The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company today announce that Sebastian Mallaby is the winner of the 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award for The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, published by Bloomsbury and Penguin Press. The biography of one of the titans of recent financial history brilliantly shows the subtlety and complexity of Alan Greenspan’s legacy.
The award recognises the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues. It was presented this evening to Sebastian Mallaby at a ceremony at The National Gallery in London by Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times and chair of the panel of judges, and Vivian Hunt, managing partner, UK & Ireland, McKinsey & Company. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Baroness Dido Harding, CEO of the TalkTalk Group. Sebastian Mallaby saw off strong competition from a shortlist of titles that ranged in theme from from gender imbalance in business to the productivity gap, to win the £30,000 prize. Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £10,000. Lionel Barber said, “The Man Who Knew is an impressive work of scholarship. It is a masterpiece of political economy, and above all it is a great and enjoyable read.” Vivian Hunt commented, “The Man Who Knew casts a bright light on the life and times of a central banker who shaped our modern economy. This book marries the biographer’s humanising touch with a fascinating inside look at how policy decisions are actually reached in the real world.” The distinguished judging panel for the 2016 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award comprised:
Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz; Chair, President Obama’s Global Development Council (winner, 2008, When Markets Collide)
Herminia Ibarra, Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning; Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD
Rik Kirkland, Partner and Director of Publishing, McKinsey & Company
Dambisa Moyo, Global Economist and Author; Non-Executive Director, Barrick Gold, Barclays, SAB Miller, and Seagate Technology
Shriti Vadera, Chairman, Santander UK; Senior Independent Director, BHP Billiton and Non-Executive Director, AstraZeneca
The Financial Times and McKinsey & Company also announced Nora Rosendahl as the winner of the 2016 Bracken Bower Prize, an award that encourages young authors to tackle emerging business themes, with a focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by growth. Rosendahl’s book proposal, Mental Meltdown, which examines the impact of work-generated stress and exhaustion, was awarded £15,000. It beat a record number of entries from 22 countries on topics ranging from technology, to gender, to the future of work .
Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Outokumpu, said, “We had a shortlist of excellent entries with Nora Rosendahl´s original proposal for a book on mental health of the millennial generation emerging as the winner in a close race.”Nora Rosendahl’s book proposal, Mental Meltdown, which examines the impact of work-generated stress and exhaustion, was awarded £15,000. The distinguished judging panel for the Bracken Bower Prize comprised:
Vindi Banga, Partner, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Adecco Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
Jorma Ollila, Chairman, Outokumpu; Former Chairman Royal Dutch Shell and Nokia
David Young, Former Chief Executive, Orion Publishing Group and Chairman, Hachette Book Group, USA
Photographs of the presentation of the Business Book of the Year Award, the winner of the Bracken Bower Prize, shortlisted authors, the judges and speaker Baroness Dido Harding will be available for download after 10.00pm GMT on 22 November. - ends – To learn more about the awards, visit ft.com/bookaward and follow the conversation at #BBYA16 and #BrackenBower.
For further information please contact:
Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times
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The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2016:
The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by Sebastian Mallaby (Bloomsbury; Penguin Press) This is the biography of one of the titans of financial history over the last fifty years. Born in 1926, Alan Greenspan was raised in Manhattan by a single mother and immigrant grandparents during the Great Depression but by quiet force of intellect, rose to become a global financial ‘maestro’. Appointed by Ronald Reagan to Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a post he held for eighteen years, he presided over an unprecedented period of stability and low inflation, was revered by economists, adored by investors and consulted by leaders from Beijing to Frankfurt. Both data-hound and eligible society bachelor, Greenspan was a man of contradictions. His great success was to prove the very idea he, an advocate of the Gold standard, doubted: that the discretionary judgements of a money-printing central bank could stabilise an economy. He resigned in 2006, having overseen tumultuous changes in the world’s most powerful economy. Yet when the great crash happened only two years later many blamed him, even though he had warned early on of irrational exuberance in the market place. Sebastian Mallaby brilliantly shows the subtlety and complexity of Alan Greenspan’s legacy. Full of beautifully rendered high-octane political infighting, hard hitting dialogue and stories, The Man Who Knew is superbly researched, enormously gripping and the story of the making of modern finance.
What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and de-biasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Diversity training programs have had limited success, and individual effort alone often invites backlash. Behavioural design offers a new solution. By de-biasing organisations instead of individuals, we can make smart changes that have big impacts. Presenting research-based solutions, Iris Bohnet hands us the tools we need to move the needle in classrooms and boardrooms, in hiring and promotion, benefiting businesses, governments, and the lives of millions. What Works is built on new insights into the human mind. It draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments in Australia, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and other countries, often in randomised controlled trials. It points out dozens of evidence-based interventions that could be adopted right now and demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance. What Works shows what more can be done—often at shockingly low cost and surprisingly high speed.
Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark (Harper 360/Harper Collins; Ecco Press/Harper Collins) In just a decade and half, Jack Ma, a man who rose from humble beginnings and started his career as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into the second largest internet company in the world. The company’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the world’s largest, valuing the company more than Facebook or Coca Cola. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own first-hand experience of key figures integral to Alibaba’s rise to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of how Alibaba and its charismatic creator have transformed the way that Chinese exercise their new found economic freedom, inspiring entrepreneurs around the world and infuriating others, turning the tables on the Silicon Valley giants who have tried to stand in his way. Duncan explores vital questions about the company’s past, present, and future; how, from such unremarkable origins, did Jack Ma build Alibaba? What explains his relentless drive and his ability to outsmart his competitors? With over 80% of China’s e-commerce market, how long can the company hope to maintain its dominance? As the company sets its sights on the country’s financial and media markets, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions, or will the Chinese government act to curtail them? And as it set up shop from LA and San Francisco to Seattle, how will Alibaba grow its presence and investments in the US and other international markets?
Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business by Rana Foroohar (Crown Publishing/Penguin Random House) Eight years on from the biggest market meltdown since the Great Depression, the key lessons of the crisis of 2008 still remain unlearned—and our financial system is just as vulnerable as ever. Many know that the US government failed to fix the banking system after the subprime mortgage crisis. But what few realise is how the misguided financial practices and philosophies that nearly toppled the global financial system have come to infiltrate ALL American businesses, putting us on a collision course for another cataclysmic meltdown. Drawing on in-depth reporting and exclusive interviews at the highest rungs of Wall Street and Washington, Time assistant managing editor and economic columnist Rana Foroohar shows how the ‘financialisation of America’ – the trend by which finance and its way of thinking have come to reign supreme – is perpetuating Wall Street’s reign over Main Street, widening the gap between rich and poor, and threatening the future of the American Dream. Policy makers get caught up in the details of regulating ‘Too Big To Fail’ banks, but the problems in the market system go much broader and deeper than that. Exploring these forces, which have led American businesses to favour balancing-sheet engineering over the actual kind and the pursuit of short-term corporate profits over job creation, Foroohar shows how financialisation has so gravely harmed our society, and why reversing this trend is of grave importance to us all. Through colourful stories of both ‘Takers’ and ‘Makers’, she reveals how we can change the system for a better and more sustainable shared economic future.
The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon (Princeton University Press) In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, home appliances, motor vehicles, air travel, air conditioning, and television transformed households and workplaces. With medical advances, life expectancy between 1870 and 1970 grew from forty-five to seventy-two years. Weaving together a vivid narrative, historical anecdotes, and economic analysis, The Rise and Fall of American Growth provides an in-depth account of this momentous era. But has that era of unprecedented growth come to an end? Gordon challenges the view that economic growth can or will continue unabated, and he demonstrates that the life-altering scale of innovations between 1870 and 1970 can’t be repeated. He contends that the nation’s productivity growth, which has already slowed to a crawl, will be further held back by the vexing headwinds of rising inequality, stagnating education, an aging population, and the rising debt of college students and the federal government. Gordon warns that the younger generation may be the first in American history that fails to exceed their parents’ standard of living, and that rather than depend on the great advances of the past, we must find new solutions to overcome the challenges facing us. A critical voice in the debates over economic stagnation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth is at once a tribute to a century of radical change and a harbinger of tougher times to come.
The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott (Bloomsbury) What will your 100-year life look like? Does the thought of working for 60 or 70 years fill you with dread? Or can you see the potential for a more stimulating future as a result of having so much extra time? Many of us have been raised on the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives: education, followed by work and then retirement. But this well-established pathway is already beginning to collapse – life expectancy is rising, final-salary pensions are vanishing, and increasing numbers of people are juggling multiple careers. Whether you are 18, 45 or 60, you will need to do things very differently from previous generations and learn to structure your life in completely new ways. The 100-Year Lifeis here to help. Drawing on the unique pairing of their experience in psychology and economics, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott offer a broad-ranging analysis as well as a raft of solutions, showing how to rethink your finances, your education, your career and your relationships and create a fulfilling 100-year life.
How can you fashion a career and life path that defines you and your values and creates a shifting balance between work and leisure?
What are the most effective ways of boosting your physical and mental health over a longer and more dynamic lifespan?
How can you make the most of your intangible assets – such as family and friends – as you build a productive, longer life?
In a multiple-stage life how can you learn to make the transitions that will be so crucial and experiment with new ways of living, working and learning?
The 100-Year Life is a wake-up call that describes what to expect and considers the choices and options that you will face. It is also fundamentally a call to action for individuals, politicians, firms and governments and offers the clearest demonstration that a 100-year life can be a wonderful and inspiring one.
Notes to editors
The Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award Entry forms and details of the terms and conditions are available from www.ft.com/bookaward. The annual award aims to identify the book that provides the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues, including management, finance and economics. The shortlist of six titles was chosen from a longlist of 15. The winner will be announced at a gala event in London on 22nd November 2016. Submissions are invited from publishers or bona fide imprints based in any country.
Books must be published for the first time in the English language, or in English translation, between 16th November 2015 and 15th November 2016. There is no limit to the number of submissions from each publisher/imprint, provided they fit the criteria, and books from all genres except anthologies are eligible. There are no restrictions of gender, age or nationality of authors. Authors who are current employees of the Financial Times or McKinsey & Company, or the close relatives of such employees, are not eligible.
Notes to editors on the Bracken Bower Prize
The Bracken Bower Prize is named after Brendan Bracken who was chairman of the FT from 1945 to 1958 and Marvin Bower, managing director of McKinsey from 1950 to 1967, who were instrumental in laying the foundations for the present day success of the two institutions. This prize honours their legacy but also opens a new chapter by encouraging young writers and researchers to identify and analyse the business trends of the future. The inaugural prize will be awarded to the best proposal for a book about the challenges and opportunities of growth. The main theme of the proposed work should be forward-looking. In the spirit of the Business Book of the Year, the proposed book should aim to provide a compelling and enjoyable insight into future trends in business, economics, finance or management. Winner of the inaugural Bracken Bower Prize in 2014 was Saadia Zahidi for Womenomics, and Christopher Clearfield and András Tilcsik were joint winners in 2015 for Rethinking the Unthinkable. The best proposals will be published on FT.com. A prize of £15,000 will be given for the best book proposal. Once the finalists’ entries appear on FT.com, authors are free to solicit or accept offers from publishers. The closing date for entries was 5pm (BST) on September 30th 2016. Entry forms and details of the terms and conditions are available from www.ft.com/bookaward.
Only writers who are under 35 on November 22 2016 (the day the prize is awarded) are eligible. They can be a published author, but the proposal itself must be original and must not have been previously submitted to a publisher. Authors who are current employees of the Financial Times or McKinsey & Company, or the close relatives of such employees, are not eligible.
About the Financial Times
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 800,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving more than half of total traffic.
About McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For 90 years, our primary objective has been to serve as our clients’ most trusted external advisor. With consultants in over 110 locations in over 60 countries, across industries and functions, we bring unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. We work closely with teams at all levels of an organisation to shape winning strategies, mobilise for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution.