// . //  The Alumni Network //  Heather McGlinn Hansma

As the Head of Strategy Development and Planning for Wells Fargo’s Virtual Channels with over 26 million customers and five billion interactions annually, Heather leads corporate strategy and strategic planning for the consumer, small business, internet, mobile, social, and contact center teams. She has over 12 years of innovation-focused experience in the financial services industry and is responsible for breakthrough strategies to deliver the next stage of financial services. Heather holds both an MBA in Business and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard, where she currently serves as an advisor to the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs at the university’s Innovation Lab. Heather started her career as a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) in Washington, DC, and then in San Francisco. 

The key to a great experience is great people. And I worked with a lot of great people at Oliver Wyman
Heather McGlinn Hansma, Oliver Wyman Alumni

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career path since you left Oliver Wyman.

I am currently a Senior Vice President and head of strategic planning for the Virtual Channels Group. It’s an online, mobile, social, and contact center for consumers and small businesses at Wells Fargo. I joined Wells Fargo after I left Mercer and Oliver Wyman, and while I have been here for over 10 years, I’ve held a variety of positions. I started when the internet group was new, so my “everything” role was in marketing, product management, technology, and strategy. Over time, as the importance of Wells Fargo and virtual channels grew, I found a lot of opportunities for new challenges and roles. I am also a mom to two wonderful girls, eight and five. They are eager to grow up, follow in my husband’s and my footsteps, and “attend many meetings,” which they primarily think we do.

How is what you’re doing now similar to what you did at Oliver Wyman? How is it different?

One of the reasons I left consulting was that a lot of what I worked on never got implemented. So, while much of my work at Wells Fargo is similar to what I did as a consultant, it’s different because most of my time is spent implementing strategies. I think I am so much better at strategy development now I understand the complexity of implementation. I also get to see the results, and honestly, since I am also a customer of Wells Fargo, I enjoy the new products and services.

What skills did you acquire at Oliver Wyman that have helped you throughout your career?

Honestly, it is PowerPoint presentation skills. My mom was a writer, and she liked to quote that good writing is good thinking. In the strategy world, a good PowerPoint presentation is a good strategy.

What was one of your most important experiences at Oliver Wyman?

I can’t say I have one of the most important experiences at Oliver Wyman. I think I had a few of the rites of passage: building a large model, my macro skills have since declined, doing project work in adverse conditions, no internet, no heat, or no color printer for 60 miles. I am working on a large project with more than 15 consultants, a project for the Nations Bank in Charlotte, and I still stay at the Marriot there for my current work. I will say that I found consulting interesting in that it can be the tale of two projects: great projects you never want to end and destructive projects that you pray will end.

What do you miss most about being at Oliver Wyman?

The key to a great experience is great people, and I worked with a lot of great people at Oliver Wyman. I often run into folks I worked with, and I'm always happy to chat and catch up. Sometimes, we even get the opportunity to work together again, which is the best.

What are you reading?

I just finished reading "The Mathematics of Love" by Hannah Fry. I would recommend it to others, especially those who are highly analytical and who like applying models to the real world, which describes many consultants and former consultants.

What advice do you have for former and current consultants and staff?

I would suggest having a great skill set and hiring yourself for life strategies like work-life balance, finding the right place to live, figuring out what job is the right one for you, and how negotiating for whatever these things turn out to be.  While a lawyer who works for himself has a fool for a client, a consultant who hires himself or herself finally gets the dream client they always wanted.

This page was originally published on November 16, 2016.