Meet the New Global CEO of McKinsey


McKinsey and Company has a new global managing partner – the global face of the firm. The election which was keenly contested – secretly – had Kevin Sneader, the Asian Chairman, being elected as the new the global managing partner of the firm. The Firm, as it is fondly called, has been consistently rated as the top consulting firm by Vault, the American career firm. Kevin, 51, elected by the firm’s more than 560 senior partners, will serve a three year term, which is renewable (current GMP, Dominic Barton has served for three terms – the maximum), and will commence duties 1 July 2018. The twelfth partner to guide McKinsey since its creation 92 years ago, he will guide – not lead – more than 27,000 people under its employ. McKinsey, according to Forbes, serves more than 2,000 institutions, including 90% of the top 100 corporations globally.


A British citizen born in Canada and bred in Glasgow, joined the firm in 1989. LLM, University of Glasgow; MBA, Harvard Business School (A Baker and Fulbright Scholar). Currently the Asia Chairman based In Hong Kong. He was previously the Managing Partner UK & Ireland. A member of the firm’s global Operating Committee. Previously chaired the Client Committee of its Shareholders Council. Major contenders were Vivian Hunt, Managing Partner of the UK & Ireland, Gary Pinkus, Managing Partner for North America and Bob Sternfels, Head of Global Functions.

The Firm which is owned by its partners has been compared to the US Marines, the Jesuits or the Catholic Church. Duff McDonald, the author of The Firm (book about the firm’s activities) describes the firm as the “single greatest legitimiser of mass lay-offs, with partners describing themselves as “the greatest collection of talents the world has ever seen”. One partner stated that: “There are only three great institutions left in the world: the marines, Catholic Church and McKinsey.” The election is very secretive with Matthew Gwyther, former editor of Management Today stating: “They keep the whole process very secret. It is almost a papal conclave without the smoke coming up at the end.”

Kevin Sneader McKinsey CEO

Kevin Sneader McKinsey CEO

One of the most selective institutions globally, receiving 201,000 applications for 2,200 positions. Making it more selective than Harvard University. However, securing a stake does not guarantee a career for life. She operates a ruthless “up or out” policy, making her having a turnover rate of circa 25%. If you don’t become a partner within 5 or 6 years, you might have to try elsewhere.

Additionally, she has one of the world’s most influential alumni. As of April 2015, there were more than 450 ex-McKinsey men and women as heads of $1bn+ organisations globally. Once firmly in the firm, partners remain McKinsey-ites even after departing the firm. Former partners – now CEOs – refer to themselves and former colleagues as ‘we”. Expectedly, when ex-McKinsey-ites get recruited for a top role, McKinsey is called to assist. From Tidjane Thiam, CEO Credit Sussie; Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Chairman of Lego Group; Vittorio Colao, CEO Vodafone; Sherly Sandberg, CEO Facebook; Sundar Pichai, CEO Google; James Gorman, CEO Morgan Stanley to Tad Smith of Sotheby (oldest publicly traded firm on the NYSE) and lots more. Forbes describes her as the “CEO launch pad”, Dominic Barton calls it the “leadership factory”. A study conducted by USA Today showed that the odds of becoming a CEO of a public company as a McKinsey consultant are the best globally, at 1 in 690.



Nigeria Location: 1 Murtala Mohammed Drive, 1st floor Ikoyi, Lagos.

Contact Details: Voice: +234 1 4633500. Fax: +234 1 4633570. The firm has been in Nigeria since 2002. We once profiled the senior partner who assisted in setting up the Nigeria’s office, here. A columnist at JarusHub took us through his McKinsey recruitment process. Recently, we made a review of the firm.

Notable Nigerian alumni of McKinsey: Nneka Chime, Consultant (MBA, Harvard Business School and Innovation and Investment Advisor, HDSF), Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, Consultant (MBA, Harvard Business School and Co-founder Sahel Capital), Femi Adeyemo, Principal Consultant (MBA, London Business School and CFO Oando Plc), Philip Ihenancho, Consultant (JD, Harvard University and ex-CEO Seven Energy), Danladi Verheijen, Consultant (MBA, Harvard Business School and Co-founder Verod Capital) etc.

Notable Nigerian current employees: Kemi Onabanjo, Engagement Manager (MBA, INSEAD), Sola Olaniyan-Bright, Senior Associate (MBA, Harvard Business School), Sadiq Wanka, Consultant (Cambridge University) etc.

The Managing Partner at the Lagos office is Rogerio Mascarenhas (MBA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).


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