growth companies from every industry sector and every country.


Client confidentiality is important at Booz Allen and the firm doesn’t typically publicise the names of clients.

The firm is said to have a very non-hierarchical open structure which fosters a culture of team work and cooperation.

Booz Allen consultants typically get heavy workloads and travel is a fairly regular thing. Consultants at Booz Allen would generally be out-of-town four days at a stretch, with Fridays back at the home office.

Promotions are up-or-out, you get promoted upwards or asked to leave.


Since 1995, the firm has published strategy+business, a magazine for business executives.

Brief history

1914 Founded in Chicago by Edwin G. Booz. Booz believed that companies would be more successful if they could call on someone outside their own organizations for expert advice. He is credited with being the founder of the management consulting profession.

1940 The firm was hired to help the US Secretary of the Navy with WWII preparations, marking the beginning of a longstanding relationship with the US Federal Government.

1950s The firm went global in the 1950s, with a contract in the Philippines and its first international office in Zurich.

1962 Firm changes its structure from a partnership to a privately held corporation.

1970 Booz Allen goes public with an initial offering of 500,000 shares at $24 per share.

1976 The partners took the firm private again through one of the first management buyouts to allow the firm to consider long-range investments that companies beholden to shareholders might not be able to make.

1982 Booz Allen Vice President Keith Oliver develops the concept for supply chain management working with the Dutch electronics giant Phillips.

2003 Booz Allen develops the Org DNA online self-assessment tool, enabling company leaders to better understand how the inherent traits of their organisations influence employee behaviour and affect company performance.

Nota bene

Notable intellectual contributions include the OrgDNA framework, the PERT management technique, and the product lifecycle theory.

2008 Ranked 4th most prestigious consulting firm in the world by the Vault Guide.

2007. The firm has been recognized one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers by Working Mother magazine for seven straight years to 2007

2007. The firm has been recognised as one of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work for two years running in 2007

Careers information

There is a strong emphasis on case interviews.