Management consulting practice areas that are booming during the pandemic — and how much they pay at firms like Deloitte and AlixPartners

FILE PHOTO: Offices of Deloitte are seen in London, Britain, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

Summary List Placement

If you’re looking for a job in management consulting right now, it pays to be in a booming sector. 

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the management-consulting industry. The market for consultants has declined this year to an estimated $132 billion from $160 billion because of decreased client demand, according to research platform Statista. The crisis put a strain on corporate budgets, forcing some to cancel or pause projects with major clients.

But even in the midst of an unstable financial market and a rapidly-spreading virus, there are certain areas within consulting that are growing in demand.

While consultants working in the motor, manufacturing, aerospace, and travel industries are among the most impacted by the health crisis, there are certain areas, such as turnaround and bankruptcy, strategy, and healthcare that are set to grow. 

This means consultants may have to be flexible about the jobs they take on. For example, workers previously handling operations for an airline might be moved to strategy operations for a high-growth client. Stephan Chase, partner and US consulting leader at KPMG, said there’s also been “an explosion of opportunity” in specialized areas such corporate turnarounds, cybersecurity, and government-related work. 

“We tend to flow toward where those opportunities are being generated, and we’ve been pretty good about moving folks around to fit those needs,” he said. 

Below, we listed the most prominent practice areas that will expand in response to the coronavirus, what those consultants do, and how much each specialization pays. 

Turnaround and corporate restructuring

Turnaround specialists help struggling companies understand what’s at stake, prioritization, and how to stabilize operations. They also help companies address legal issues around bankruptcy laws. Restructuring services can range from helping companies through mergers, takeovers, and acquisitions during economic downturn. 

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Right now, turnaround firms are on a hiring spree. AlixPartners, for example, is expecting its restructuring practice to play a bigger role than it ever did before, Business Insider’s Samantha Stokes previously reported. The boutique firm said turnaround projects accounted for 30% of its work in 2020, up from 20% in all of 2019. It just hired 50 new employees. 

“This is the time when our operational turnaround skills really come into play as we’re working with companies way ahead of any court process to help them plan for a range of potential outcomes,” said Lisa Donahue, managing director and joint global heads of turnaround and restructuring at the firm. 

Business school graduates can make a salary of up to $250,000 at AlixPartners, according to Management Consulted. Alvarez & Marsal is another firm that’s known for involvement in corporate turnarounds. It pays senior associates up to $90,000. Senior consultants specialized in mergers and acquisitions at Mercer can earn $112,240 to $247,400. 

But nearly all consultancies — like the so called “Big Four” firms and McKinsey, Bain, and BCG — have bankruptcy, restructuring, and turnaround practices. These giant firms are known for paying six-figure salaries to employees right out of business school. 

Digital implementation and business process transformation 

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Source:: Businessinsider – Finance


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