McKinsey's UK&I leader receives damehood in New Year's honours list

16 January 2018 3 min. read
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Businesswoman Vivian Hunt, a Managing Partner for UK and Ireland at management consultancy McKinsey, has received a damehood for services to the economy and women in business. The announcement came as part of the New Year’s honours list, which annually rewards the hard work of Britons across all sectors, on behalf of the Queen.

As leader of McKinsey & Company’s United Kingdom and Ireland office, Vivian Hunt  has headed a team of around 1,500 colleagues, drawn from over 50 nations. The firm won a multitude of major contracts in the UK last year, including a lucrative £1.9 million tender to assist the British Civil Service with the implementation of Brexit. While Hunt has led McKinsey in the UK, she has also served on the board of several important national business groups, including British American Business and the CBI London Council.

Before assuming the position in January 2014, Hunt previously led the Pharmaceutical & Medical Products practice in EMEA and the UK for 8 years. Throughout her 24 year stint with the leading strategy consultancy, she has been a driving force within multiple programmes for leadership and talent, including Experienced Hire Recruiting – which aims to attract and develop exceptional people from a variety of fields and professions – and the ‘McKinsey Black Network’, which is geared toward promoting diversity and inspiring connectivity amongst black and African ethnic minority consultants.Vivian HuntHunt is also among the select few who are presently touted as a potential new Managing Director for the whole organisation. McKinsey is in the process of appointing a new Global Managing Director, as incumbent Dominic Barton, who has run the consultancy for eight years, is due step down in June. Barton has served three terms and, under McKinsey’s internal rules, is ineligible to serve a fourth; leaving McKinsey to run it’s first ‘wide open’ race for a leader since 2009. If elected, Hunt, who has been a vocal proponent of improved racial and gender diversity in business, would be the first female leader in McKinsey’s history.

While a lengthy selection process still stands in the way of that particular position of prestige, however, the UK&I Managing Partner has received a very different title in the meantime. Hunt was awarded a damehood for services to the economy and women in business, as part of the Queen’s New Year’s honours list. Hunt had previously been named the most influential black woman in Britain, and one of the 30 most powerful people in the City. She was described by the honours committee as a “powerful advocate for non-traditional voices in the corporate world”.

Hunt joined a number of prominent business figures to be named in the prestigious list. Alongside her, Ken Olisa – another influential figure in British business diversity, as the first black Briton to join the board of a FTSE 100 company – was named a Knight Bachelor. Nottingham-born Olisa was recognised for a 40-year career in technology and banking, as well as his charity work. Elsewhere on the list, annual accolades included a damehood for former Royal Ballet performer, Darcey Bussell,  as well as knighthoods for Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr and previous children’s laureate, Michael Morpurgo.