The most influential consultants in Australia revealed

03 October 2018

According to a soon to be released publication by the Australian Financial Review’s AFR Magazine, the top 5 most influential consultants throughout the country are John Lydon, Andrew Clark, Skipp Williamson, Cindy Hook and Luke Sayers.

The Australian consulting market is fast becoming one of the most powerful industries throughout the country. With digital transformation, automation and government outsourcing fuelling the growth spurt, the industry does not appear to be slowing down either. As a result, multinational consulting firms continue to gain power and influence in Australia. 

The consulting industry’s rise in prominence has also made its mark on Australian politics – with the Labor Party vowing to restrict the use of consultants if they win the next federal election. The announcement came just as news broke that the Australian consulting industry had reached a worth of $5 billion, with the public sector making up just under 20% of that total.

A tit for tat battle ensured between the Liberal and Labor parties over the use of consultants for what would traditionally have been public servant work. A joint parliamentary committee inquiry into consulting followed shortly after. In an attempt to further comply with the government’s wishes and clear up the industry’s image, consulting firms have become more transparent – as opposed to the illusive practices of yesteryear. 

One of the key reasons for the secrecy for clients is that consulting firms are brought into solve a specific problem so that clients can gain an advantage over their competition. Consulting firms themselves do not wish to release information in regards to their contracts or proposals as it may effect their ability to tender in the future. Combined, these factors have an impact on how firms operate in the public sector. 

The most influential consultants in Australia revealed

One of the key performers in this regard is McKinsey & Company’s current Australian Managing Partner and number one on the AFR Magazine list, John Lydon. McKinsey is perhaps the most prestigious and most secretive consulting firm globally, but under the leadership of Lydon, the firm has shed that image.

According to the ranking, Lydon has among one of the largest networks in the business community and has driven profits throughout the firm with the introduction of rapid turnaround service (RTS), which now account for upwards of one third of McKinsey’s revenue in Australia. This year’s most influential consultant is also a crowned champion of gender diversity and equality in the workplace.

Second on the list is The Boston Consulting Group’s Managing Director Andrew Clark. Clark has been a kingpin in the agile working domain, with the new BCG branch of Digital Ventures often employing entrepreneurs to foster an innovation culture and a startup environment. With an oversight of both worlds – from startups to big business – Clark knows the ins and outs of Australia’s digital revolution. 

Australian entrepreneur, consultant and Managing Partner of Partners in Performance (PiP), Skipp Williamson ranks in as the third most influential consultant this year. Williamson is an ex-McKinsey consultant who went on to found global management consulting firm PiP in 1996. In the years since, PiP has gone on to become one of Australia’s largest consulting firms and has successfully expanded across Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. 

Deloitte’s Cindy Hook took fourth place, however if the reach of the ranking was expanded to the entire Asia Pacific she probably would have taken first. It was recently announced by the Big Four consulting and accounting firm that Hook would take on the role of CEO of the firm’s Asia Pacific practice after a mega-merger earlier this year. Hook is one of the most influential businesswomen in Australia and is a prominent voice on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Last but certainly not least is Luke Sayers of PwC Australia. Sayers has been with PwC for around 17 years and has driven a revenue of $2.4 billion. He has also overseen and nurtured PwC’s strategy consulting arm Strategy& which today generates upwards of $600 million alone. Earlier this year under Sayers’ lead, PwC has reduced the gender pay gap throughout the firm and ensured that it was square and equal at a partner level.


Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employers

18 April 2019

LinkedIn has come out with its top 25 companies to work for in Australia, and the Big Four accounting and advisory firms all feature on the list. The financial services sector emerged as the most popular, with the top four all being occupied by banking and financial services institutions. 

The list of top companies to work for is prepared for a number of major markets across the globe, and is based on four primary metrics to measure a firm’s popularity. The first is overall interest in the company, measured by the number of visits a firm’s LinkedIn page receives from outsiders.

The second is employee engagement, which examines how many outsiders view the profile of a company’s employees. Thirdly, LinkedIn records the number of applications received by a firm for each opening that it posts, in a bid to measure job demand at the firm. The last metric is employee retention, which is measured by the number of employees that remain at a firm for more than a year. 

All of the Big Four accounting and advisory firms have made the top 25 this year, which corresponds with a drive to employ young talent in these organisations. Early this year, it came to light that the Big Four were cumulatively planning to hire more than 2,500 graduates across the first half of this year.Big Four firms make it to the list of Australia's top 25 employersEngagement with these firms is a highly competitive process, helped along by the prestige and recently introduced comfort that the jobs bring with them. EY placed the lowest of the four on LinkedIn’s list – at 13th – although this might change for next year following its announcement in March this year that employees could potentially take as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year in the future. 

KPMG Australia was just ahead of EY, placing in 12th, while Deloitte and PwC made it to the top 10. Deloitte Australia placed in 8th, which can be attributed to a renewed focus in the firm on innovative human resources mechanisms, with the objective of becoming “the most inspiring firm to work with — for its people, its clients and its communities.”

PwC Australia, meanwhile, was the highest ranked accounting and advisory firm in the country in 6th place. Nevertheless, sixth position represents a dip for PwC, given that it has topped the entire list for two years in a row before this. The firm’s popularity is often attributed to its flexibility with employees considerations.

The top four positions on the list were all occupied by banks, namely the Westpac Group, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank in that order. Other big global names on LinkedIn’s list for Australia are Salesforce in 9th and global ecommerce giant Amazon in 10th.