PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) emerges as a notable beneficiary of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious economic expansion, as the nation seeks to reduce its reliance on oil and gas revenues.
A Surge in Consulting Revenues
In the wake of a substantial surge in demand for advisory services from clients in the Middle East, PwC, a prominent member of the “Big Four” companies, witnessed a remarkable 30% increase in its consulting revenues during the previous year, as indicated by the company’s latest financial statements.
Driving Force: Saudi Arabia’s Ambitions
Kevin Ellis, Chairman of PwC, elaborates on the significant role played by Saudi Arabia in the Middle East’s economic landscape. “Saudi Arabia stands as the primary catalyst in the region’s progress, although other areas within the Middle East exhibit commendable growth as well,” he conveyed to the Telegraph. He underscores the transformative endeavors propelled by the oil industry, along with the region’s accelerated focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives, exemplified by projects such as Neom.
Neom: A Visionary Megaproject
Neom, the visionary megacity conceptualized by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to emerge near the Red Sea, sprawling across a desert expanse comparable in size to Belgium. With an estimated cost of $500 billion, Neom constitutes the centerpiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 strategy, designed to diversify the Saudi Kingdom’s economic landscape away from hydrocarbon reliance.
PwC’s Role and Collaborations
While specific project details remain undisclosed, PwC’s engagement with Saudi Arabia has been evident through its partnership with the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), a substantial sovereign wealth fund. PIF’s high-profile investments, including the acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club and the establishment of the innovative LIV Golf Tournament, exemplify the fund’s commitment to transformative ventures.
Impressive Growth in the UK
PwC UK, the overseeing entity for the Middle East region, witnessed robust growth in consulting revenues, attaining a notable 30% rise to £1.7 billion for the year ending in June. The overall revenues across PwC UK, which encompass the Channel Islands as well, achieved a commendable 16% growth, totaling £5.8 billion in 2023.
While profits marginally declined from £1.5 billion to £1.3 billion due to a one-time windfall from the sale of its global mobility practice in the previous year, PwC’s dedication to its 1,057 partners remains evident, with an average payout of £906,000 per partner. The organization, with a workforce of around 26,000 employees in the UK, actively recruited 1,600 graduates during the twelve-month period ending in June.
Nurturing Skills and the Office Environment
Addressing the evolving workforce dynamics, Kevin Ellis emphasizes the importance of nurturing “soft skills,” especially among recent graduates who have faced significant challenges due to the pandemic. Ellis advocates for the advantages of in-person learning and collaboration in a multi-generational work setting, highlighting its value in fostering meaningful professional growth.
As PwC thrives amid Saudi Arabia’s determined efforts to diversify its economy, the company’s role in supporting transformative projects underscores its commitment to fostering innovation and growth. The success of these initiatives aligns with the broader narrative of economic evolution in the region.