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Olivia White

McKinsey Global Institute Director and Senior PartnerBay Area

Olivia White

McKinsey Global Institute Director and Senior PartnerBay Area

Leads research and brings deep expertise in strategy, risk management, and operational transformations to financial institutions worldwide

Olivia

Olivia is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) and a member of the firm’s Risk & Resilience, Financial Services, and Social Sector Practices.

Olivia advises leading financial institutions and other global firms on a wide range of issues across strategy, growth, and risk and resilience. She supports institutions to meet strategic objectives while ensuring resilience and maintaining strategically-informed enterprise risk management. She draws on expertise across scenario analysis, advanced analytics and model risk, effectiveness and efficiency, organization and talent, culture, and other areas.

Olivia’s research spans a range of global trends, including topics related to resilience, global flows and value chains, financial markets, technology and innovation, and inclusive growth. For example, she has led major recent efforts on open data for finance, digital financial infrastructure, and digital ID. She has also worked extensively on financial and digital inclusion in both developed and emerging markets.

In addition to her publishing efforts, Olivia speaks regularly at large industry events and convenes executives in smaller roundtable formats to share the latest thinking in the industry.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Olivia was a Pappalardo fellow in physics at MIT, where she conducted research both in physics and in neuroscience. She holds her PhD in Physics from Harvard University and an MsC in Mathematics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Published work

Global flows: The ties that bind in an interconnected world,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2022

The net-zero transition in the wake of the war in Ukraine: A detour, a derailment, or a different path?,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2022

War in Ukraine: Twelve disruptions changing the world,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

War in Ukraine: Lives and livelihoods, lost and disrupted,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Financial data unbound: The value of open data for individuals and institutions,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

The resilience imperative: Succeeding in uncertain times,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

How to spend $12 trillion,” Project Syndicate, March 2021

"A 2021 risk agenda for boards of directors at US banks," McKinsey & Company, February 2021 

COVID-19: Making the case for robust digital financial infrastructure,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2021

How US customers’ attitudes to fintech are shifting during the pandemic,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

Meeting the future: Dynamic risk management for uncertain times,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Strengthening institutional risk and integrity culture,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Ten things to know about gender equality,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2020

Don't let the pandemic set back gender equality,” Harvard Business Review, September 2020

COVID-19 and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

How COVID-19 has impacted Black-white financial inequality,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Financial life during the COVID-19 pandemic—an update,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Banking system resilience in the time of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

A global view of financial life during COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Stability in the storm: US banks in the pandemic and the next normal,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

The future of operational-risk management in financial services,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Leadership in the time of coronavirus: COVID-19 response and implications for banks,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Creating the bank enterprise risk management function of the future,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Making a Step Change in Risk Efficiency and Effectiveness,” The European Financial Review, August/September, 2019

Transforming risk efficiency and effectiveness,” McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Digital identification: A key to inclusive growth,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2019

Nearly one billion people have no form of legal ID,” CNN Business, McKinsey Global Institute, February 2019

Digital identification: A key to inclusive growth summary findings,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2019

The case for digitalization,” Project Syndicate, January 2019

Perspectives on CCAR: Preparing for 2019 amid expectations of regulatory relief,” McKinsey & Company, December 2018

Mobile money in emerging markets: The business case for financial inclusion,” McKinsey & Company, March 2018

The Value of Digitizing Government Payments in Developing Economies,” Digital Revolution in Public Finance, IMF, October 2017

Perspectives on CCAR: Confronting uncertainty in the 2018 cycle,” McKinsey & Company, August 2017

How digital finance could boost growth in emerging economies,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2016

Perspectives on CCAR: Looking ahead to the 2017 cycle,” McKinsey & Company, July 2016

Education

Harvard University
PhD, physics

Oxford University
MSc, mathematics (Rhodes Scholar)

Stanford University
BA; BS, physics and mathematics