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Matt Banholzer


Matt Banholzer


Helps companies achieve strategic growth and optimize resource allocation by pursuing transformative innovation

Matt leads McKinsey’s global innovation-delivery work for our innovation group within the Strategy and Corporate Finance Practice.

In his advisory work, Matt serves leading organizations in the materials, agriculture, and related innovation-driven sectors. He brings broad expertise in strategy and operations, with particular expertise in helping institutionalize the benefits of innovation. Matt has helped executives pursue growth transformation and optimize capital projects and portfolios. When necessary, he supports rapid and dramatic performance improvements for companies facing significant operational and financial challenges.

Matt is actively involved in building McKinsey’s expertise in innovation transformation. This work includes understanding how corporations can best deliver and scale innovation concepts, such as setting up accelerators, incubators, and other venture-style approaches to establishing new sources of revenue and productivity.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • helping an agriculture and consumer-brands company install a performance-driven innovation-delivery system—a project that included launching an incubator, building a vibrant partnership ecosystem, and installing novel funding models—that culminated in a substantial self-funding pipeline
  • building an innovation road map, including a culture and operating model, for a leading chemicals company, an effort that involved setting an integrated innovation and operational project portfolio to double organic growth rates
  • designing a product-development strategy and tactical launch plan, including market prioritization, partnership strategy, capital expenditure, production planning, and commercialization steps, for a leading materials company
  • supporting a multinational technology company in optimizing its small- and midsize projects portfolio and building its design capabilities, with results including reducing capital expenditure costs by 25 percent and rebalancing the portfolio toward growth projects, which doubled the share of capital expenditures liberated for growth
  • helping an international chemicals company reduce its capital expenditures by 30 percent while reorienting the portfolio to growth projects through an end-to-end transformation program that included portfolio selection, project optimization, procurement, and organization redesign
  • developing an ambitious growth strategy, including market entry, for a European chemicals company

Before joining McKinsey, Matt performed academic research in materials chemistry. With a doctorate in materials chemistry, he has authored or coauthored more than a dozen published, peer-reviewed papers that together have received thousands of citations.

Published work

Companies with innovative cultures have a big edge with generative AI,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

Innovation: Your solution for weathering uncertainty,” McKinsey & Company, January 2023

Business building: The path to resilience in uncertain times,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

How to make investments in start-ups pay off,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

How can CFOs rebrand themselves as innovation allies?,” McKinsey & Company, July 2022

In conversation: The CFO’s critical role in innovation,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

How transformation offices help tech-enabled transformations succeed,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Building new businesses: How incumbents use their advantages to accelerate growth,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

How industrial incumbents can create new businesses,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

Nine practices for better capital-investment management,” McKinsey & Company, May 2017

Small equals big: Unlocking savings in small to midsize capital-project portfolios in chemicals,” McKinsey & Company, April 2016

Meeting the need for a new supply chain in chemicals,” McKinsey & Company, April 2014


Northwestern University
PhD, materials chemistry

Cornell University
BA, chemistry and chemical biology