PwC chairman Bob Moritz on the importance of being an agile leader

bob moritz pwc davos 2020
Bob Moritz, chairman of professional services firm PwC.

  • PwC Chairman Bob Moritz thinks agility is an important skill for young people to cultivate.
  • Young leaders should learn to adapt to new jobs and challenges.
  • It’s an important leadership skill that many well-known executives have touted.
  • This article is part of a series called “Secrets of Success,” which examines specific leadership tips from prominent business leaders.

The most important skill Bob Moritz thinks young leaders should develop is agility. According to Moritz, the chairman of professional services firm PwC, they should be able to adjust to any challenge thrown their way with both speed and confidence.

“There are certain competencies they’re going to need. I’d need them to be agile enough to learn, to lean into the learning opportunities and then take them and do something with them so they can redefine themselves,” he told Insider. In 2019, PwC announced a $3 billion investment in job training for its employees. Anyone who participated was guaranteed a job at the firm, even if their original job was eliminated.

Being agile is even more important now, as the world adjusts to a post-pandemic society. New policies and challenges are afoot, and agility could be the key to successful leadership, experts say.

PwC is actively looking to hire workers with such soft skills as the ability to take risks, learn, and be agile. The company announced a $12 billion plan on Tuesday to hire an extra 100,000 people thorough 2026. About 10,000 of those hires will be Black and Latin students.

“Today’s person that gets hired for moving into a tax role, then our tax business, or a legal role, or an audit role or a consulting role,” Moritz said. “I can’t guarantee that specific job is going to be there three years from now.”

Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have used agile frameworks to grow their businesses and improve productivity for years. But this mindset isn’t exclusive to executives at big companies. It’s something any individual can cultivate with practice, Darrell Rigby, a partner and the global innovation lead at Bain & Co., previously told Insider.

Rigby said leaders should look for opportunities for employees to work on projects that make them feel fulfilled and grow their skills. Capitalizing on specific employees’ strengths will create a more well-rounded and agile team, he added.

“Understand that [agility] is both a mindset and a method,” Rigby said. “Just having a mindset and good intentions isn’t enough. Going through effective methods and practices without believing in them wouldn’t work either. You need both to succeed.”

During job interviews at PwC , Moritz said prospective employees can demonstrate their agility by talking about an example of a time where they took a new opportunity or learned a new skill. For example, a university student might want to show how they took on a leadership role in a club or adjusted to virtual learning on campus.

“That’s a good predictor of their future agility, mobility, and advancement going forward,” he said.

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PwC announces a $12 billion plan to recruit 100,000 people and train 25,000 Black and Latinx students over 5 years

bob moritz pwc davos 2020
Bob Moritz, global chair of PwC

  • PwC announced a $12 billion plan to hire an extra 100,000 people between 2021 and 2026.
  • About 10,000 of these hires will be Black and Latinx students, it said Tuesday.
  • The firm said it wanted to focus more on environmental, social, and governance advice to clients.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

PwC is spending $12 billion on a new plan to hire 100,000 people over the next five years.

“The New Equation” plan, announced on Tuesday, is set to pump money into recruitment, training, and technology at the firm, and focus PwC on giving clients more environmental, social, and governance advice, the company said. The professional services firm said it wanted to grow its 284,000-person global workforce by more than a third between 2021 and 2026.

PwC US is committing $125 million to prepare 25,000 Black and Latinx students for business careers as part of the plan, Tim Ryan, PwC’s US chairman and senior partner, said in a LinkedIn blog post on Tuesday.

PwC plans to hire 10,000 of these students over the next five years, he said.

“We’re going to get them ready for the workforce, to create internships, and training opportunities,” Ryan told Fast Company on Tuesday.

“Ten thousand will come to us, which is important, but we will be equally proud of the [other] 15,000 we’re going to help because that then gets to solving the broader societal problem.”

PwC currently has around 55,000 US employees and hires up to 8,000 Americans a year, the Financial Times reported.

The infrastructure plan also includes a $3 billion drive to double its business in the Asia-Pacific region, PwC said. Bob Moritz, global chair of PwC, said the firm was “going to massively invest to redefine itself and rebrand itself to make sure we’re valuable for what our clients need and what the world needs.”

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3 crypto-market trends to look out for this year, according to PwC

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Bitcoin’s meteoric rise has boosted crypto hedge funds

  • Cryptocurrency M&A is expected to have a stellar 2021, according to PwC, after the value of M&A deals in the space doubled year over year in 2020.
  • The firm revealed that the average M&A deal size jumped by 174% from $19.2 million to $52.7 million in 2020.
  • PwC outlined the three trends to expect in the crypto space in 2021.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

Mergers and acquisitions will be a big theme in the cryptocurrency space, according to PwC, after the value of M&A deals in the sector doubled year over year in 2020.

In a report published on Monday, the Big Four accounting firm revealed that the average M&A deal size jumped by 174% from $19.2 million to $52.7 million, with four deals valued at more than $100 million in 2020. The firm also revealed that transactions are shifting away from the Americas, with 60% occurring in Asia and Europe compared to 2019.

Transactions, according to PwC, are also more spread out across categories.

“With increasing interest in crypto from retail and institutional investors following the positive market momentum, it is not surprising to see increase M&A in the broader train sector,” the report said.

The report comes amid a rapid rise of interest in the cryptocurrency space, with bitcoin, the most popular digital asset, rising 600% in the past year alone. While many bitcoin bears continue to criticize cryptocurrencies, many advocates are expecting the boom to continue amid rising interest from both retail buyers and institutions.

The UK-based firm, in the report, then outlined the three trends to expect in the M&A activity in the crypto space across the globe after a record-breaking 2020.

Crypto M&A will be be driven by large players

PwC said it expects to see further consolidation in the industry with larger, well-funded, and profitable firms seeking to continue their M&A activities. “We expect the focus to be not on the acquisition of smaller competitors but rather of firms that offer ancillary services to their current offering,” the report said, referring to crypto media, data, and compliance research.

Institutionalization of the crypto industry will continue

The firm said it predicts a steady continuation of institutionalization of cryptocurrencies, driven by the rally in the price of the digital tokens as well as heightened media attention on central bank digital currency (CBDC), stablecoins, decentralized finance (DeFi), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). PwC said all these will serve as catalysts to more institutions wanting to enter the space through investing or acquiring.

M&A, as well as fundraising, will increase

Based on the bull market in the first quarter of 2021, PwC said it expects the number and value of M&A deals to increase this year. It also said it sees more activity comeing from Asia-Pacific and EMEA reagions.

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Bank of America, KPMG, Mastercard, and some 60 other top companies adopt new ESG metrics

Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America.
Brian Moynihan, the chief executive of Bank of America.

  • Some 60 major companies have agreed to adopt a new ESG reporting framework. 
  • ESGs are metrics that measure a company’s environmental, social, and governance progress. 
  • The effort is being led by the World Economic Forum and the International Business Council, run by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Executives from Bank of America, Mastercard, KPMG, and about 60 other large companies announced Tuesday they’ll be adopting a new reporting framework for environmental, social, and governance standards (ESGs) in partnership with the World Economic Forum. 

Other companies that have signed on to this reporting framework include Salesforce, Unilever, Dell, and Sony. 

ESG standards are a set of criteria used to measure a company’s performance on things such as how the company is impacting the environment (like its amount of toxic emissions), how it manages relationships with its employees (does it encourage employees to volunteer), and how the company runs internally (boardroom diversity).

If widely adopted, these standards, called “Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics,” have the potential to transform what it means to operate a large corporation. It could make it standard procedure for a major company to report its ESG metrics, just like it’s standard (in fact, required) for a company to report on its financial metrics. 

Many in the business community see ESG metrics as a concrete way to advance stakeholder capitalism, the leading economic theory today that says companies are responsible to all stakeholders, including their employees, customers, the environment, as well as their shareholders. 

“We have to deliver great returns for our shareholders and help drive progress on society’s most important priorities,” Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, and chairman of the International Business Council, said in a statement. “That is stakeholder capitalism in action.”

The next step in a trend

In September, the World Economic Forum and the International Business Council (IBC), run by Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, partnered with “the Big Four” accounting firms to create the reporting framework of 21 ESG standards. The big four – Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG – provide financial auditing and other professional services. 

Insider recently spoke with Klaus Schwab, World Economic founder and executive chairman, about the more than 60 companies signing on to these metrics. 

“At the moment you have a situation where a company reports mainly about their intentions. Now we have to walk the talk,” he said. 

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