How About Some Real Numbers??
I did a simple Google search on “Accenture Managing Director Salary San Francisco” and uncovered some juicy details.
According to this website, a typical Managing Director in San Francisco earns a salary of USD240K. However, keep in mind that a Managing Director is an executive. A Managing Director is in the top 2% of seniority at Accenture, a company with over 250,000 associates.
When MDs leave Accenture, they usually leave because they have been offered Vice President or C-level roles at client companies. So if you think this salary sounds ridiculously low, given the level of seniority and responsibility this position entails (and based on what other employers are paying for this level of talent), I agree with you.
In reality, as with most executive jobs, a majority of a Managing Director’s pay is deferred compensation in the form of Restricted Stock Units and other performance-related bonuses. Glassdoor breaks it down in this link.
It suggests that a high performing executive at Accenture earns in the USD340K range. But it doesn’t state which of the multiple levels of Managing Director/Senior Executive this level of compensation pertains to…or whether this is a cumulative average across all levels. See what I mean about this being a tricky subject?
Regardless, if you are talented enough to make it into the ranks of Managing Director at Accenture, rest assured that you will be compensated generously. Accenture knows that these people are being recruited constantly. However, a common misconception is that, upon being promoted to Managing Director, Accenture pays you a huge cash bonus. Not true.
Think of it this way: the last thing the firm wants to see is for newly minted Managing Directors to “take the money and run.” More typically, a new Managing Director has to stick around for about five years to vest out with a significant amount of bonus cash…but by then, if they are good, they will have been promoted and will be given a new set of “golden handcuffs” to keep them around for another five years.
How Does This Compare With Other Consulting Firms?
I have a friend who is on the Partner track at another major consulting firm that competes with Accenture. This firm is privately held and operates as a true partnership. He explained it to me this way:
“When a Director is appointed Partner (also referred to as Managing Director), they are given a healthy salary increase (20-30% is typical). Then, they are offered a low interest loan of somewhere between USD500K and USD1M to invest in the various practices at the firm. Say, s/he chooses to invest in the SAP, Oracle and Cloud Computing practices. S/he will be responsible for helping grow those businesses throughout the year.
At the end of the year, the Partners pay all the bills, debts, salaries, etc from the overall gross profits. Then they distribute the remaining net profits of each practice to the Partners that invested in those practices.”
Accenture, being a publicly held firm, doesn’t offer this type of investment option. But the compensation levels are similar. Consider that Accenture MDs are not leaving in droves to join privately held firms, and vice versa. It gets better though at this privately held partnership:
“When a Partner is ready to retire from the firm, the firm looks at his/her five best consecutive years of total earnings to determine average pay. The Partner is then offered the average salary from those five best years as a pension for the rest of his/her life.”
NEXT PAGE: IS IT WORTH IT?