I am pleased to present our 2019 annual review this year in a fully digital format. This reflects our commitment to driving the technological change needed across our business and society as well as messaging the environmental lens we need to apply to all that we do.
At PwC, our purpose is to build trust and to solve important problems. Trust is at the core of all we do. Our focus on quality in what we deliver to our clients and to society is evidenced by both our Client Satisfaction scores and the results of our distinctive quality system, especially for audit.
At the same time, understanding and solving important problems—whether that’s a specific problem important to an individual client, executive or someone at PwC, or a problem we face more broadly as society— is how we can deliver real results at many different levels.
With this in mind, I am particularly proud to announce our global initiative—“New Skills. New World”—whereby we commit to investing over USD 3 billion in the coming four years to transform the skills of our 275,000 people across the PwC Network and to also drive this across our various communities with the aim of upskilling over 15 million people in the coming four years.
I am particularly proud, not only with the ambition that is focussed very much on one of the key problems facing our firm and society today, but also on the fact that the Luxembourg solution of SkillsBridge developed with the Government here is a core part of this global initiative. For me, this is an outstanding example of how we here in Luxembourg, working with the Government to solve a national problem with a uniquely Luxembourgish approach to innovation and global relevance, can develop solutions to problems faced across the planet.
From a business perspective here in Luxembourg, it has been a tougher year where we see the impacts of changing regulation and overall economic downturn hitting our results. In particular, the demise of German Tax Reporting for mutual funds and work related to MiFID II— both areas where we have supported our clients with great success—were, even if planned for, a significant drag on our overall performance. As such, our resulting 4.2% growth remained above budget for the year and we see a strong start for the year to come but remain cautious as to the medium term prospects with the need to ensure that Luxembourg remains competitive in an increasingly uncertain global market-place.
On the people side, the demand on our resources from the market, exacerbated by the Brexit and similar global developments to build substance here in Lux, has meant that our headcount has steadily evolved year on year. Our People are and will remain critical to our long-term future, which is why we are also investing locally in significant development of the digital and commercial skills of our workforce. Whilst we believe our people growth will become less over time as technology investment transforms our business, we are still a people business and will continue to invest in new and diverse talent at all levels with our projections for the coming year exceeding 3,000 by January.
Finally, our commitment to driving a sustainable agenda through doing the right thing, developing our people and driving transparency and focus over the areas where we as PwC can make a difference, remains core to our strategy. In this vein, we have worked hard to further enhance the transparency of our reporting and hope, in our own small way, to contribute to a healthier more transparent dynamic between business and society going forward.
Thank you very much and I hope you enjoy reading the report.