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The world’s most prestigious consultancy prides itself on its intellectual prowess and ethical standards. But this year, an insider trading scandal surrounding former McKinsey luminaries has left staff and alumni reeling
'We will never forget it,' Dominic Barton, global managing director of McKinsey, speaking about the Rajat Gupta and Anil Kumar affairs
When 1,200 partners of McKinsey&Company – the elite of global consulting – arrived at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, outside Washington DC, early on the morning of March 15 this year, they found themselves where they least wanted to be: at the centre of a media firestorm.
Up the east coast, in a Manhattan courtroom, an insider trading case was focusing attention on the links between key former employees of the world’s best-known, most prestigious, most self-consciously high-minded consulting firm and a corrupt hedge fund boss. For outsiders, intrigued by and suspicious of the McKinsey mystique, it was an irresistible combination. For partners, most of whom had flown into Washington from their offices around the globe for the scheduled annual meeting, it was a public embarrassment, a private outrage – and even a potential threat to the future of “the Firm”, as McKinseyites call their employer. “You can’t underestimate the shock, the disbelief and anger there,” recalls one McKinsey veteran. As Dominic Barton, the Firm’s personable global managing director, brought the opening plenary session to order, the older partners were “completely ashen-faced”, the same person recalls.
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Nov 25 2011 submitted by Vincent Clayton