New McKinsey office in Uruguay focuses on sustainability and growth for clients

McKinsey’s newest office in South America has opened in the coastal city of Montevideo, Uruguay, and is focused on helping clients go green, grow faster, and perform better—with digital and analytics.  [Note: This story is also available in Spanish.]

McKinsey opens a new office and a Sustainability Hub in Uruguay
From left: Xavier Costantini, senior partner, and Alberto Fernandez, associate partner
McKinsey opens a new office and a Sustainability Hub in Uruguay

Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America, set between the two largest, Argentina and Brazil. “But Uruguay has achieved remarkable growth over the last decade and is swiftly recovering from the pandemic,” says Alberto Fernandez, an associate partner who will co-lead the location with senior partner Xavier Costantini. For Alberto, who had been living in Spain until recently, the new office represents a homecoming: “I was born and grew up in Uruguay—this is a very promising time, and it feels great to be back.”

The country has a vibrant, diversified economy and is a leader in South America in sustainability. It’s also a strong democracy, with stable institutions and advanced social legislation.

Uruguay is a country with a distinctive culture of consensus, in which changes are broadly agreed,” explains Alberto. “This is attractive to investors who are looking for a long-run, stable environment.” The new office will also serve clients in Paraguay and Bolivia. 

Uruguay has a green grid: 98 percent of the power is renewable, a combination of wind, solar, and hydroelectricity. And it has a growing and promising talent pool. “Large companies are moving here and the startup ecosystem is vibrant,” shares Xavier. He also leads McKinsey Sustainability in Latin America, which helps companies and countries improve their sustainability performance and build green businesses. For example, we have helped develop a comprehensive green hydrogen roadmap for the country.


Welcome to McKinsey Uruguay

Working with leading institutions to drive rapid, sustainable growth, build capabilities, and nurture talent

Other types of green business building in Uruguay, in which we have been involved at different stages, include bio energy and biofuels, synthetic fuels for exports, carbon credits, and sustainable agriculture.

“Such green businesses represent a significant economic opportunity—possibly up to 50 percent of the GDP—and would clearly accelerate the socio-economic development of the country while advancing sustainability for the planet,” says Xavier.

McKinsey opens a new office and a Sustainability Hub in Uruguay
Some of the members of the McKinsey Uruguay team 
McKinsey opens a new office and a Sustainability Hub in Uruguay

The Montevideo office will also develop teams in analytics and digital expertise to help both startups and established companies use these capabilities to improve performance and to innovate products and services. “This could range from helping manufacturing companies increase the effectiveness of operations to banks and retailers creating digital ecosystems,” says Alberto.

One way our experts will help companies grow is by cultivating an accelerator approach—to look beyond the local economy to regional and international markets for partnerships to quickly build their businesses. This involves a greater opening of the economy, transitioning towards an export mentality, attracting external investors and cultivating connections to global supply chains.

The Montevideo office looks to expand to 60 people or more by 2025 by recruiting and developing local and international talent. “Our team is 65 percent  women—and we’d work on maintaining parity at the least," says Xavier. “In terms of nationality, the office already comprises colleagues from France, Argentina, and Uruguay.”

And the office culture? “A new location is a new venture and as such, it will necessarily be very entrepreneurial,” says Xavier, “and we will encourage this.”

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