Right of Reply: McKinsey denies it paid for Anoj Singh’s lavish London junket

JOHANNESBURG — Global consultancy firm McKinsey has responded to reports about a National Treasury draft report having found it paid for former Transnet and Eskom CFO, Anoj Singh, to travel overseas to attend a CFO Forum. Subsequently, McKinsey’s response is listed below. There’s no doubt that more will come out about this when National Treasury releases the final report publicly. – Gareth van Zyl

By McKinsey & Company

“These allegations are incorrect. Based on an extensive review encompassing interviews, email records and expense documents, our understanding is that McKinsey did not pay for Mr. Singh’s airfare and hotel lodgings in connection with the CFO Forum and the meetings that took place around the CFO Forum in London and elsewhere in 2012 and 2013.

Former Transnet and Eskom CFO Anoj Singh

“The CFO Forums are large professional events attended by a broad group of executives from around the world who have been hosted by McKinsey for over a decade. They offer significant programming and content tailored to senior executives and are planned well in advance with great care. Any suggestion that Mr. Singh was inappropriately singled out for an invitation or that the event did not have a legitimate business purpose is simply not accurate. Furthermore, the timing of the annual CFO Forum is set far in advance and was unconnected to any events related to Transnet.

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“The established practice of the CFO Forum is that attendees are expected to cover their own airfare and lodging but that McKinsey will provide meals in connection with the event. As part of our review, we’ve found communications that went to Mr. Singh advising him that attendees at the CFO Forum are responsible for their own accommodation and travel arrangements.

“It is important to emphasise that the report is only a draft – and that McKinsey did not have an opportunity to review these draft ‘findings’ until after they appeared in media reports.

Accordingly, the National Treasury did not have the benefit of our perspective and the knowledge we gained from our own extensive investigation.”