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Alexander Ulanov

PartnerNew York

Brings more than 20 years of experience as a trusted adviser to leading metals and mining companies across the globe

Alexander is a partner in McKinsey’s New York office and coleads our work in metals, mining, and sustainability in North America. He has more than two decades of consulting experience in the metals and mining sector with a focus on aluminum, carbon and stainless steel, iron ore, and sustainable economy materials—such as cobalt, copper, lithium, manganese, and nickel—along with scrap, recycling, and the circular economy.

Alexander’s areas of expertise include capital effectiveness, commercial strategy and pricing, due diligence for exits, acquisitions, and turnarounds, as well as operations, including mining decarbonization, maintenance, repair, and digital operations.

In sustainability, Alexander focuses on the transition from virgin to recycled materials and sustainable sourcing. He has worked with clients across North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Alexander’s recent client work includes the following:

  • supporting aluminum, carbon, and stainless producers with sustainability strategy and investment plans for products in North America, including scenarios and stress-testing, pricing and commercialization plans, business cases for investments in new mills and upstream supply chains, and circular economy agreements
  • conducting multiple operational and technical diligences on ferrous and nonferrous recycling assets in North America throughout the value chain from collection, dismantling, and shredding through to processing
  • assessing value pools in end-of-life ferrous and nonferrous scrap-sourcing value chains from waste collection to processing and transport and evaluating new technology solutions to improve alloy segregation
  • developing a go-to-market plan and operating model for building a team to develop and commercialize lithium production, including investment economics, organization design, and value drivers for key roles

Outside his client work, Alexander has led the building of several proprietary solutions, including North America steel-mill CO2 curves; models for the supply, demand, and pricing of metallics and ferrous and non-ferrous scrap (aluminum, copper, nickel), plus eWaste and ITAD; a secondary common alloy and specialty aluminum model; and a scope 1 and 2 decarbonization approach for industrial distribution. He has also coauthored McKinsey articles on decarbonization and methane reduction.

Before joining McKinsey, Alexander was a managing director and partner with a global consulting group in the US and Ukraine. He is a native speaker of English and Spanish, and speaks French, Italian and Russian.

Published work

Aluminum decarbonization at a cost that makes sense, McKinsey & Company, April 2023

Net-zero steel in building and construction: The way forward,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Curbing methane emissions: How five industries can counter a major climate threat,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

Past experience

Boston Consulting Group
Partner, managing director, and office director


Princeton University
BA, comparative literature