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Robert Samek

Senior PartnerToronto

Increases returns on capital and de-risks outcomes by building major projects faster and at lower cost


Robert is a global leader in our Capital Projects & Infrastructure Practice, bringing a team of 30 partners, 25 expert practitioners, and more than 100 consultants to support clients across all areas of capital projects, including design optimization, contracting, owner’s team setup, construction execution, and project ramp-up. He has worked around the world on oil and gas, mining, power, and infrastructure projects. Although most of Robert’s work has been for project owners—improving individual project performance and optimizing capital project portfolios—he has also helped several major engineering and construction firms improve their growth and profitability.

Robert works with major energy and materials companies on topics from growth strategy to business process improvement and cost reduction, with the objective of substantially increasing returns on capital deployed. He has worked in operations in Chile, Brazil, Africa, Australia, and across Europe and has worked closely with resource investors in Asia.

Robert also leads McKinsey’s Public Sector Practice in Canada. His introduction to government came through initiatives in energy and major infrastructure projects, and he now supports a broader public sector productivity improvement agenda spanning performance improvements and the introduction of private sector capital.

Published work

Adopting a smart data mindset in a world of big data,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

Succeeding in the AI supply-chain revolution,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Optimizing water treatment with online sensing and advanced analytics,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

The mine-to-market value chain: A hidden gem,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

A safer, smarter future: Working remotely in energy and materials,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Avoiding mistakes of the past: A CEO’s checklist in a commodity upswing,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

Getting big mining projects right: Lessons from (and for) the industry,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

Past experience

Cominco Ltd.
Process engineer


Stanford University

University of Alberta
BSc, chemical engineering