A question of influence: how consultants McKinsey gave free services to Macron

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A report by French senators recently lambasted Emmanuel Macron's government over its awarding of contracts worth a total of up to 2.4 billion euros to outside consultancy firms, including the French arm of US firm McKinsey & Company. Now Mediapart can reveal how McKinsey pinned its hopes on Macron when he was France's economy minister, well before he announced he was standing for the presidency in 2017. The consultancy firm's strategy included providing services for the minister for free. Sarah Brethes and Antton Rouget spoke to former consultants at McKinsey who revealed the methods used to try to gain influence with the man who went on to become president of France.

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The leading consultancy firm McKinsey worked without payment for Emmanuel Macron when he was France's economy minister, even before he had declared himself a candidate for the presidency in 2017, Mediapart can reveal. The company – which was recently criticised in a report from the French Senate examining the lucrative contracts awarded by the current government to consultancy firms, including McKinsey - banked on Macron's political prospects in the hope of being able to increase its work for the French state in the future, according to documents and witness accounts compiled by Mediapart.