McKinsey & Company, a New York consulting giant globally, is one of several major American-based international corporations positioned to reap benefits from the war in Ukraine and other foreign conflicts.
McKinsey has strong connections to Russian and Chinese business interests that are causing some to express concern about their possible conflicts of interest. Some large corporations have taken in millions of dollars through federal government contracts dealing with national security systems operated by the Pentagon.
McKinsey alone has received more than $850 million in Defense Department contracts. The firm has also completed thousands of consulting projects in Russia, with several more in progress. It also continues to enter into new contracts with the Pentagon.
McKinsey has had issues with conflicts of interest in the past. Last year, NBC News reported on the company’s $573 million settlement over allegations that its consulting work for opioid manufacturers was key to drug prescriptions and distribution that added to the surge of overdose deaths. At the same time, McKinsey was working for the pharma companies it was working with the Food and Drug Administration regarding its prescription drug regulatory policies.
Many of the Russian firms that McKinsey provides services to are controlled by the Kremlin and sanctioned by Western nations and the EU. The firm was heavily involved in launching the Skolkovo School of Management in Moscow in the 2000s. Former McKinsey Managing Director Rajat Gupta personally launched the school until he was charged and convicted by the Department of Justice for insider trading. The school has since become deeply corrupted with nepotism by Russian oligarchs.
In January 2021, McKinsey’s Senior Moscow Office Partner Vitaly Klintsov sent out a company directive instructing all employees to refrain from speech or political participation that could be seen as being against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Klintsov later withdrew the directive following criticism of stifling employees’ personal views.
McKinsey is a prime example of American companies who have profited for decades from the Putin regime in Moscow and are unlikely to be restrained by the level of sanctions currently being proposed or implemented by Joe Biden.