What it does: Management consulting for companies in the financial services sector including asset managers, banks, insurers, private equity houses and trading firms.
Best known for: Chappuis Halder & Co. ranked among the top French consulting firms in 2018 for strategy, organisation and management, and banking and finance.
Staff stats: Between 200 and 500 employees.
The good bits: Interns normally have the opportunity to engage with real work for clients of Chappuis Halder & Co. The company also grants autonomy to employees for most projects.
The not so good bits: The company claims to be a flat organisation, but the hierarchy for career progression can be too steep. Students start as analysts for their internships and go through five levels if they wish to become partners at the company.
Chappuis Halder & Co (CH&Co.) began with operations in 2009 as an independent consulting firm with Swiss origins. The company has expanded with ten offices in Asia, Europe and North America. More than 300 consultants cater to CH&Co. clients including the top 12 European banks and insurers. Their services hinge on three principles: Design, Create, Realise.
The company draws inspiration from this motto to provide business and transformation; data, tech and cybersecurity; finance risk and compliance; global research and analytics expertise.
CH&Co. says that they normally take three to four weeks to process applications. Applicants should expect up to four interviews, one of which may require them to solve business case scenarios. Prospective employees will meet several members of their respective teams during the entire process.
The managing director at the Hong Kong office advises candidates to demonstrate a compelling reason for their motivation to join CH&Co. The company will be more likely to hire individuals who can prove an entrepreneurial attitude, have no qualms about risk and show the ability to work outside their comfort zones. Be ambitious by setting a clear goal (eg being a partner after ten years). CH&Co. looks for charismatic people to maintain good relationships with clients, and they should have an analytical-thinking mindset to achieve this.
Students who wish to pursue consulting careers will start as an analyst at CH&Co. They can gradually advance as senior analysts, consultants, senior consultants, managers, directors and ultimately as a company partner. CH&Co. describes senior analyst roles as the stepping stone for graduates, who will work closely with clients and familiarise themselves with internal procedures.
You will become a consultant once you fully understand a client’s business problems and know the corresponding solutions. Consultants at CH&Co. have greater autonomy in their work. A senior level in the same position means that you’re already a consulting expert. Senior consultants can foresee the challenges for a client’s business and draft proposals to address them while acting as mentors to the junior staff at the same time.
Managers represent CH&Co. for internal and external affairs, develop and train consultants, and lead client projects. Directors take on a more global scale of work including expertise in handling several projects and teams and overseeing commercial action plans from the development to the execution phases. CH&Co.’s partners primarily seek to acquire new clients and maintain old ones, advocate for innovative business practices and look for strategic areas where the company can open new offices.
An analyst at CH&Co. earns HK$14,000 to HK$15,000 per month on average. Senior analysts earn HK$25,000 per month on average, while consultants earn between HK$38,000 and HK$41,000 per month. The median salary for senior consultants ranges from HK$43,000 to HK$47,000 per month.
Employees learn a lot at the company from soft skills to technical consulting knowledge for handling client problems. The company provides them with different opportunities to work on projects, but they should prove to be competent enough for the job. You should expect long work hours and even work during weekends.
Some consultants believe that CH&Co.’s office in Hong Kong has been too European-centric in terms of management style. It can be difficult to advance in your career once you become a manager, supposedly because of the company’s inclination to promote French employees. Other employees still feel that CH&Co. is a good choice for a consulting career because of the group’s international status.
CH&Co.’s business rivals include Ailancy, Aurexia, Cognizant Business Consulting and Exton Consulting.
Students must establish a real connection between their skills and CH&Co.’s services to be considered for an internship. The structured career path for consultants can be daunting, but it’s also comforting to determine your future responsibilities once you excel in your initial role. Individuals who value work-life balance won’t be a good fit, as the corporate culture tends to be customer-centric that greatly relies on collaboration.
Those who can effectively manage a high-pressure environment at CH&Co. will be rewarded with credit and ownership for their work. You should temper your expectations, though, especially when you wish to work beyond the duties of a manager at the company.