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Arend Van Wamelen

Partner, Johannesburg
Helps major industrial and consumer-facing companies develop Africa growth strategies and strengthen capital efficiency and distribution. Brings deep expertise on growth and business opportunities in Africa.

About Arend

Arend Van Wamelen is a partner in McKinsey’s Johannesburg office and a leader of our Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. Since joining the firm in 2001, Arend has supported leading companies in industrial and consumer-facing sectors on a wide range of topics, including Africa growth strategies, capital efficiency, and distribution. He brings deep expertise on Africa’s growth and business opportunities.

Examples of Arend’s client work include developing the Africa growth strategy for a consumer-goods multinational, which entailed sizing the market, prioritizing countries and cities, and understanding the strategies of other successful entrants. He also developed the Africa growth strategy for a major B2B player, with deep dives into key sectors including oil and gas, mining, banking, telecommunications, and retail.

Arend helped transform the capital efficiency of a major manufacturing business through portfolio optimization, megaproject optimization, and construction-project turnaround, supported by organizational changes. He also developed the Nigerian growth strategy for a major consumer-electronics player; the business strategy for a major fertilizer producer, including sales and marketing effectiveness and micromarket optimization; and the “route to market” strategy and implementation for a major beverages company.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Arend was the general manager of a manufacturing business and led the company’s Southern African sales and marketing team.

Published work

Safeguarding Africa’s food systems through and beyond the crisis,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

“The rise of the African consumer” (PDF-1.06 MB), McKinsey & Company, October 2012

Africa at work: Job creation and inclusive growth” (PDF-1.12 MB), McKinsey Global Institute, August 2012

Cracking the next growth market: Africa,” Harvard Business Review, May 2011

Asia should buy into Africa's growth,” Forbes, August 2010

Lions on the move: The progress and potential of African economies,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2010

A seismic shift in South Africa's consumer landscape,” McKinsey & Company, June 2010


University of Cape Town

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
MS, aerospace engineering

University of Pretoria
BEng, mechanical engineering