BCG makes senior Australian promotions at home and abroad

06 January 2024 7 min. read
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Global strategy giant Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has made four senior promotions in Australia – while also elevating two Aussies abroad.

Announced across its global practices, a raft of senior Boston Consulting Group promotions have come into effect at the start of the new year, including Australia-based consultants Stephen Hosie and Whitney Merchant as managing directors and partners in Melbourne and Sydney, the latter office which has also added new partners Lachlan McDonald and Brierley Penn.

Meanwhile, former Sydney-based consultants James Argent and Grace Havlin have also been promoted to the top level in the United States.

BCG makes senior Australian promotions at home and abroad

Whitney Merchant

Based out of Sydney since the start of 2016, Merchant heads up BCG’s gas & LNG business for the East Coast, as well as the firm’s Asia Pacific hydrogen team, serving clients on projects such as new business builds, complex data science models, and major operating redesigns. Merchant has been at BCG for altogether over a decade, first joining in Toronto in 2010 and spending time in Perth before taking time out to complete an MBA and Environment & Resources masters at Stanford.

“I believe in the importance of society achieving net-zero 2050, and that the gas & LNG sector has an important role to play in that transition,” Merchant states. “In navigating the ‘trilema’ of sustainability, affordability, and reliability, gas is a critical tool in the mix – and indeed, the only one that can deliver on all three meaningfully in the short-term. It can also play a meaningful role in the medium-to-long-term if companies commit to decarbonising today.”

Stephen Hosie

A member of the firm’s healthcare, private equity and public sector practices, Hosie has been with BCG in Melbourne since 2015, prior to which he spent four and a half years at NAB rising to senior strategy manager after joining the bank on the completion of an MBA and civil engineering degree with the University of Tasmania. He has since supported clients both in Australia and the Middle East in areas such as strategy, operational improvements, and large-scale transformations.

Lachlan McDonald

BCG’s Sydney office has also welcomed the addition of two new partners, including heavy industries adviser Lachlan McDonald, who has served clients in the mining, oil & gas, manufacturing and construction sectors among others on cost transformation, performance improvement, operations, and procurement since joining the firm as an expert project leader in 2020. He previously gained industry experience at a number of resources giants, including INPEX and BHP.

Brierley Penn

After a short break for parental leave, Penn returns to BCG as a partner, having spent the best part of the past decade in the firm’s Sydney office after crossing the ditch from New Zealand, where she graduated with a commerce/law double from the University of Auckland. Having worked across a variety of sectors, including energy, media, and private equity, Penn previously took sponsored leave from the firm to undertake her MBA at London Business School in the UK.

Grace Havlin

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, former Sydney-based Bain & Company consultant and UNSW medical science graduate Grace Havlin has also been bumped up to managing director and partner in BCG's New York office. A leader in the firm’s consumer products practice, Havlin joined BCG in the Big Apple in 2016 after two years as a strategy associate at Bloomberg, before which she spent over two years at Bain between Sydney and New York.

James Argent

Havlin will have at least one familiar accent present in the firm’s New York managing director & partner’s lunchroom, promoted alongside fellow former Sydney-based consultant James Argent, who joined BCG in Australia in 2016 before heading to the States as part the firm’s Associate Abroad program. He previously spent six years at Herbert Smith Freehills, and is presently a member of BCG’s private equity practice with a focus on media, sports, consumer and technology.