I am privileged and honoured to have been elected by the partners of Deloitte Southern Africa as their next Chief Executive and as a successor to Grant Gelink.
I have been entrusted with leading an organisation that has been the leading professional services firm for almost all of its over 100 years of existence in Africa. It will therefore be my responsibility to ensure that this dynamic organisation continues to be the leading professional services firm or as per our vision to be the “Standard of Excellence”.
I am taking over at a time where there are several challenges facing not just professional services firm but the business community as a whole. The most pervasive of these challenges, following on the 2008 financial crisis, is the challenge of credibility and trust. The financial crisis has led to a deep mistrust of the role of business from a broad range of our stakeholders, including Legislators, Regulators, employees both current and future and the broader society. The role of business as a leader of growth and a provider to society has been significantly tarnished. It is important that the trust is restored and Business as whole will have to lead that process of ensuring that we are and are seen as positive force to society.
I am also taking over at an exciting time for the African Continent, never before has our Continent had such exciting prospects. It is indeed Africa’s time to shine. Our Continent is endowed with natural riches and it is exciting that we now have an opportunity to use such riches for the upliftment of Africa and more importantly, the upliftment of its people. Deloitte as the largest practice in Africa will play an integral part in the fulfilment and the conversion of the African prospects into reality. We acknowledge that our success is not only dependent on the success of our individual countries but of Africa as a whole.
To achieve all of this, it will be critical that as a professional services firm we have the talent required to broaden and expand our services to our clients throughout the Continent. Our talent growth is founded on one of our foundational values “strength in diversity”. It will therefore be important that the South African firm continues to transform our workforce and ownership to reflect the demographics of our country.
I am convinced that the professional services firm of the future will have to be more adaptable than was the case in the past. I will therefore be concentrating on fostering a renewed spirit of innovation within Deloitte in Africa.
I believe that by identifying and introducing innovative ways of developing our people, our service delivery and new services and products, we will cement our reputation for excellence and industry leadership. Reinforcing and maintaining high performance teams that deliver across the spectrum of Deloitte services will therefore be a major focus.
Finally, I wish to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to Grant Gelink. He has succeeded in leaving our firm in a much better shape than he found it. I don’t believe that there could be any other measure of success for a leader. I wish Grant all the best for his retirement, I am sure he will continue to play a positive role in South African business for many years to come.
Deloitte Southern Africa
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