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Pete Buttigieg reveals the clients he consulted for at McKinsey

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  • Under mounting pressure for transparency, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg revealed a list of clients he worked for while a consultant at McKinsey & Company between 2007 and 2010. 
  • The clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws, Best Buy, and several US government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, the United States Postal Service, and the US Department of Defense. 
  • Less than two years after Buttigieg consulted for Blue Cross of Michigan, the company announced dramatic spending cuts, laid off almost 10% of its employees in 2009, and increased premiums. 
  • Buttigieg has described himself as a low-level employee with “little decision making authority,” who took a job at the prestigious firm to learn key business skills before pursuing a career in the public sector. 
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Under mounting pressure for transparency, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg revealed a list of clients he worked for while employed as a consultant at McKinsey & Company between 2007 and 2010. 

The clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws, Best Buy, and several US government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Energy, the United States Postal Service, and the US Department of Defense. 

McKinsey has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as news investigations have revealed a host of the company’s ethically questionable actions, including work for authoritarian regimes. 

Buttigieg, 37, described himself as a low-level employee at McKinsey with “little decision making authority,” who took a job at the prestigious firm to learn key business skills before pursuing a career in the public sector. 

“Now, voters can see for themselves that my work amounted to mostly research and analysis,” Buttigieg said in a statement to the press. “They can also see that I value both transparency and keeping my word.” 

Among the most noteworthy projects he worked on was a three-month project for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. In January 2009, that particular arm of the health insurance giant announced dramatic spending cuts, laid off almost 10% of its employees in 2009, and increased premiums — less than two years after Buttigieg consulted for it.

In an interview with The Atlantic, published Tuesday evening, Buttigieg insisted that his work at the insurance company didn’t affect premium costs nor did it lead to people losing their coverage. He said his work involved cutting overhead associated with “rent, travel costs, mail, and printing.” 

But the mayor didn’t say whether his work could have led to layoffs at Blue Cross.

“I don’t know what the conclusions were or what it led to,” he told The Atlantic in reference to the layoffs. “So it’s tough for me to say.”  

Buttigieg defended his decision to work in consulting, but said he’s been “disgusted” by some of the work McKinsey’s done. 

“It’s a place that is as amoral as the American business community in general, or at least the corporate community, can be. And that’s one of the problems with it,” he told The Atlantic. “I never worked or was asked to work on things that I had a problem with, but it’s a place that I think, like any other law firm or firms that deal with companies, just thinks about client work and doesn’t always think about the bigger implications.”

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