Our management consultancy columnist, Mick James, reports on the 16th Management Consultancies Association Awards.

As an enthusiast for awards I was delighted to be allowed to squeeze into my ever-shrinking dinner suit one last time and enjoy fine dining and good company in an upmarket hotel while the best and brightest of the profession paraded their greatest hits before me.

And it really is a parade, the MCA awards are now in their 16th year but are unrecognisable from the days when a few of us would cram into a smallish room to hear about some of the best case studies from the previous year. With 22 awards to get through after dessert there was barely time to usher each beaming group of winners onto the stage and give them their gongs before the next lot were due up.

With such an embarrassment of riches it’s hard to take too much away from the evening apart from “didn’t they all do well?” Even our host, comedian Tony Hawks, gave up on the effort of tailoring his address to such a diverse and all-encompassing industry and instead did a short skit about how people continually mistake him for someone else with a very similar name. Perhaps next year they should invite his skateboarder namesake to respond.

The MCA now offers awards in 13 project categories with three overall awards and, with the Institute of Consulting awards now apparently in abeyance, the MCA offers six individual consultant awards. Consultant of the Year was Deloitte’s Lasse Lund, the Best New Consultancy was Q5 and Atos scooped project of the year for its work with the Hillsborough Independent Commission. I could, of course, follow our host’s lead here and list the rest of the winners but that would only leave room for an anecdote of how I spent a surreal few minutes during the early part of the evening trying to introduce myself to a man with a very similar name to mine (spooky double coincidence or what?.

But I’d rather take a step back and look at how the awards as a whole paint an interesting picture of the industry and the wider world to which it belongs. The Big Four and the other major consultancies were there in force – Ernst & Young winning the most awards, but not excessively. There was also plenty of representation from smaller companies, often with bigger clients than their globe-spanning rivals. Finance is clearly a major sector client, but by no means dominant. Many of the awards are public-sector specific so this sector was well-represented, even if its share of MCA revenues has declined. But it’s worth noting that public sector projects also featured strongly in other categories and gave a snapshot of some of the transitions in service delivery that are even now transforming health, local government and policing.

In the private sector you can also detect the aftershocks of other recent events – coping with the impact of regulation and the effect on customers of the bank bailouts, immigration and apprenticeships. It reminded me of why I love this industry so much – as a journalist you are not just in touch with what’s happening but the people who are making it happen.

Anyway, here are rest of the winners: sadly there is little space here now to go into the details of these projects, but hopefully you will take a few minutes to go the MCA website and read about and enjoy the diversity and topicality of these projects.

Change Management in the Private Sector (sponsored by BLT)

Challenge Consulting with Hitachi Capital UK

Highly Commended: Boxwood with Tube Lines; PwC with Adecco Group UK & Ireland

Change Management in the Public Sector

Atos Consulting with NHS Staffordshire Commissioning Support Unit

Highly Commended: Capita with Birmingham City Council, Adults & Communities; Hay Group with Isle of Anglesey Council

Commercial Excellence (sponsored by the Association of Business Schools)

Efficio with Thames Water Utilities Ltd

Highly Commended: Accenture with Microsoft

Customer Engagement (sponsored by CHA PR)

iMPOWER with Buckinghamshire, Staffordshire and Hertfordshire County Councils

Highly Commended: KPMG with RBS Group

Finance and Risk Management (sponsored by IHN Insurance Brokers)

Ernst & Young with Credit Suisse

Highly Commended: Hudson & Yorke with Zurich Insurance Group

Innovation (sponsored by Karlson UK)

PPL (Private Public Ltd) with Nesta

International (sponsored by Truphone)

Elix-IRR with Standard Bank

Highly Commended: Deloitte with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


PwC with National Apprenticeship Service

Highly Commended: PwC with Direct Line Group

Performance Improvement in the Private Sector (sponsored by Mindbench)

PwC with Bombardier Transportation

Highly Commended: North Highland with Allen & Overy

Performance Improvement in the Public Sector

KPMG with West Midlands Police

Social and Environmental

Atos Consulting with Hillsborough Independent Panel

Highly Commended: PwC with Department for Education; PwC with Puma SE

Strategy (sponsored by INCo)

PwC with Vodafone, Telefónica, O2, EE and Weve

Highly Commended: Kepner-Tregoe (KT) with the DAL Group

Technology (sponsored by North Highland)

Ernst & Young with UK Border Agency

Highly Commended: Arup with NATS


Change Management Consultant of the Year

Sayeh Ghanbari, Ernst & Young LLP

Highly Commended; Umang Patel, CSC

HR Consultant of the Year

Mark Bowden, Deloitte

Performance Consultant of the Year

Lasse Lund, Deloitte

Highly Commended: James Bowman, PwC

Strategy Consultant of the Year

Yunus Ozler, Ernst & Young LLP

Highly Commended: Paul Le, CSC

Technology Consultant of the Year

Guy Lucchi, CSC

Young Consultant of the Year

Rebecca Lloyd, PwC

Highly Commended: Phil Humber, CSC


All views expressed in this article are those of Mick James and do not necessarily reflect the views of Top-Consultant.com and Consultant-News.com.

Contact Mick with your views or suggestions at: mick.james@top-consultant.com

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