Highlights and priorities
Hear from our leaders about some of the challenges and achievements our people and clients have worked on together - and priorities for the new year ahead.
The past year has been incredibly difficult. Unlike any downturn we’ve seen before, the impact across sectors was stark – for example, the effect on aviation and hospitality was very different to the experience of life sciences, healthcare or online retail.
In the UK, with hardly any notice, lockdown restrictions led to a rise in home working, from five percent to 47 percent of the workforce. This was a drastic change for many people.
We’ve learnt that to serve the market we must be agile and think about how we can use our skills and resource to support those who need it most. In the UK, our headline story would be the Herculean effort to support the Government and our public services on the COVID testing programme.
The outlook is positive. A consumer-led recovery is being predicted with an M&A resurgence that we haven’t seen for years, and our CFO survey shows business optimism is at its peak. Defensive strategies, such as cost reduction, have fallen out of favour and expectations for investment and hiring have reached new highs.
The path to net zero is now a race – it’s pervasive – and climate change is firmly on the C-suite agenda. The pandemic has focused minds on public health and the environment, but meeting our targets will require every business and organisation to play their part, and act fast. This will be the defining theme of the next 10 years.
As a firm for the future, we have an opportunity to rethink how we work, and this will highlight both challenges and benefits. We anticipate greater emphasis on productivity, training and employee wellbeing as, more broadly, firms adapt their business models.
Deloitte’s regional business achieved a double-digit revenue increase, with all geographies, service lines and industry groups growing. This reflects the strength and resilience of the UK’s regional economy – a fantastic, broad portfolio of businesses and public sector organisations that we’ve enjoyed working alongside as they transformed at pace.
We launched three new regional hubs that serve specific sectors – our Life Sciences Catalyst in Cambridge, Investment Management Hub in Edinburgh and Health Tech Catalyst in Birmingham. They reflect the diversity and strength of our regions, and specific areas of expertise, specialisation and opportunity.
Like our clients, we’ve had to adapt and change. We’ve moved offices and exited leases in some locations, but our commitment to cities and regions goes beyond bricks and mortar. I’m very thankful to all our people and clients who have – and are – helping us to shape this new way of working. I am also thankful to our entire regional team who have contributed, whether that is through their time, fundraising, developing apps or training as counsellors, to support local charity projects and schools during this time.
We have an obligation to contribute to the UK’s levelling up agenda and have done a lot of work to understand what the main drivers of regional growth will be. While these vary by region, they all need the private sector, public sector, academia and sources of investment to work together. We look forward to helping make this happen.
I’m excited about the future. We will continue to listen to, and support, all our clients and people, delivering outstanding work, providing exciting careers and making a positive impact for the communities in which we’re based.
Our support for the Government’s work to build the COVID-19 Testing programme has been one of our biggest challenges, but also one of our proudest moments. It’s played a key part in the re-opening of the UK economy after months of national restrictions.
We’re incredibly proud of what we do with public sector clients. This past year has seen us work with the Government, the NHS and other public services to support the national response to the pandemic.
As a people business, we connect with clients to tackle their biggest challenges. That might be our supply chain and logistics team scaling the national COVID-19 testing programme, our digital teams supporting the delivery of medical supplies via drone, or multi-disciplinary teams bringing together expertise across specialisms like asset recovery, forensics and finance. I’m constantly impressed by the variety of backgrounds, skillsets and experiences – from all sectors of the economy – that we are fortunate to work with and support.
In terms of the future, we’re ready to support Government and public services as they continue to protect our health, mitigate the wider effects of the pandemic, keep us secure and drive our economic recovery. It’s clear the Government has lost none of its ambition to level up the UK and tackle complex issues like social care funding, ambitious public sector reforms, net zero and the UK’s place in our changing world. We look forward to working on each of these challenges, bringing the absolute best of what we offer to the public sector.
It’s been a busy year in which our firm’s five Businesses – Audit & Assurance, Consulting, Financial Advisory, Risk and Tax & Legal – have been able to strengthen their offer to our clients in a challenging time.
“Quality, achieved in a challenging environment, is one of our Audit practice’s key achievements this year. Our overall score rose in the Audit Quality Review numbers, against a backdrop of uncertainty.”Paul Stephenson, UK Managing Partner for Audit & Assurance
“Rapid acceleration is a key theme of our year. Our consultants have helped stabilise businesses and supported them through pandemic-related challenges, while helping them to transform with new technologies and platforms.”Anne-Marie Malley, Managing Partner for Consulting
“Resilience has to be the word of the year for our Financial Advisory teams. Our people have adapted to profound change like true professionals.”Richard Bell, Managing Partner for Financial Advisory
“In a year of continued remote working, when clients are facing their greatest ever risks, our Risk teams’ digital, cloud and cyber expertise has enabled companies to stay secure and continue with their operations.”Andy Morris, Managing Partner for Risk Advisory
"It’s been a year of growth. Two successful acquisitions have helped us end the year as the UK’s no.1 tax and legal practice. And tech continues to play a big part in the solutions we offer our clients."Lisa Stott, Managing Partner for Tax and Legal