Deloitte to merge operations across Asia Pacific into single entity

17 July 2018

Deloitte is set to merge its operations across the Asia pacific into the single business unit, combining its practices in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand into Deloitte Asia Pacific.

As of the 1st of September, the nearly 45,000 staff across Deloitte’s various regional operations in Asia and the Antipodes will operate under the single Asia Pacific umbrella, to be headed by current Australian chief Cindy Hook – who is a keen supporter of diversity and inclusion and in 2015 became the first female in the country to head up a Big Four firm. A new CEO for Deloitte Australia is expected to be confirmed before the end of the month.

“This is an exciting move for Deloitte in the Asia Pacific region – the fastest growing region in the Deloitte network," Hook said of the announcement. "With the formation of Deloitte Asia Pacific we create an opportunity to increase our scale in this market, while enhancing our capabilities to serve clients. The investments we are making will allow us to better serve the needs of clients who are operating in a more globally connected way than ever before, and to continue our relentless focus on quality.”

Coinciding with the creation of a unified entity, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu will invest $321 million into its combined geographies in the coming three years to provide, “immense career development opportunities to help us to attract, develop and retain the very best talent the region has to offer,” Hook added, “equipping them with the resources to deliver first-class service to our clients.” The goal of the investment is straightforward according to Hook; “Our aspiration over the next few years is for Deloitte Asia Pacific to become the undisputed leader in professional services in the region.”Deloitte to merge operations across Asia Pacific into single consulting entity“The creation of Deloitte Asia Pacific lays an important foundation as we place a high strategic focus on this region,” added Deloitte global chief executive Punit Renjen. “Importantly, this increased scale in Asia will enable Deloitte to take full advantage of our strengths while offering differentiated services, accelerate capabilities in innovation and quality, and serve clients and the public interest with distinction… Our strategy is to deliver services to clients as one seamless global organisation.”

Last year, the firm reported global revenues of $38.8 billion ending FY2017, a 7.1 percent increase largely on the back of an ever-expanding consultancy line (at plus 10.2 percent and now totaling $14.3 billion); “powered by the urgency of clients to accelerate their business model transformation in disrupted markets, and by growing momentum through strategic acquisitions, alliances and investments in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cognitive, creative digital consulting, cloud computing, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT).”

This growth has seen Deloitte hold its spot at the very top of the Big Four table – slightly ahead of sparring partner PwC which pulled in just under $38 billion. In addition, Deloitte added nearly 70,000 new professionals across its global network for 2017, with its Consulting and Risk Advisory practices welcoming the greatest number of new faces at a growth rate of 13 percent each. And much of the impressive growth centred on the Asia Pacific region, with revenues the fastest growing for Deloitte at 9 percent and the firm’s regional headcount up by 10.4 percent.

Deloitte’s 2017 Asia Pacific revenues of $5.8 billion, however (with its Australian practice now accounting for about $2 billion of the total) still lag PwC in the region, which amassed a local fee income of $6.55 billion in 2017. The newly combined operational entity will be hoping to bridge that gap, with the firm’s approximately 8,000 professionals in 25 Southeast Asian offices, 8,000 plus employees in 21 Chinese outlets, and more than 12,000 employees across nearly 50 locations in Japan joining their firepower with the estimated 8,500 professionals of 24 Australia/NZ regional offices to create a coordinated regional powerhouse.


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Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million

09 April 2019

The BCG-backed B Capital Group has raised over $400 million in the first close of its second fund. Based in Singapore, B Capital has now raised $766 million across two funds.

Established by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and ex-BCG Senior Advisor Jav Ganguly in 2016 – and backed by Boston Consulting Group from the outset – the Singapore-based venture capital firm B Capital has according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing secured $406.1 million in commitments at the first close of its second fund – adding to $360 million raised last year for its first fund.

Launched toward the end of March, the second B Capital Fund has so far attracted 62 investors, and although a final close date or target hasn’t been disclosed, an unnamed source told Forbes that the VC firm is looking to double the size of its first fund. Meanwhile, B Capital has already built up a portfolio of 19 start-ups, with a focus on technology in the healthcare, financial services, industrial logistics and consumer enablement segments, and a particular eye to the Southeast Asia and India markets.

“We continue to strive to be a launch pad for entrepreneurs across a wide range of verticals and seek to provide our portfolio companies with the necessary resources and access to some of the most important business leaders,” said Saverin, who moved to Singapore in 2009. “We are committed to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs deliver transformative technology to the world and are strategically positioned to disrupt the realm of venture investing.”Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million Anchored by BCG, and partnering with BCG’s Digital Venture’s incubation arm, B Capital styles itself as a bridge between the innovative tech start-up realm and leading global corporate incumbents – bolstered by BCG’s deep client network (some 1,800 globally according to the consulting firm) and domain expertise in the investment fund’s areas of focus. Further, B Capital and BCG work together to uncover the most promising areas of investment.

“We partnered with the Boston Consulting Group because of their unique insights into the industries that we invest in and their unparalleled access to the world’s leading corporations,” said B Capital’s Ganguly, who in addition to spending the past six years with BCG served as a senior vice president at Bain Capital during the prior six. Earlier, Ganguly spent three years as a senior manager at MBB rival McKinsey & Company.

“It is inspiring to be backed by investors who recognise that our combined extensive experience as entrepreneurs and business creators provides a unique and valuable perspective as to how we support and provide capital to our portfolio companies,” adds Ganguly. “Our first-hand experience building and scaling enduring businesses has allowed us to bridge an important gap connecting entrepreneurs in need of resources to scale their businesses with corporations seeking to innovate and leverage emerging technologies.”

With B Capital said to be aiming to invest $20 million in each portfolio company, including reserves for future growth funding, Southeast Asian and Indian investments to date include Singapore short-term financing match-making platform Capital Match, ASEAN last-mile logistics provider Ninja Van, Carro – a Singapore-based vehicle sales and subscription service, and India’s Mswipe, a mobile point-of-sales solution.

“Whether it is funding availability, stage, talent, institutions, or exits, the presence of such whitespaces in the ecosystem makes it equally challenging and rewarding for investors,” Saverin and Ganguly wrote of the gaps in the Southeast Asian and Indian investment space in a founding post on LinkedIn. “We are very excited and bullish in the long run because we see the opportunity to bridge that gap and make a positive impact in a community of two billion people.”