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Richard Benson-Armer

Senior Partner, Stamford
Brings firsthand strategic business expertise, boardroom experience, and financial savvy to drive sustained business improvements for clients in the consumer sector

About Richard

Richard leads McKinsey’s Stamford office and is a core leader in our Consumer Packaged Goods Practice in the Northeast region of the United States, focusing on strategy, corporate finance, new-business development, and performance management. He works with retailers as well as with packaged-goods companies.

Richard brings a unique blend of experiences to his clients by combining the insights developed over more than two decades as a management-consulting professional with the firsthand executive expertise gained during his service as chief strategy officer with the Thomson Corporation, a Fortune 250 company. As a result, Richard knows what it’s like to develop recommendations, but he also knows what it’s like to act on them. He helps his clients create comprehensive growth strategies that balance differentiation and competitive advantage with pragmatism and sustainability.

Recent projects include:

  • conducting multiple diligences of consumer and media companies for global private-equity players
  • leading deal support and a multicountry postmerger-management program for an international consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) player
  • developing a market-entry strategy for a global consumer-goods company seeking to enter Africa
  • developing a global route-to-market-improvement program for leading global beverage company, with implementation support on three continents
  • creating a zero-based-budgeting program to drive productivity gains in the global operations of an international CPG company
  • developing revenue-growth-management programs and capabilities within the North American operations of three global CPG companies

Before joining McKinsey, in his capacity as chief strategy officer for the Thomson Corporation, Richard was a member of the company’s executive committee. He also worked as head of strategy for South African Breweries and as a process engineer for Unilever.

Published work

Learning at the speed of business,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2016

The consumer sector in 2030: Trends and questions to consider,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

Winning in Africa's consumer market,” McKinsey & Company, July 2015

Building capabilities for performance,” McKinsey & Company, January 2015

A long-term decline in US retail-food volume? What food companies can do” (PDF–713 KB), McKinsey white paper, September 2013

Four top-team imperatives for capability building” (PDF–673 KB), McKinsey white paper, August 2012

The commodity crunch in consumer packaged goods,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2010

B2B information services: The opportunity for strategic growth” (PDF–198 KB), McKinsey white paper, August 2009

Past experience

The Thomson Corporation
Chief strategy officer

South African Breweries
Corporate planning manager

Process engineer


University of Cape Town

University of South Africa
Bachelor's degree, commerce

University of the Witwatersrand
BS, chemical engineering