Finalists announced for prestigious MCA 2020 Awards


- 33 firms make it to finalist stages in both project and individual awards

- Improving care and shortening waiting times for cancer patients and transforming police forces across UK provide strong examples of value of consulting to public sector

- Major businesses from BP, to HSBC, Astra-Zeneca, Standard Chartered, Ocado and L’Oréal line up to champion the collaborative work done with consultancies...

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has announced that 33 of the UK’s leading consulting firms have been shortlisted in the MCA 2020 Awards in both team and individual categories. EY are top of the leader board with 17 finalists (7 projects and 10 individuals) while PwC have 16 (9 projects and 7 individuals). They are shortly followed by Deloitte with 13 finalists (6 projects and 7 individuals) and BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and Arcadis who each have 7 finalists shortlisted for the awards. This year has seen a record number of entries up 13% on last year and there is strong representation from medium and small firms across all categories with 60% of finalists from SMEs. The awards, now in their 23rd year, recognise the positive work the sector has undertaken for both the public and private sector as well as acknowledging individuals who are having a significant impact within their consultancy.

As in previous years, the awards demonstrate the extensive work being done with major brands and high-profile organisations such as Network Rail, Highways England, the NHS, L’Oréal, Walgreens, HSBC, Standard Life and Ocado which highlights the range of industries that MCA member firms work with on a day to day basis.

The awards clearly shown the significant impact and results achieved by public sector organisations and consultants working together at a national and local level. Deloitte and NECS Consultancy are both recognised for their separate work in improving how cancer patients are managed by the NHS during treatment and referral and improving the speed with which they receive the right care and appointments. As police forces across the country try to respond to changing operational and organisational pressures, consultants are also recognised for the transformational work they have undertaken across the UK including PwC (with Bedfordshire Police), and Deloitte with the Metropolitan Police. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence is shortlisted for its work in helping Gloucestershire’s police and social services to improve its data systems for managing child protection investigations.

Other finalists in the public sector include IBM for its work in delivering a world class technology transformation for the Department of Work and Pensions, improving user experience for over 20 million customers. Atos Consulting is also shortlisted in the “People” category for their work with the UK Visa and Immigration service and helping them to provide fast, flexible, and better digital services to citizens, part of the Government’s digital agenda.

Consulting work with local public sector organisations also feature prominently in the awards finalists including Inner Circle Consulting’s work with the London Borough of Newham to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing, PwC’s work with Haringey Council on improving adult social care and Coeus Consulting’s partnership with Southend-On-Sea Borough Council to transform its IT function. BearingPoint are also recognised for their work on delivering a Healthy Child Programme with Hertfordshire Community Trust.

Major upgrades to the UK’s infrastructure are currently benefiting from the expertise and skills brought by management consultancies and many of these projects feature in the Awards this year thanks to the backing of high-profile clients. Arcadis is nominated for its work with Stansted Airport’s expansion – the biggest upgrade to the airport since its construction. PwC are shortlisted for their work with Highways England and EY for Network Rail.

As well as public sector projects, the MCA Awards recognise consulting excellence with private sector firms. Consumers are shifting towards more plant based foods for health and ethical reasons and PwC is shortlisted for its work with helping Upfield, the largest plant based consumer producer company in the world, to rapidly change and transform its business to meet this growing demand. Other high-profile projects in the private sector categories include Arca Blanca for their work with developing a new operating model for Ocado, the online supermarket, and Deloitte for its work with Maersk in dealing with the aftermath of a global cyber security attack. Vendigital is also shortlisted for its work with helping Newsprinters to transform its operating strategy while delivering 20 million newspapers on a weekly basis.

The International category showcases the work that MCA Member Firms undertake globally and why the UK management consultancy sector is so well regarded abroad. Arup, as part of the UK Delivery Team consortium, worked with the Department for International Trade to support the delivery of the Pan American and Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. PwC helped develop a new model of healthcare with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Finalists Simon-Kucher & Partners created a new pricing and organisation strategy for international shipping and logistics company, DFDS.

As well as projects, the ‘Best Use of Thought Leadership’ in consulting is also a very competitive category this year. Arup’s entry focuses on its work to create a child-friendly approach to urban planning, that creates healthier and more inclusive cities that work better for everyone. KPMG is also shortlisted for its work in stimulating debate around banning plastic which has resulted in several live projects with clients around their use of plastic.

This year’s awards have experienced a number of changes including a new judging panel and a greater focus on younger talent in the awards. The MCA Awards also saw an impressive number of consultants entered for the individual awards up over 40% on last year. Categories range from Team Leader of the Year to Young Consultant of the Year and, new for 2020, Best New Apprentice and Rising Star also being recognised with several excellent finalists.

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), said:

“The MCA Awards are a celebration of the outstanding work that management consultants are involved in across the public and private sector and highlight why the UK is proud to have one of the largest and most well-respected consulting sectors in the world. Of course, winning matters but more importantly these case studies put clients centre stage, on the record, championing the collaborative work being done with consultancies to deliver better business results and public services for society. The number of individual entries has sky rocketed this year as firms seek to champion the younger talent driving results and change across our industry and we look forward to welcoming all the finalists to the awards event in April.”

Overall for 2020, there are 20 award categories with 7 individual awards and 12 project awards as well as an award for Best New Consultancy. Full details can be found at