Duff McDonald • Journalist • Writer • Author

The Firm

Simon & Schuster (2013)

Hardback – 400 pages – ISBN 1439190976

Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American business and shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrial dominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helped create the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the idea of budgeting as a management tool. McKinsey consultants have created the corporate behaviors that shaped our world-reinventing our idea of American capitalism and exporting it across the globe.

At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associated with a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for their failures-at least not publicly.

McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world.
In The Firm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best American organizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.


“A fascinating account of the rise of McKinsey. If you want to know what it is about the culture of the firm that sets it apart and has made it so successful, read this book.” — Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance

“In this highly readable history, Duff McDonald brings us deep inside one of the smartest and most important firms doing business today – a place where no other journalist has taken us before. With his straightforward storytelling and thoughtful analysis, McDonald demystifies the secrets behind McKinsey’s successes and offers concrete lessons on changing companies and practices for the better.” — Jamie Dimon

“In his superb examination of one of the most powerful, secretive, and least understood organizations on the planet, Duff McDonald finally solves the mystery, in elegant prose, of how McKinsey can be well known without anyone knowing anything about it. Thanks to McDonald, now we do.” — William D. Cohan, bestselling author of The Last Tycoons, House of Cards, and Money and Power

“Duff McDonald’s new book about the people who built McKinsey, the consulting firm that has quietly influenced American business for decades, explains the firm’s tremendous accomplishments—and its equally stunning failures. As McDonald shows, the firm’s greatest success may well be itself. This is critical reading for anyone who wants to understand how the world of business really works.” — Bethany McLean, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller All the Devils Are Here

“McDonald has written the definitive history of McKinsey, and through McKinsey of the entire multibillion-dollar industry that is management consulting. It’s a heartbreaking tale of wasted talent.” — Felix Salmon, finance blogger, Reuters

“Timely.… A fast-paced account of a key business institution, its deeds and misdeeds.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Revealing… McDonald combines a lucid chronicle of McKinsey’s growth and boardroom melodramas.” (Publishers Weekly)


Last Man Standing

Simon & Schuster (2009)

Hardback – 340 pages – ISBN 1416599533

In the midst of this disastrous economic climate, one executive has weathered the storm more deftly than any other: Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, considered the dominant fi gure on Wall Street. Dimon’s eleventh-hour acquisition, in 2008, of fl ailing archrival Bear Stearns stunned the world. Even more incredible: JPMorgan’s continued success in the face of an industry-wide meltdown that has seen its CEO become a paragon of finance.

In Last Man Standing, award-winning journalist Duff McDonald chronicles Dimon’s tumultuous rise: from his joining the legendary Sandy Weill at American Express fresh out of Harvard Business School to their building of Citigroup (and Dimon’s unceremonious ouster) to his rescue of Bank One and, at the unprecedented age of forty-eight, his ascension to the top post at JPMorgan Chase — a bank he transformed from a broken institution to the sine qua non of global banking in five short years.

Upon gaining unfettered access to Dimon, McDonald spent countless hours interviewing him and his full circle of family, friends, and colleagues to provide an unprecedented and deeply personal look at this extraordinary figure. Moving beyond Dimon’s “fortress” balance sheets, McDonald reveals a dedicated family man whose uncanny facility with numbers and tireless work ethic are complemented by fierce loyalty and an unrelenting aversion to offi ce politics. Dimon, for the first time, shares detailed insights on the heart of his business and management philosophies, and industry titans such as Weill and Warren Buffett offer their analyses of his career.

At a time when Dimon’s competitors watch their companies crumble, JPMorgan not only continues to weather the worst period in the history of Wall Street but is growing by leaps and bounds. The defi nitive biography of Jamie Dimon, Last Man Standing is by far the most comprehensive portrait of the only man in finance today who can be called an American hero.



“Jamie Dimon isn’t ‘the Last Man Standing’ because he’s a great banker — but because he’s a great leader. He has soaring vision, inspires his people to build and grow, and sweats authenticity from every pore. Jamie is a rare talent, but it is his realness that truly sets him apart, and Duff McDonald’s compelling biography captures it.” — Jack Welch

“Duff McDonald’s Last Man Standing is a timely and important portrait of Jamie Dimon, a true leader who other current, former, and future Wall Street CEOs would do well to study — and to emulate.” — William D. Cohan, New York Times bestselling author of House of Cards

“A lively, insightful, and thoroughly readable account of how Jamie Dimon built JPMorgan Chase into the modern powerhouse that it is today. A tale that offers a rare flash of inspiration — and hope — for the modern banking world.” — Gillian Tett, New York Times bestselling author of Fool’s Gold

“Last Man Standing is a rare gem, fi lled to overflowing with three-dimensional reportage and insights that bring into full focus the world of Jamie Dimon. This is essential reading for anyone wanting to know how Wall Street really works and who the man behind the curtain really is.” — Christopher M. Byron, New York Times bestselling author of Martha Inc.

“A fascinating profile of one of the most disciplined and powerful leaders on Wall Street today. Jamie Dimon is the man of the moment, and in this insightful, engaging book, Duff McDonald has captured him brilliantly.” — Nina Munk, contributing editor, Vanity Fair, and bestselling author of Fools Rush In

“An important book about America’s most powerful banker. McDonald tells the compelling story of Jamie Dimon’s rise to preeminence with wonderful detail and clarity and in so doing gives us a lesson in leadership sorely needed for these trying times.” — David Faber, CNBC anchor and New York Times bestselling author of And Then the Roof Caved In