LISA STEEN PROCTOR
Andersen Consulting LLP continues its reign as the largest management consulting firm in Los Angeles. And like many of its competitors, the firm has added to the number of consultants it employs in the L.A. area, according to this week’s List.
Andersen which has topped the management consulting List since 1989 employs 761 consultants in L.A. County, an increase of 51 consultants from a year ago and 360 more than No. 2-ranked Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.
Douglas Cunningham, Andersen’s managing partner for Southern California, said the firm’s L.A. office is growing at 20 percent to 25 percent a year.
Like other firms on the List, much of Andersen’s growth can be attributed to strong demand for technology-related consulting.
Arthur Andersen (Andersen Consulting’s sister company) made its debut on the List this year in the No. 5 spot.
While Arthur Andersen, which did not submit a survey in prior years, is engaged primarily in traditional accounting work, it has 280 professionals devoted to management consulting, including strategic and systems integration consulting.
P. Murphy & Associates Inc. is now the only L.A. County-based firm in the top 10. It fell to No. 9, down two spots from last year. P. Murphy was also the only top 10 firm that did not expand its number of consultants over the past year. Its consulting ranks remained unchanged at 184.
Phyliss Murphy, the firm’s president, said the business was hit harder by L.A.’s economic woes than the national firms, which can send local consultants to projects in other parts of the country and then bring them back when the economy picks up.
But Murphy said the firm has begun seeing an upturn in business with the local economy improving, and is looking to hire consultants this year. The company’s projected growth stems from an increased demand for technology support and concern over the year 2000 problem expected to plague computer systems.
Strong demand for technical consulting also has been spurring growth at Source Consulting, which has added 72 consultants over the past year, moving it from No. 12 on last year’s List to No. 8 this year.
“We’ve expanded our customer base by at least 30 percent and added additional stripes of business, such as Internet consulting ” said Les Thompson, the firm’s consulting services manager.