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The top 10 German management consultancies

For the fourth time in a row, the leading German management consultancies exceeded their annual forecast and grew by around 12.5 percent in 2017. This makes the consulting market one of the most dynamic industries in Germany. The international consultations were also able to grow significantly in double digits at a similar level. As in previous years, the main growth drivers were the good overall economic situation and the need for transformation by customer companies, triggered by the increasing digitization of all areas of life and work.

The digitization is not leaving the consulting company unaffected. Competencies in the big data and data analytics environment are in demand much more frequently than in the past. At the same time, competence in the area of ​​agile project implementation and advice close to the customer interface to the end customer is being built up. The biggest obstacle to growth for consulting firms at the moment remains the recruitment of sufficiently qualified consultants. This will not change in the foreseeable future either.

Top 10 increase total sales to around 2 billion euros

Of the ten leading management consultancies with headquarters and a majority of the share capital in Germany, all companies were able to increase their sales and achieved total sales of around 2 billion euros with over 8,100 employees. As in the previous year, the consulting company Q_Perior from Munich is the fastest growing company in the top 10 list with a sales increase of over 35 percent. However, this includes the takeover of the Swiss P5group in March 2017. Without the takeover, the growth was still well over 18 percent. Only the company Porsche Consulting grew organically with 19.3 percent. The largest consulting company with German roots, Roland Berger, also significantly increased total sales and achieved an estimated 550 million euros in 2017.

Compared to the previous year, there have been some changes on the list. In order to be included in the advisory list, companies must generate at least 60 percent of their sales with traditional management advisory topics. In the future, the Kienbaum consultancy will concentrate on advice on everything to do with people and organization. In addition to the traditionally strong market cultivation in the fields of executive search and HR management, this means that Kienbaum's organizational consultancy focuses on the classic process and organizational structures as well as HR organizations. With a view to this focus, Kienbaum has, among other things, parted with the classic management consulting areas of “Process Excellence” and “Business Technology Management” in recent years. This means that Kienbaum no longer meets the criteria for inclusion in the list and is therefore no longer included in the list for management consulting companies from 2018.

The management consultancy h & z from Munich, which specializes in purchasing consultancy and achieved over 70 million euros in 2017, has moved up. Detecon International also generated significant sales with management and technology consulting, but currently still predominantly within the Telekom Group. Therefore, the company is not included in the list in 2018.

Extensive new hires are intended to secure further growth

In addition to the 28 leading German and international lists of consultants, Lünendonk again analyzed more than 70 consulting companies in 2018. This shows very clearly that demand and optimism in the industry are currently very high. The expectations for the coming years are correspondingly. For the current year 2018, growth is expected to continue at the level of 2017 (+ 12.4%). For 2019, the companies are even a little more confident and trust themselves with a sales growth of 13 percent. In order for this growth to be possible, the companies are currently planning to recruit around 21 percent of the total workforce. The proportion of young professionals here averages 40 percent.

With regard to experienced advisors. On the one hand, projects cannot be filled quickly enough, and on the other hand, employee salaries rise significantly. However, it is positive that the consultations can counteract this development through moderate price increases averaging 3.5 percent per year, ”says Jonas Lünendonk, managing partner and author of the study, outlining the situation. “In addition to organic growth, there is also a growing willingness to grow inorganically in order to expand the portfolio in a targeted manner with services and skills. After all, more than a third of the consultations consider this option. "

Background to the Lünendonk® list

The Lünendonk® lists of the leading management consultancies in Germany, which have been published annually since 1997, have had a new face since 2014. The consulting activities of both international and German consulting providers on behalf of large or globally active customers are increasingly cross-border and from different branches around the world. A ranking based solely on consulting sales in Germany can therefore no longer be mapped in a meaningful and sufficiently detailed manner for the international provider category. For this reason, since 2014, the classic Lünendonk® ranking of management consultancies in Germany has only included companies that have their founding history and capital majority in Germany. These ten German consultancies with the highest turnover are listed in the order of their total turnover in the current Lünendonk® list 2018 “Top 10 German management consultancies”.

The multinational management consulting groups that have their headquarters or their capital majority abroad are included in their own overview "International Management Consulting in Germany", provided they achieved significant sales (more than 50 million euros) with management consulting services in the German market in 2017 their relevant worldwide consulting sales and employee numbers are listed in alphabetical order.

These are the classic large strategy consultancies such as McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group and Bain, as well as full service providers such as Accenture and Capgemini, as well as specialized consulting companies from the HR sector. The revenues of the Big 4 companies from the auditing market sector, which are also taken into account, are what are known as advisory revenues. Due to the heterogeneity of sales and services, a ranking based on global consulting sales is not appropriate in terms of content.

Although explicit sales for the German market were not recorded for all companies, discussions with market participants in recent months have shown that their sales have also developed extremely positively and the rates of increase are roughly on the level of the ten leading German management consultancies.

To the Lünendonk® study

The Lünendonk® list forms the basis for the Lünendonk® study, which will be published in July. For the study, more than 70 management consultancies active in Germany were comprehensively surveyed between February and April 2018.

The Lünendonk® studies and publications belong as part of the Lünendonk service portfolio to "Strategic Data Research" (SDR). In connection with the services in the portfolio elements "Strategic Roadmap Requirements" (SRR) and "Strategic Transformation Services" (STS), Lünendonk is able to support its consulting customers from the development of strategic questions to the acquisition and analysis of the necessary information to support the activation of the results in day-to-day operations.
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