Conquering Consultants

The German Republic of McKinsey

mckinsey four consultants shot
Frank Appel of Deutsche Post, Oliver Bäte of Allianz, Claudia Nemat of Telekom and Martin Blessing at Commerzbank are all former McKinsey consultants.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The global consultancy has a growing influence in the top echelons of corporate Germany.

  • Facts


    • McKinsey was founded by accountant James McKinsey in 1926 in Chicago.
    • The consultancy has huge influence in U.S. business and government – at least 70 of the 500 largest U.S. companies have, or have had, a former McKinsey employee as a boss.
    • In Germany, 48 former McKinsey consultants hold leadership positions in German companies (nine in Germany’s 30 DAX companies) and the government.
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Allianz is currently led by a chief executive who started out selling insurance products door to door.

In May 2015, the company will be led by an alumni of McKinsey, one of the world’s most influential management consultancies.

Oliver Bäte spent 15 years at the management consulting group, rising through the ranks to head the European insurance and asset management unit before jumping ship to join Allianz, straight at the board level, in 2008.

Mr. Bäte joins a growing number of German business leaders who began their careers at McKinsey. They include Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post, and Martin Blessing, chief executive of Commerzbank.

When Mr. Bäte takes control next year, Allianz will be one of three DAX companies headed by a former McKinsey consultant.

Nine other former McKinsey employees hold senior positions in companies listed on Germany’s leading stock index. This is the highest number of McKinsey alumni on German boards so far, and the number is set to grow.

“The traditional German career path, where you start at the bottom and gradually work your way up, is becoming rarer,” McKinsey spokesman Kai Peter Rath told Handelsblatt Global Edition. “Companies now want senior managers with a broader background and international experience, which McKinsey definitely provides.”

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