– This week, we're celebrating the opening of a new McKinsey office, in Vancouver. Vancouver marks our 107th office worldwide. Other recent office openings include Almaty and Denver.
Vancouver is the fourth office of ours to open in Canada and will serve British Columbia where a variety of industries are poised to grow. The expansion is partly the result of double-digit growth in Canadian operations, and the potential to increase it further in western Canada. "The opportunities for our clients out west have been substantial, because that's where Canada's economic and population growth has been," says Eric Lamarre, managing partner for Canada. Vancouver itself has a diverse business community that's particularly strong in the natural resource sector. But Eric admits that the main rationale for the new office is the chance to create a new talent hub. "Vancouver is the city where a great many Canadians and non-Canadians want to live," he says.
For our global managing director, Dominic Barton, Vancouver's opening holds a special meaning. "I grew up in BC and spent the first decade of my McKinsey career in our Canadian offices—and I am proud to see our firm have a presence in this important and dynamic region," he says. Dom spoke at the official office opening event at the Vancouver Board of Trade on September 9, which was attended by more than 250 local business leaders.
Many on the new Vancouver team will come from our other locations. Miklos Dietz, Vancouver's new managing partner, moved with his family from Budapest after managing our office there. "Canada is one of the most inspiring countries in the world," he says. "To me, it's a great mix of what is good about North America—freedom, innovation, willingness to dream and challenge common wisdom—and a caring society like those found in Northern Europe. If you're a European and think about moving, it's likely that you want to come to Canada," and Vancouver specifically. "Vancouver stands out even in Canada with its diversity, cosmopolitan culture and breathtaking beauty," he says.
Likewise, principal Matías Marcote and his young family moved from Mexico City. "It's actually my daughter's first birthday on the day we officially open the office—it could be a lucky sign," he says.
Luckily for Miklos and his family, Vancouver is also the most livable city in North America (and third in the word), with the top-ranked education system in the western hemisphere. It's also one of the most diverse, with half of the city's residents speaking English as their second language. And it's green, with vast natural beauty and strong environmental leadership.
Associate principal Benjamin Goodier knew all about Vancouver's accolades first hand—he grew up there, and worked remotely from the Calgary office. When he learned the firm would open an office in his hometown, he jumped at the opportunity to contribute. "As someone from Vancouver, and for all the Vancouver folks in the firm, it's incredibly exciting to see McKinsey making this commitment to our community, because in the end, we believe it will benefit because of it."
Benjamin and Matías, worked throughout the year on the logistics, including finding the right office. The one they selected has a bonus: "On clear days, it's got a phenomenal view over English Bay," Benjamin says. "What's more," Matías notes, "is that this office can really build a community, both with local Vancouver businesses, and amongst the consultants who will join the office." One way he's fostering the latter is by donating a soft-serve ice cream machine to the office. He also stresses that the office, which will have 20 members by December, is the perfect size to build close mentoring relationships between colleagues.
McKinsey first opened an office in Canada 47 years ago and soon after began serving clients from the southern border to the Canadian Arctic. Other Canadian offices include Calgary, Montreal, and Toronto. To date, we've served two-thirds of Canada's top companies, as well as many of its leading public-sector organizations.