Buttigieg discloses ex-clients as fundraising swing begins

Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday disclosed a roster of former consulting clients that include a major health insurance provider, a nationwide electronics retailer, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.

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Buttigieg's campaign released the details while the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, attended an evening fundraiser on Park Avenue in Manhattan. It was the first event on a five-day fundraising swing that features 10 meetings with big donors, and the first time he allowed the media to cover fundraising events that had previously been kept secret.

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Iowa Farmers Union Presidential Forum, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

His work history, never before revealed, features a detailed list of the clients he worked for when he was an associate at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. between 2007 and 2010, his first job after graduating from Oxford.

In a press release announcing the disclosure, Buttigieg downplayed his role in the firm, saying he had released details of his work there “even though it was my first job out of school where I had little decision making authority.”

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His campaign said Buttigieg’s work included trips to Iraq and Afghanistan during a three-month project in 2009 for the U.S. Department of Defense. That project, he said, was focused on “increasing employment and entrepreneurship.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, i

He also worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, where the campaign said he “looked at overhead expenditures such as rent, utilities, and company travel.” That work, his first assignment at McKinsey, did not involve policies, premiums or benefits, according to his campaign.

His time at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Buttigieg said, is “one of the reasons why I believe that with a public alternative, we can deliver something that will out-compete all the private plans out there. I’m just not willing to assume that on behalf of individuals before they have the choice to put it to the test.”

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Ph

Helen Stojic, a spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, said in a statement to the AP that “for a brief time” the candidate was “part of a larger McKinsey team we engaged back in 2007 to consult with our company during a corporate-wide reorganization.”

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Buttigieg was under significant pressure to release details about his work for the McKinsey & Co. consulting firm. The company said Monday that it would allow Buttigieg to identify the clients he served more than a decade ago.

Timeline of the work Buttigieg did for McKinsey & Co.

2007 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

2008 - Loblaw's, Best Buy

2009 - The Energy Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense

2009-2010 - U.S. Postal Service

The Associated Press contributed to this article.