PwC’s view of 2021: helping businesses reimagine New Zealand’s future

Admission of 12 partners reflects business priorities

PwC New Zealand welcomes 12 partners as the firm grows to help businesses navigate through the pandemic and reimagine New Zealand’s future. 

The partners specialise in a range of areas including sustainability and climate change, health and wellbeing, business strategy and transformation, technology, cyber security and digital identity, as well as corporate finance, tax, and audit and assurance.

Seven of the 12 partners are women, reflecting PwC’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and it’s 40 - 40 - 20 approach to gender diversity. The partners also represent a range of ethnicities.

PwC New Zealand’s CEO Mark Averill says he is absolutely delighted with the line-up of incoming partners as it signals where PwC believes New Zealand businesses need to head in 2021 and beyond.

“Our firm is growing in new ways to stay ahead of the needs of the market and our clients. The choice of our incoming partners is an indicator of our business confidence and commitment to reimagining New Zealand in the wake of COVID-19. We now have a total of 135 partners at PwC New Zealand.

“Sustainability and climate change is a critical issue, and we expect that ESG (environmental, social and governance) disclosure requirements are going to be the next driver for transformation. Sustainability has reached a tipping point to become a board-level topic. Companies will need to report and deliver on their sustainability claims, or face reputational damage. 

“Health and wellbeing, and in particular mental health will also be a key issue in 2021, as the effects of the pandemic continue to impact people and businesses around New Zealand. 

“As New Zealand businesses repair, rethink, and reconfigure, we must keep the constructive elements of fast decision-making developed during the pandemic. Business strategy and transformation, alongside technology, cybersecurity and digital identity, will be key areas of growth. We’re also seeing growth in corporate finance, including deals and mergers and acquisitions, as well as in tax policy and tax technology. 

“To round out the group, our new audit partners will expand our Assurance team. The role of audit and financial reporting has never been more important as we work through the implications of COVID-19 on businesses. In this environment the function of an audit report as a critical source of information for investors to understand a business is crucial.  Stakeholders, including investors, need to have high levels of confidence in the transparency, objectivity and effectiveness of the audit process. It also demonstrates our commitment to improving the audit process for our clients through greater use of technology.”

The partners and their areas of expertise are:

  • Annabell Chartres - Sustainability and climate change (Auckland)
  • Amy Ellis - Corporate finance and transactions (Auckland)
  • Dr Monique Faleafa - Health and wellbeing (Auckland)
  • James Harper - Strategy consulting (Auckland)
  • Andrew Jamieson - Strategy for private business (Auckland)
  • Tina Kilmister-Blue - Private office (Auckland)
  • Rajul Makan - Tax (Wellington)
  • Craig Maskell - Cybersecurity and digital identity (Wellington)
  • Tom McCallum - Tax (Wellington)
  • Sarah Thomson - Business transformation (Wellington)
  • Sarah Turner - Audit and assurance (Wellington)
  • Vasana Vanpraseuth - Audit and assurance (Auckland)

Averill says that the incoming partners are focussed on helping New Zealand businesses solve important problems, on the pathway to recovery. 

“Last year, the world was turned upside down. Never before had New Zealand businesses and communities been forced to react so quickly and so dramatically to a crisis. So many aspects of our society had to re-evaluate and reconfigure themselves in order to manage the impact of COVID-19. 

“Now in 2021 the future belongs to a new type of leader. A leader who won’t just embrace change, but will actively create change and define progress. The challenge for our new leaders is to look forward, understand the scope of change, and respond boldly. Our focus is on empowering our new leaders to drive innovation and new opportunities with confidence in their vision of the future.”

The PwC partners reflect New Zealand’s diverse society, according to Averill.

“We’re very proud to have appointed seven women out of our 12 partners. It is part of our ongoing commitment to improve diversity and inclusion, and helps us with our 40 - 40 - 20 approach, where 40 percent of our partners are women, 40 percent are men, and the remaining 20 percent can be either. The partners also include a range of ethnicities. 

“Our incoming partners show that we are bringing in new skills and perspectives to the partnership. This reflects our commitment to continually building and rejuvenating our business to meet the critical needs of our clients.”

Of the partners, Annabell Chartres, James Harper, Andrew Jamieson, Rajul Makan, Craig Maskell, Tom McCallum, Sarah Thomson, Sarah Turner and Vasana Vanpraseuth have been promoted from within the business. Dr Monique Faleafa and Tina Kilmister-Blue have both joined PwC as partners from outside the firm, while Amy Ellis has returned after some time spent in the travel industry. 

In addition to the 12 partners, Richard Nacey was also made partner in May last year. Richard is a business recovery and restructuring specialist known for helping clients navigate times of uncertainty and crisis. He works with financial institutions carrying out business appraisals, short term cash flow reviews, and contingency planning advice related to distressed exposures.

Contact us

Arwen Vant

Arwen Vant

Communications Manager, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 859 946

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