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Holger Harreis

Senior Partner, Düsseldorf
Helps organizations implement transformation rapidly, with groundbreaking levels of adoption and impact

Über Holger

Holger is passionate about data and analytics and risk, and about helping his clients manage and execute large-scale, high-impact transformations. He serves companies in all sectors, with a focus on financial-services companies, including universal banks, investment banks, asset managers, regulators/supervisors and central banks, as well as retail, fashion, luxury, and telecommunications.

Holger, together with his teams, is at the forefront of helping organizations digitize their risk functions—transforming risk management for improved operational efficiency and effectiveness, while strengthening the quality and speed of decision making. In his work with data and risk management, he helps clients identify new revenue opportunities and navigate an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Holger helps clients implement transformation rapidly, with groundbreaking levels of adoption and impact.

As a leader for the firm’s cross-sector global Data Transformation Practice, Holger helps institutions turn digital and analytics opportunities into business impact through enhancing access, granularity, quality and timeliness of data, offering a full stack across data management, governance, organization, culture, ethics, architecture, technology, and implementation.

As a frequent author and thought leader on our preeminent knowledge efforts, Holger and his global practice teams have worked on foundational research efforts in the data and risk/regulatory spaces, collaborating with industry associations like the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and large industry working groups. In addition, Holger convenes executive forums on risk operating models, digital risk, and data transformations—data summits across Asia, Europe, and the Americas for chief risk officers and risk chief operations officers. Holger regularly speaks at industry events, including the IIF fora, RiskMinds International, and the G-20Y. His research and perspectives are regularly cited and quoted in leading publications.

Before joining McKinsey, Holger was a theoretical physicist investigating the behavior of DNA aggregates in different conditions.


How we support digitization of the risk function

Published work

Fashion’s digital transformation: Now or never,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

How chief data officers can navigate the COVID-19 response and beyond,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Making a Step Change in Risk Efficiency and Effectiveness,” The European Financial Review, August/September, 2019

The lending revolution: How digital credit is changing banks from the inside,” McKinsey on Risk, August 2018

The future of risk management in the digital era,” McKinsey & Company, December 2017

Living with BCBS 239,” McKinsey & Company, May 2017

Digital risk: Transforming risk management for the 2020s,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

BCBS 239: Full compliance elusive, but systematic risk reduced,” Global Association of Risk Professionals, February 2016

A marathon, not a sprint: Capturing value from BCBS 239 and beyond, McKinsey & Company, June, 2015

It's not just about getting your ratios right,” (PDF–195KB) McKinsey & Company, January, 2013

Risk IT and operations: Strengthening capabilities,” (PDF–3MB) Institute of International Finance and McKinsey & Company, June 2011

Past experience

Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Dusseldorf
postdoctoral research associate

National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University
research associate


University of Dusseldorf
PhD, theoretical physics

Michigan State University
MS, theoretical physics