North American asset management practice leader, McKinsey & Co., New York
David Hunt, the leader of McKinsey & Co.'s North American asset management practice, says his firm's investments in proprietary research have helped McKinsey raise its game in advising top money management executives.
Major research projects, including McKinsey's May 2007 report, The Coming Shakeout in the Defined Benefit Market, and a report due this April on the defined contribution market, give the practice's 50 U.S.-based partners added ammunition in serving a highly motivated client base, said Mr. Hunt, who took the helm at the collegial organization five years ago.
Senior asset management executives are people who don't like to be managed very much, appreciate independent, fact-based advice and being mostly confident individuals act quite quickly when convinced of a direction, he said.
Mr. Hunt said his team judges itself on the impact our advice has, rather than on how much work we do.
A number of CEOs said they appreciate the effort. Mr. Hunt's understanding of the industry is quite remarkable, and his work as a strategic consultant was key to helping us focus our own thoughts, said James P. McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. Hunt said McKinsey's practice is focused now on four areas: the retirement segment, both DB and DC; U.S.-based asset managers' growth abroad; traditional managers thinking about offering alternative strategies; and operational improvement.
Final words: The role I play is independent counsel; bringing an objective, third-party view the good, the bad and the ugly and then working with clients over time to really achieve impact, Mr. Hunt said.