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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 on global economic, business, and tech trends and brings deep expertise in strategy, risk management, and operational transformations to financial institutions worldwide

Olivia is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company and a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), the firm’s business and economics research arm.

Olivia advises leading financial institutions and other global firms on a wide range of issues across strategy, growth, and risk and resilience. She draws on expertise across scenario analysis, advanced analytics and model risk, effectiveness and efficiency, organization and talent, culture, and other areas. She also supports major philanthropies and others in their work on economic development and inclusion globally.

Olivia’s research spans a range of global trends, including topics related to resilience, global flows and value chains, financial markets, technology and innovation, labor markets, and inclusive growth, most recently focused on Africa. She has led major 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.

Olivia’s research is regularly profiled in leading news outlets around the world. In addition to her publishing efforts, Olivia speaks regularly at leading global conferences and industry events and convenes executives in smaller roundtable formats.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Olivia was a Pappalardo fellow MIT, where she conducted research both in physics and in neuroscience. She holds her PhD in Physics from Harvard University; an MSc in Mathematics from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and Bachelors’ degrees in physics and mathematics from Stanford University.

Published work

Help wanted: Charting the challenge of tight labor markets in advanced economies,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2024

A microscope on small businesses: The productivity opportunity by country,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2024

Can your company remain global and if so, how?,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2024

"A microscope on small businesses: Spotting opportunities to boost productivity," McKinsey Global Institute, May 2024

How shockproof is your supply chain, really?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2024

"Investing in productivity growth," McKinsey Global Institute, March 2024

Strengthening fraying ties: The Global Cooperation Barometer 2024,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2024

Geopolitics and the geometry of global trade, McKinsey Global Institute, January 2024

A new paradigm for our connected world?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2023

Why the path of global wealth and growth matters for strategy,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

War in Ukraine: Twelve disruptions changing the world, one year on,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

Generative AI and the future of work in America, McKinsey Global Institute, July 2023

What could a new era mean for Latin America?,” McKinsey Global Institute, July 2023

Empty spaces and hybrid places: The pandemic’s lasting impact on real estate, McKinsey Global Institute, July 2023

The case for compliance as a competitive advantage for banks,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

Reimagining economic growth in Africa: Turning diversity into opportunity, McKinsey & Company, June 2023

The future of wealth and growth hangs in the balance, McKinsey Global Institute, May 2023

How to revive US productivity,” McKinsey & Company, May 2023

Response and resilience in operational-risk events,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Rekindling US productivity for a new era, McKinsey Global Institute, February 2023

How our interconnected world is changing,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2023

Performance through people: Transforming human capital into competitive advantage, McKinsey Global Institute, February 2023

The complication of concentration in global trade,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2023

Global balance sheet 2022: Enter volatility,” McKinsey Global Institute, December 2022

Addressing the revolving door in risk,” McKinsey Global Institute, December 2022

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


Harvard University
PhD, physics

Oxford University
MSc, mathematics (Rhodes Scholar)

Stanford University
BA; BS, physics and mathematics