Specialists Always Win

A friend at McKinsey always used to say that “specialists always win.” Several examples come to mind with this week’s announcement of Citigroup exiting the remaining Travelers insurance business and yesterday’s announcement from American Express that they will be spinning out their financial advisor business.

It seems very difficult for big company CEO’s to consider taking these steps as they, by definition, shrink the size of their company’s business immediate upon the sale/spin-out. On the other hand, the benefits of focus can be huge.