Companies in the finance industry and beyond, must deal with constant new requirements and legislation when it comes to reporting or business practices. In order to steer through these new challenges, consultants come to the rescue charging hefty fees for their services, some being perceived as more likely to add direct value, encouraging revenue-generation, with consulting professionals paid according to that perception.
In this study, Emolument.com reviewed the data from 630 Senior Consultants (3-6 years of experience) in London to identify the best paying consulting jobs. We found that Strategy Consultants earn 1.5 times more than their colleagues in Financial Accounting. As expected, with the ever-increasing regulatory constraints over risk management and tax loopholes closing down, Risk and Trust & Pensions consulting are both well rewarded. Across all consulting jobs bonuses are low with some specialisms not paying a bonus.
|Strategy Consulting||£ 56,000||£ 5,000||£ 61,000|
|Customer and Growth||£ 50,000||£ 5,000||£ 55,000|
|Trusts and Pensions||£ 50,000||£ 5,000||£ 55,000|
|Corporate Finance Advisory||£ 49,000||£ 4,000||£ 53,000|
|Operational Transaction Services||£ 51,000||£ 2,000||£ 53,000|
|Investment & Divestiture Advisory Services||£ 50,000||£ 3,000||£ 53,000|
|Financial Risk Management||£ 52,000||£ –||£ 52,000|
|Economic Consulting||£ 48,000||£ 3,000||£ 51,000|
|People and Change||£ 49,000||£ 2,000||£ 51,000|
|Operational Transformation||£ 48,000||£ 2,000||£ 50,000|
|Financial Advisory||£ 48,000||£ 2,000||£ 50,000|
|Regulatory Compliance||£ 49,000||£ –||£ 49,000|
|Tax Accounting||£ 46,000||£ 1,000||£ 47,000|
|Business Process Management||£ 47,000||£ –||£ 47,000|
|IT Advisory||£ 47,000||£ –||£ 47,000|
|Performance Improvement||£ 46,000||£ 1,000||£ 47,000|
|External Audit||£ 45,000||£ –||£ 45,000|
|Financial Accounting||£ 41,000||£ –||£ 41,000|
Figure 1 & Table 1. Data from 630 Senior Consultants (3-6 years of experience) in London in 2012-2016
- High stakes and cash! Boards and CEOs need to make informed strategic decisions to beat the competition, maximise profits and use available resources efficiently. Predictably, strategy consulting, the most prestigious consulting job, comes top of our list with a total compensation of £61,000. For the best paying jobs in the best paying consulting firm, aim for strategy consulting at Bain & Company or BCG with total annual compensation packages of £100,000.
- Bonuses in sight? Compared to bankers whose bonuses can amount to more than their annual salary, even the highest paid consultants receive relatively low bonuses. Consulting is a fee-based business which makes recommendations to clients while not directly benefiting from the improving performance brought about by their work. A consequence of this process is that consultants are far removed from direct bottom-line increase at their clients’, which has a direct impact on their total compensation.
- Retirement advice: Most companies transfer the risk associated with pension funds to their employees by adopting Defined Contribution pension plans. One would expect this move to reduce the amount spent on consulting about the matter but that is certainly not the case yet. Pension Consultants £50,000 salary is complemented by a 10% bonus as an incentive for good results.
- Risk consulting: being popular doesn’t necessarily entail high bonuses: In recent years risk consulting has grown to (if it wasn’t already) become an essential requirement in most listed companies. Despite this, most risk consultants with 3-6 years’ experience are unlikely to receive a bonus.
‘When deciding between starting a career in consulting or banking, of course the financial aspect weighs in. While consultants clearly earn much less than bankers, many see the advantages of working in consulting as more than making up for the gap in remuneration. Working across industries and being embedded within different firm on a rotating basis is incredibly enriching and varied. The job does not get stale and professionals expand their networks exponentially, building relationships on every project both with client teams as well as assigned colleagues. Consulting might pay less than banking in the short to medium term, but is a fantastic way to build a solid professional network and dip one’s toes in many industries looking to solve different problems, a certain way to open doors later on in life.’