Having spent six years in Korea, I can truly say that the office’s journey has been remarkable over the past two decades. The office has evolved very much with the growth of the country of Korea—a story that in itself is frankly amazing as well.
If you ask me what the greatest moment was during my time in Korea, there are too many for me to choose from—and I am not only talking about the work we did for our clients back then. In a way, Korea and its people have developed me and will make up a very large part of the major memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
How can I forget the food and the beautiful landscape? But above all, I have very fond memories of the leaders and people who I have worked with—this should come as no surprise as McKinsey has always attracted exceptional people who are fun to be with and who make the experience at the Firm very worthwhile.
Today, the Korea office serves an impressive clientele that operates all over the globe. Seoul’s location in a region that is now the heartbeat of the global economy, places the office at a very important strategic juncture as well. No doubt, there will be challenges as companies in the region will have to navigate the unknown and the demand for expert counseling will be there.
I am thankful to those who have laid the foundation for this office and those who are currently in Seoul for creating a strong platform that will enable us to meet upcoming challenges. Let’s remember that it wasn’t always like that when we first set foot on the Korean peninsula. We started out small, but it was clear to us that we wanted to be helpful and relevant. Our commitment never waivered as we demonstrated—especially during the Asian financial crisis in 1997. The breadth of our impact has increased twenty-fold over the last 20 years.
McKinsey will continue to be a core fabric of the Korean leadership engine for the world and do our part to ensure that Korea thrives in this increasingly global and volatile world.