One comes from a career in New York, the other has taken the entire journey from assistant consultant to partner. Maria Wedgeworth and Peter Merrild Bie have made very different career choices in their lives, but they are both part of the new generation of leaders in Deloitte.

Maria Wedgeworth’s story is international in every sense: She grew up in Sweden, studied in Germany, built her career in London, later moved to New York where she joined Deloitte at Rockefeller Plaza, and eventually decided to return to Sweden to raise her family. For the last four years, she has been working at Deloitte’s Copenhagen office where she is now a partner in the Cyber Risk team.

The international environment is something she has always loved:

“The best part of working at Deloitte is that we are a global firm with a local feel, which is exactly what our clients expect from us. Working with cyber risk and cyberattacks, especially, there really are no national borders, and we are often working with other Deloitte colleagues from all over the world. Even in Denmark, our team is made up of people with an amazing diversity of both experiences and backgrounds. I do not think there is a problem we cannot solve if we come together. I love that about my work.”

Peter Merrild Bie has a very different story: He joined Deloitte straight out of university and went to Copenhagen before moving back to Jutland with his wife and children. Over the years, he has helped many CFOs and finance departments reconfigure for growth and success, typically in private equity-owned companies.

A process that is both formal and informal

One thing is helping Deloitte’s clients to succeed, but Maria and Peter have also recently gone through the personal process of being accepted into Deloitte’s partnership. Both earned the promotion to partner on 1 June 2023.

But how does the promotion process even begin? And who makes the first move?

"Every person in Deloitte has a Talent Manager, so the conversation typically starts there. You might talk about joining the partnership a couple of years in advance as part of your development plan, or you might take it one step at a time. Whatever the case, your Talent Manager is the one who will guide you in the beginning. The Talent Manager and the partner group will also give you advice about those areas where you might still need to develop your skills or leadership capabilities to get ready for the partner role,” Maria says.

Another important part of the initial process, according to Maria, is gaining support among the existing partners and equity partners in Deloitte:

“Speaking to people who are already partners or equity partners about your ambitions will give you a good indication of whether your time is now, or if it is still too early. Normally, these conversations start in your own department where you already know the leadership team. It is all part of the screening process, and the input you get will be valuable no matter what,” she says.

If your business unit leaders agree that you might be ready to join the partnership within the next 1 -2 years, the formal part of the process begins, and you are officially accepted into the ‘Partner Transition Programme’, a one-year long programme consisting of several modules that all revolve around the role and expectations of being a partner.

"The Partner Transition Programme is really about getting to the core of what it means to be a partner in Deloitte and how to make a successful transition. Other partners will share their experiences, and there will also be conversations with our senior leadership and our CEO. A formal risk assessment will also happen to make sure that your record is clean. The goal is to present your partner case to the ‘Partner Admission Committee’ consisting of senior leaders in Deloitte, which takes place during the late spring. After that, it is up to them to make the final decision. They are the ones who will say yes or no,” Peter says.

Support from colleagues

Looking back at the entire promotion process, what stands out for both Maria and Peter is the huge amount of support and encouragement from close colleagues:

“Being promoted to partner is a long process, and to be completely honest, there can be a lot of pressure too, mostly from yourself, because you feel like there is no room for mistakes and everything has to be 100% on point during this window where everyone is looking at you. The great part, however, is that the whole process also opens a lot of doors, there is so much support, and when you finally make the cut, it is a fantastic feeling,” Peter says.

Maria agrees. During the promotion process, she also had to balance her life as a mom to two small children, something that forced her to be very clear about her priorities:

"The promotion process was challenging for sure, but it was also a great experience with many good conversations about your ambitions for the future. The best part, however, was spending valuable time with the other candidates. After all, we are the new generation of partners at Deloitte, and we will hopefully be working together for many years to come, collaborating on exciting projects and sharing all of our experiences to come up with the very best solutions for our clients,” Maria says.

Excited about the future

Maria and Peter are optimistic and excited about the future. In spite of global volatility, Deloitte’s clients continue to transform themselves to compete in the digital economy, and many are also making significant progress towards building sustainable and network-based business models.

“One of the things that differentiate Deloitte is our unique way of engaging with our clients and adapting to their culture in order to take our collaboration and co-creation to the next level. What is more, we can attract the best and brightest talents, which is so important. Even when colleagues move on to new adventures outside Deloitte, they are still our ambassadors – something that makes me really proud to be part of this firm,” Peter says.

Maria also values the collaborative and holistic approach to working with clients:

“As a partner in our cyber team, my main goal is to make sure that our clients can navigate safely in an unsafe world whether it is managing cyber, regulatory, ethical or operational complexity. It is not always easy, but that is why we are here, and I cannot wait to take our client collaboration to even greater heights as we continue to find new avenues to surviving and thriving in a global economy so closely connected by technology,” Maria says.

And what about life outside Deloitte? Maria and Peter both value spending time with their families. Maria also loves outdoor sports such as running and swimming where she can completely relax and disconnect from work. Over the last years, she has completed more than 25 triathlons and two Ironman competitions.

Peter still has the piano that he bought during the COVID lockdowns:

“Like so many other people, I used the lockdowns to do something completely new, and I can now safely call myself an amateur pianist. Funnily enough, Sascha Dupont lives down the street here in Horsens (she was a pianist on the Danish TV show Hit med Sangen, for those of you that do not know). I have also started an 80s band with some childhood friends. Nothing beats the amazing world of music,” Peter says.

In 2023, 15 people were promoted to partner in Deloitte. The partner promotions are always announced on 1 June, which is the start date of Deloitte’s fiscal year.

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