A $573 million settlement reached between the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and attorneys general, which will go toward opioid treatment, prevention and recovery programs, could financially benefit a hedge fund affiliated with McKinsey, NBC News reports.
The hedge fund, MIO Partners, holds indirect stakes in addiction treatment centers and a manufacturer of overdose treatments, the article notes.
McKinsey agreed to pay $573 million to settle allegations that its work for large opioid makers helped to fuel the nation’s opioid crisis. A spokesman for the company told NBC News it is “false and absurd” to suggest the company will benefit financially from the settlement. He said the hedge fund and the firm’s consulting business are “operationally separate.”
Marianne Jennings, a professor of legal and ethical studies in business at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, expressed doubts about the company’s stance. “On conflicts of interest, there are two ways to handle them—you disclose them and manage it or you don’t do it,” Jennings said. “I don’t know how you manage that unless you can show me there is absolute isolation of this fund. No matter how you slice it, you benefit. I don’t see how you don’t have an interest in that and input in that.”