A year ago, we were finally emerging from the world-changing impact of COVID with a renewed sense of optimism and hope as to what the future could bring. Yet in only 12 short months, we have seen the invasion of Ukraine—with all the human and economic implications such egregious actions bring—spiraling inflation, supply chain shocks, a looming energy crisis and the growing likelihood of recession across Europe and beyond. The phrase “Perma-crisis” certainly speaks to the sense of continuous challenge and uncertainty we all face, although it arguably underplays the sheer scale of what we see today. The importance of working together—business, policy makers and society at large—has rarely been so obvious nor so critical as we all strive to provide the stability and certainty we need in our tumultuous world.
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust and help solve important problems (i.e. problems important to our stakeholders) and it's with this in mind that we strive in our own (very) small way to make a difference for our clients, for our people and in our communities.
Based upon this, I am pleased to share the highlights of our year in our Annual Review, focusing on four key areas - our business, our people, our workplace and our broader sustainability journey.
Despite the turmoil we have seen in recent months, we have witnessed very strong growth across all our businesses - posting a remarkable 11% growth in our turnover1, taking our firm comfortably past the half a billion mark (EUR 543m), and representing EUR 480m in net revenue2.
Growth has been particularly strong again in our alternatives sector (Private Equity and Real Assets) which has benefited not only from structural growth but also our ability to continue to capture the lion's share of the market, taking our business in this area to just under EUR 250m in size by the end of the year. We have managed to retain our leading position across the other parts of the financial sector comprising Insurance, Banking and Asset and Wealth Management. Our success is further fuelled by our managed services business which now stands at over EUR 70m in revenue across the asset management and alternatives sectors as we deliver a market leading and seamless proposition for our clients. We will continue to broaden this with our recent addition of Fund Accounting and Transfer Agency services for alternative vehicles being an example. Outside financial services, our Industries and Public Sector (IPS) business, with more than EUR 100m in turnover, has also seen a strong year of growth as we bring value to our private sector clients and to the European and local institutions, particularly in areas such as finance and digital transformation, cloud, data, cyber and ESG.
Overall, we recognise that we are privileged to operate in a sector which enjoys such success at a time when many in the economy are suffering. As such, what is critical is the real value we bring to our clients and in this regard, I am particularly proud to report that our client feedback has never been so strong in terms both of volume of feedback and level of satisfaction with the difference we bring. At the heart of making that difference lies our people and the distinctive approach they bring to serving our clients, not only in terms of their expertise but also in their mindset of really listening to our clients’ needs and helping them to build trust and solve their important problems, day in and day out.
Arguably the most significant challenge we, along with many businesses, face today is the attraction and retention of the skills we need to serve our clients. In this regard, we have driven our people strategy around four distinct priorities:
It is heartening to see that our efforts across the four dimensions are reaping rewards as we see an increased attractiveness for new entrants, a significant decrease in our staff turnover rates and record levels of employee satisfaction as evidenced in our annual Global People Survey results. Of course, we recognise that we still have areas to improve and will need to ensure continuous effort in these areas.
In January we announced our intention to move offices in 2027 enabling us to significantly upgrade the working environment for our People and supporting our drive toward Net Zero by 2030. At the same time, we continue to invest in easing the travel burden so many of our People face (and reducing our carbon footprint) with the opening this year of a further three satellite offices—in Mondorf, Dudelange and Pétange—taking to seven our constellation of offices near our borders. The demand for use of such offices has increased significantly as the cross-border restrictions have returned and we will continue to seek opportunities to further broaden what we can offer to our People in this regard.
We continue to focus on execution of the 13 primary ambitions of our ESG agenda in line with the WEF-IBC framework under which we already reported last year. The 13 ambitions are aligned with the topics we had already identified seven years ago as those areas where we believe we can make the most difference as a professional services firm, hence our journey remains one of continuing to drive meaningful change in each of these areas and to ensure our goals remain relevant… and ambitious! In addition, we continue to work on embedding all our goals throughout the firm via the management teams and improving the data collection and related ongoing reporting such that we are able to better align reward with progress in this area across the firm.
To close, I would like to thank our clients for their continued trust in our services, our people for their passion and commitment and the broader community for their support and recognition of what we try to bring to our society. As said previously, never has it been more important for business, policy makers and society as a whole to work together on providing the stability and access to opportunities which are so important to us all and at PwC we recognise our responsibility in this as Luxembourg’s largest professional services firm.
1. Turnover: gross revenue our business receives from the sale of services to our clients
2. Net revenue: gross revenue net of expenses (such as external consultants / freelancers costs and out-of-pocket expenses) incurred to deliver services to our clients
Our materiality topics
The world is changing at a rapid pace. Firms like PwC Luxembourg are at the forefront of creating long-term and sustainable value for our stakeholders. We are committed to our corporate initiative, The New Equation, and we continue to build trust and deliver sustainable outcomes for our communities.
Identifying priorities and universal metrics are the first steps to achieving this vision. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the International Business Council (IBC), PwC global network and other service firms have collaborated to identify standard metrics to support corporations of all sizes and forms to create long-term, sustainable value and outcomes.
Adopting those universal standards and disclosures enables us to unlock long-term value through greater transparency, accountability and business transformation. The WEF-IBC framework includes 21 core and 34 expanded metrics that define the most important sustainability issues businesses should address. In 2021, we identified the 13 Ambitions that are a priority to us.
The year 2022 was about continuing in setting ambitious and collective actions. Our team at PwC Luxembourg established the frameworks, key performance indicators (KPIs) and actions necessary to fulfil our commitment to our 13 Ambitions.