Fabian Billing new leader of McKinsey in Germany and Austria

15 February 2021 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

McKinsey & Company has named a new Managing Partner in Germany. As of the 1st of March 2021, Fabian Billing takes the reins from Cornelius Baur.

Addressing McKinsey & Company employees in Germany and Austria via a video conference, Fabian Billing said, “I am very pleased to take on this responsible role... We are all currently experiencing a time of change. I will work with full energy to master these changes in the best interests of our clients and employees.”

Billing will take over the top role of the business in Germany and Austria at the start of next month. The Senior Partner in McKinsey’s Düsseldorf office currently heads the firm’s Europe-wide Organisation Practice from there, advising companies on the design and implementation of major transformations as well as in company mergers. His clients primarily include companies from the telecommunications and technology industries.

Fabian Billing, Cornelius Baur - McKinsey & Company

Touted in the German press as “a real McKinsey appointment,” Billing has spent his entire career in strategy consulting. Having studied business administration at the University of Saarland and at Michigan University, in 2002 he gained his doctorate at the TU Berlin on the subject of innovation management. Six years later, he was a Partner with McKinsey, and another six years later he ascended to Senior Partner.

While he was not elected by the 270 McKinsey partners in Germany and Austria, he is understood to be a popular appointment within the firm’s regional offices. Following global McKinsey boss Kevin Sneader’s announcement of his installation as new Managing Partner, the self-professed “strong believer in the power of teamwork” has been described by colleagues as “down-to-earth” and “modest,” something which is not necessarily in-keeping with external perceptions of McKinsey employees.

Taking the hot seat at a time of international crisis, Billing will need every ounce of that likeability, as he seeks to guide McKinsey through its next phase of growth. Under his predecessor Cornelius Baur, who has been at the helm of the consultancy since January 2014, McKinsey managed to consolidate its position as the largest strategy consulting firm in Germany and Austria, remaining ahead of fast-growing Boston Consulting Group.

The firm has offices in Berlin, Köln, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, München, Münster, Nuremberg and Stuttgart, and currently has a headcount of around 3,000 consultants and staff. Globally, McKinsey boasts a headcount in excess of 27,000 staff, operating from offices in over 120 cities worldwide.

Usually, Managing Partners only preside over one of McKinsey’s national practices for a maximum of six years. However, due to the unprecedented disruption of 2020, Baur exceeded this deadline by a whole year. Following the handover, Baur is expected to step away from the firm in the next two years. McKinsey’s internal conventions dictate that partners must leave the company and return their shares by the age of 60 at the latest – and with Baur currently aged 58, this would see him exit by March 2022. In the meantime, however, he will remain on McKinsey’s global management committee.

Commenting on the handover, Sneader said: “Fabian is a remarkable leader with a very good track record among his clients from various industries. He is always passionate about doing the best for clients and colleagues. I have no doubt that McKinsey in Germany and Austria will develop very well under his leadership.”

With fifteen days to go until he passes the baton, Baur looks ahead with confidence. “Developing the German office further was a unique task and fulfillment for me. I am very pleased that with Fabian Billing an outstanding colleague and friend is leading this fantastic task into the next era.”