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Sven Smit

Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute, and Senior Partner, Amsterdam
Coleads the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and works with leading companies to develop strategies and implement transformations.

About Sven

Sven is a senior partner at McKinsey, cochairman of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm, and a member of McKinsey’s Shareholders Council (our global governance board).

Sven works with leading companies to develop strategies for growth, serving all industries. Analyzing the success factors required for business growth, examining the way megatrends influence it, and defining the lessons of diversified growth, he builds on the ideas in Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick (2018) and The Granularity of Growth (2008), two books he co-authored.

As cochair of MGI he leads research and authors MGI reports on global economic trends and topics such as productivity and growth, urbanization, innovation and technology, labor markets and the Future of Work, emerging markets, and Europe's economic outlook.

He helps develop the firm’s point of view on core issues such as economic volatility, inflation, and uncertainty, and defines ways to help clients navigate the problems.

Previous roles Sven has held within McKinsey include leading the firm’s work in Western Europe and the global Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. Sven holds a degree in mechanical engineering from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD. Prior to joining McKinsey in 1992, Sven worked at Philips Research Laboratories in measurement and control as an engineer and researcher. He contributes to society through NL2025, an initiative committed to a better future for the Netherlands.

Published work

India's turning point: An economic agenda to spur growth and jobs,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Banking system resilience in the time of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Ten innovations that can improve global health,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

The great acceleration,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Prioritizing health: A prescription for prosperity,” McKinsey Global Institute, July 2020

Crushing coronavirus uncertainty: The big ‘unlock’ for our economies,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

In the tunnel: Executive expectations about the shape of the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Europe needs to prepare now to get back to work—safely,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

An instant economic crisis: How deep and how long?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Getting ahead of the next stage of the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Critical care capacity: The number to watch during the battle of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Safeguarding our lives and our livelihoods: The imperative of our time,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Advanced economies' missing link,” Project Syndicate, February 2020

The new social contract in the 21st century,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2020

From promise to delivery: Overcoming the strategy problem in the public sector,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Eurozone unemployment falls to a ten-year low,” McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Eight shifts that will take your strategy into high gear,McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018

Strategy to beat the odds,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2018

Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick, John Wiley & Sons, 2018

The brightening mood of European business—and what it means for investment,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2017

Shifting tides: Global economic scenarios for 2015-25,” McKinsey & Company, September 2015

The outlook for global growth in 2015,” McKinsey & Company, March 2015

What strategists need: A meeting of the minds,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014

Unearthing the sources of value hiding in your corporate portfolio,” (PDF-280 KB) McKinsey on Finance, Autumn 2013

Are you beating the market?,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013

The strategic yardstick you can’t afford to ignore,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2013

Understanding Asia’s conglomerates,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2013

The perils of best practice: Should you emulate Apple?,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2012

Managing the strategy journey,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2012

Have you tested your strategy lately?,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011

The Granularity of Growth, John Wiley & Sons, 2008

Past experience

Philips Research Laboratories
Engineer, researcher

Education

INSEAD
MBA

Delft University of Technology
MA, mechanical engineering