Goldman Sachs appoints Kevin Sneader co-head of APAC enterprise

Kevin Sneader, Asia Pacific President, Goldman Sachs

Former Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, Kevin Sneader, has been appointed as Co-Head of Goldman Sachs’ Asia Pacific operations, with Sneader returning to Hong Kong.

Goldman Sachs has named the former McKinsey CEO as co-president of its Asia Pacific operations. Before Sneader was elected Global Managing Partner of McKinsey in 2018 – after one term he was followed by the American Bob Sternfels – Sneader spent four and a half years as Asia Chairman of the management consultancy based in Hong Kong, where he will return to Goldman Sachs.

In a memo to employees, the bank’s CEO David Solomon recognized Sneader’s work with global clients in a variety of industries and roles over more than three decades. “He brings significant international experience and a wealth of strategy, organization and operations knowledge to the company,” wrote Solomon, adding that Sneader would help manage the day-to-day and business of the bank in the region, including in China to advance.

After a total of 32 years at McKinsey & Company, Sneader will join Goldman and current Asia Pacific President Todd Leland (who joined the bank in New York in 1992) in November to drive the region’s expansion agenda. “It is especially exciting to join at a time when it was more important for customers inside and outside the region to cope with the complexities and seize the opportunities in Asia,” said Sneader.

Sneader is widely viewed as the trapper for McKinsey’s recent reputational problems after inheriting a string of international scandals, including allegations against the company for its involvement in the U.S. opioid crisis – which have cost it more than $ 600 million in settlements to date. Upon his appointment, Sneader embarked on a cultural reform program at McKinsey (likely tugging some feathers along the way) before granting the consulting firm a “restart”.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs is trying to recover from its own reputational damage in Asia after paying more than $ 5 billion in settlements for its central role in the Malaysian 1MDB state investment fund scandal that also ensnared Deloitte and KPMG. In addition to BCG, McKinsey was one of several major advisors to 1MDB’s predecessor, Terengganu Investment Authority, although the company was not accused of any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Sneader is not the only global managing partner of McKinsey who is being used as a bridge between North America and East Asia at a time of difficult diplomatic relations between the two nations. Before that he was a director at the Singapore telecommunications company Singtel.