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Shannon Varney


Counsels financial services companies on distribution, growth, and transformation

Shannon brings deep knowledge of data, analytics, and digital technologies to advise financial institutions on strategy and distribution transformations. He serves a wide range of companies, including multinational insurance companies, insurance brokers, private equity firms, wealth managers, and financial technology service providers. He leads programs on topics related to frontline sales-force transformations, third-party distribution, growth, and the application of advanced analytics to solve the most challenging problems of insurers and distributors.

Through his leadership roles, Shannon supports research and analysis around distribution best practices and the future of captive and independent agencies. He is passionate about bringing robust data and solutions to help financial services companies innovate. In addition to shaping strategies, Shannon is equally attentive to ensuring clients build the technology, operating models, organizations, and teams equipped to actualize their strategic goals.

In addition to his client work, Shannon leads several initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion and the wellbeing of McKinsey colleagues.

Prior to joining McKinsey in 2013, Shannon worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he traded securities in the investment management division.

Outside of work, Shannon lives with his wife and three children in Boston, where he serves on the board of overseers at the Boston Children’s Museum.

Published Work

Alternative capital in property and casualty: A way forward,” McKinsey & Company, May 2023

What’s ahead for commercial property and casualty insurance,” McKinsey & Company, April 2023

Global Insurance Report 2023: Expanding commercial P&C’s market relevance,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

How to harness the power of teams in life insurance,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

The growth chessboard: How leaders fuel profitable growth in insurance,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

How insurance can prepare for the next distribution model,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

The insurance agency of the future: Building a digital service model,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

Digital strategy: The four fights you have to win,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

Burning questions from InsureTech Connect 2018: 48 hours at the world’s largest insurtech gathering,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

How insurers can get the most out of a digital transformation in 2018,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Past Experience

Goldman Sachs


The Wharton School of the University Of Pennsylvania

Boston University
BS, finance