OC&C Strategy Consultants
A leader in European private equity, OC&C has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. With a thriving retail practice and a presence in nine countries, the firm has advised household names such as the BBC, ITV and Vodafone.
- The firm has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere
- Lots of charity and pro bono work
- High level of contact with management
- Lots of contact with clients
- Up or out policy
- It can be hard to have a good work/life balance during busy periods and near deadlines
OC&C Strategy Consultants (Outram Cullinan & Company) provides high level strategy consulting to senior management in large corporations and organisations. Rather than getting bogged down in the minutia of firms’ operations, OC&C focusses on the bigger picture, striving to provide its clients with creative and practical ideas to increase shareholder value. The firm has garnered a particularly strong reputation in two rather contrasting areas – retail and private equity. The firm has a presence in nine countries, with its 14 offices staffed by more than 500.
Founded in London by Chris Outram, in 1987, OC&C grew quickly, opening offices in Abu Dhabi, Boston, Brussels, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, Paris, Rotterdam, New York and Shanghai. More recently, the firm gained a foothold in the UAE and Oman following a merger with MESA, in 2007.
OC&C was one of the early leaders in advocating private labels as a method for retailers to differentiate themselves from other brands. This ingenuity led to the firm developing and maintaining strong roots in consumer goods and retail. The firm provides a range of other services to this sector, including category management, operational improvement and internationalisation strategies.
The firm has also earned a reputation as a leader in European private equity. Leveraging sector specific knowledge, OC&C offers its clients advice on improving business plans, commercial due diligence, investment preparation, and identifying new opportunities.
In addition to its staples of retail and private equity, OC&C offers expertise in consumer goods, industry and utilities, technology, media and telecoms, transport and logistics, and financial and professional services. Its clients range from large multinationals to smaller companies on a fast-growth track. OC&C has advised numerous household names, including the BBC, The Guardian, ITV, Macmillan Publishers, the Telegraph Group and Vodafone.
The firm’s altruistic activities stretch across several public organisations and charities. OC&C doesn’t just contribute monies, but also offers its expertise pro bono. The UK, French, and Dutch offices have successfully helped Fairtrade both define and improve their performance, allowing them to reap the benefits moving forward. OC&C also has a long-standing relationship with Impetus Trust – pioneers in venture philanthropy – through which it has provided business planning support to a number of charities, dealing with issues such as youth conflict resolution, eating disorders, and the rehabilitation of prisoners and ex-offenders.Read all 22 employee quotes
OC&C really do skim from the top; interviews are offered to grads from the top technical and business universities throughout Europe. Candidates will need a minimum 2:1 and a demonstrable aptitude for creative and lateral thinking. The discipline is less important, with emphasis placed on whether applicants fit with the company culture.
Ok, first the bad news... OC&C’s hiring process is demanding. Now the good news: it’s quick! The whole ordeal lasts between one and two days, consisting of approximately four to six interviews over two rounds. Be prepared to face partners and directors, with the questions based on real client scenarios, requiring all the conceptual thinking and common sense you can muster. Your skills and wits will be tested further by CV marking, group cases and numeracy and reasoning tests. So, deep breaths, do your research, and remember the good news, it’ll be over before you know it!
Employer Type: Private
No. of Employees: 500
No. of offices: 13
Worldwide Managing Partner: Michael Jary
Associate Consultant: £40,000 - £43,000 (Approx.)
Business Unit/Divisional Strategy
Industry and Infrastructure
Organisation and Change
Retail & Distribution
Travel, Transport and Logistics
Having worked at a couple of different firms, OC[&]C is easily the most fun and relaxed consultancy I have worked at. Expectations are high but there’s a culture of support to help you through the more intense periods.ManagerHelpful?
Most consultants clock up around 60 hours a week. But around deadlines you’re expected to carry on until the work is done.ConsultantHelpful?
After an online application, I sat five interviews. The first one was numerical, with the later ones focussed around character and overall fit within the firm.ConsultantHelpful?
There’s no apparent prejudice at the firm although there isn’t huge numbers of ethnic minorities.ConsultantHelpful?