McKinsey appoints Wesley Walden as new A/NZ managing partner

20 January 2023 3 min. read
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Wesley Walden has been named as the new managing partner of McKinsey & Company’s Australian and New Zealand practice. He replaces former regional boss Angus Dawson.

A transformation and sustainability expert who has been with McKinsey & Company out of Melbourne for the past two decades, Walden first gained admittance to the firm’s partnership in 2009, before being elevated to senior partner six years later. He replaces Angus Dawson, who stepped down from the role in December.

In his new role, Walden leads a team of around 500, partners and staff across McKinsey’s six offices in A/NZ.

Wesley Walden, Managing Partner A/NZ, McKinsey & Company

Originally earning a civil engineering degree from the University of Southern Queensland, Walden spent close to a decade in the industry before joining McKinsey in 2002 and completing an MBA with the Melbourne Business School. He most recently headed up the firm’s global Transformation practice, credited with helping to shape its thinking on the subject and connection to strategy, while also serving as the leader of McKinsey’s A/NZ sustainability practice.

McKinsey staff were told of the appointment on Thursday according to the AFR. “I believe we are going through a profound period of accelerated change and disruption, and that this creates unique opportunities for the region’s private, public, and social sector organisations to reinvent themselves, grow and lead globally,” Walden told the publication, adding that he was proud of the impact the firm had had in Australia and New Zealand since its local inception in 1962.

Since then, McKinsey’s A/NZ branch has grown to include offices in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Auckland and Perth, along with its original Melbourne outlet where Walden will continue to be based and from which he will oversee a partnership team of approximately 65 – including ten recent end-of-year promotions. His predecessor, Angus Dawson, once noted however that most McKinsey partners are at the firm precisely “because they don’t want to be told what to do.”

Dawson, who had served as McKinsey’s Digital and Analytics practice leads for Australia and led the firm’s Strategy and Corporate Finance business in Asia prior to his ascension to the top A/NZ role in mid-2019, made the surprise move to step down for personal reasons in early December after three and a half years in the role.

The AFR notes that Walden has been serving as acting managing partner since Dawson’s resignation, with the latter remaining at the firm.

According to his McKinsey bio, Walden has over the past twenty years served clients across multiple industries, including the telecom, banking, aviation, and retail sectors among others, helping large-scale organisations in their response to industry disruption by reinventing business models and performance through bold strategic moves and digital, cultural, and operational transformations. In addition to McKinsey, Walden is a member of the Grattan Institute's public policy committee.

Last year, McKinsey & Company was named Australia’s top strategy consulting firm by, the firm also operates across a range of other disciplines such as organisation, operations, finance and technology.