Freddy Wee, Chintan Ganatra & Michael Peer join PwC Consulting as Partners

28 September 2018

Weeks after promoting three new partners in its South East Asian Consulting arm, professional services giant PwC has admitted three more senior advisors to its partnership in the region. Freddy Wee, Chintan Ganatra and Michael Peer all join from tier-one competitors.

Freddy Wee

Freddy Wee brings over two decades of experience in the information security field to PwC. The past four years Wee, based in Singapore, worked for Accenture as a Managing Director – the equivalent of Partner at the firm – in its Security practice. In the 15 years prior to that, Wee worked for RSA, the security division of EMC; Logica, currently known as CGI; and IBM Global Services, the consultancy wing of the US technology giant. Wee however started his career in defence, serving Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for over a decade, before transitioning into the security domain.

Throughout his career, Wee has led large-scale cyber security and digital identity design and transformation programmes, as well as been involved in operationalising effective cybersecurity frameworks and governance models into business functions. His professional experience spans working for clients across the public sector, resources, products, financial services and telecommunications, across South East Asia, Greater China and Korea.

At PwC, which has 223,000 employees globally, he has been named Cybersecurity and Privacy Leader for South East Asia. The division helps clients with management consultancy and digital services, from design through to implementation. PwC’s Consulting arm also works closely with Strategy& in the region, which is PwC’s strategy consulting unit forged after the Big Four firm acquired Booz & Company back in 2014. Booz & Company was later rebranded as Strategy& following contractual agreements with US-headquartered Booz Allen Hamilton, the former parent of the strategic consulting firm.

Freddy Wee, Chintan Ganatra & Michael Peer join PwC Consulting as Partners

Wee’s appointment comes at a time when Asia Pacific organisations are facing heightened cybersecurity threats against a backdrop of growing e-criminal activity. Meanwhile, according to Oliver Wyman, organisations in the region are struggling with fending off threats, while at the same time keeping pace with technology-led changes in the realm. In another study on the matter, consultants from A.T. Kearney highlighted that for the region to be successful in tackling cybercrime, a more cohesive approach between government, companies and innovators would be required.

Chintan Ganatra

After serving Litmus Group, a Singapore-based management consulting firm part of PPB Advisory for 15 years, latterly in the role of Partner, Ganatra has now joined PwC as a Partner in the firm’s Energy & Mining industry group within Consulting. Ganatra, who is an Australian national, specialises in reviewing and optimising business models, driving technical initiatives, information systems analysis, and benefits identification and management.

Ganatra will focus on helping energy and mining companies navigate change, including the rise of digital competition, growing regulatory burden, sustainability pressures and more. Renewable energy is one area he will oversee, with a recent study by PwC showing that investments in ‘greener energy’ are set to boom in the coming years to a total of $114.8 billion. In mining, the newly appointed Partner will focus on trends such as cost optimisation, technology adoption – with emerging tech such as Internet of Things (IoT) offering massive efficiency opportunities to players in the ecosystem.

Michael Peer

The third new Partner, Michael Peer, has been appointed a leader in PwC’s Dispute Advisory practice. The service line supports clients with a range of dispute-related services spanning commercial litigation, class action support and litigation risk management, contract compliance, post-close M&A disputes, construction disputes and family and estate disputes. Peer relocated from the city of Prague, where he led KPMG’s dispute advisory practice covering Central Eastern Europe – Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Peer worked 11 years for KPMG, and prior to that served Big Four accounting and consulting rival EY, formerly known as Ernst & Young. During this period, he has lead investigations, including those under the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, in over 65 jurisdictions. He brings with him extensive experience in dealing with disputes between private companies, cases involving sovereign states (in particular under bilateral investment treaties: BITs), and ad-hoc arbitrations. In addition, he has conducted numerous investigations leading to criminal prosecution or civil litigation, as well as the removal of senior management through negotiated settlements.

Earlier this month, PwC’s South East Asian Consulting arm, which works closely with the firm’s US and Australia & New Zealand practices as part of an alliance signed in 2014, added Shaun Ryan, Martijn Schouten and Simon Tong to its Partner team.


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Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration leader

16 April 2019

Deloitte has brought in Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration Leader. Hayler crosses from FTI Consulting – continuing the recent personnel shuffle in the regional forensics space.

Following the onboarding of veteran forensics expert Jarrod Baker as its new Forensic Investigations Leader for Southeast Asia earlier this year, global professional services leader Deloitte has added another ex-FTI Consulting executive to its regional forensics practice with the appointment of Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration leader. It’s Hayler’s second stint at the Big Four firm.

Originally starting out as an auditor in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals & energy practice of fellow Big Four firm KPMG in the UK (via a five-year Technical Director role with specialist life sciences consultancy Primarius), Hayler after three years crossed to Deloitte in 2008, serving as an Associate Director for its Forensic & Dispute Services division in London, and then from 2012 in Singapore. 

From there, Hayler joined the Singapore office of FTI Consulting’s Economic & Financial practice, promoted to senior managing director at the beginning of last year. Now, like his colleague Baker, Hayler has returned for his second stint with Deloitte, after respectively four and nearly six years with FTI. Meanwhile, FTI recently added e-discovery expert Christopher Marks as a senior managing director – continuing its global raid on Ernst & Young.

“I am delighted to be returning to Deloitte rejoining old friends and being on board with a great team,” Hayler said. This is an exciting time to be back at Deloitte as the firm has made great strides integrating to serve its clients across Asia Pacific better and I look forward to being part of that success.” As of September last year, Deloitte began integrating its Asia Pacific arms into single operational unit – with a co-attendant $321 million investment committed to human capital.Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration Leader in Southeast AsiaHayler across his career has developed expertise in a broad range of  competencies around forensics, disputes and litigation, including complex valuations, M&A and contractual disputes, accounting irregularities; alleged misappropriation, asset tracing and fraud investigations among others – having led or advised teams multiple jurisdictions in “some of the largest and most complex cases in the last decade.”

“Having Richard in our leadership team is a strong market differentiator,” said Tim Phillipps, Deloitte’s Financial Crime Strategy and Response Network leader for APAC. “His track record and extensive experience will be critical as we continue to expand and strengthen our presence in the Southeast Asia region.  It will enhance our capacity to serve our clients, and ensure that we continue to provide clear, timely and insightful counsel.”

In addition to Deloitte, Hayler serves on the Standards Review Board of the International Valuation Standards Council, as well as being a member of the adjunct faculty at Singapore Management University’s School of Law and the Honorary Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Singapore. He was also last year a group representative for financial & fintech business group with the local British Chamber of Commerce.

According to the firm, Hayler’s recruitment forms part of its plans to expand its forensics services in the region – a practice which has already grown substantially in recent years to include more than 125 dedicated forensic practitioners based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with growth driven by investment in disputes and arbitration, electronic discovery, investigations, forensic digital platforms and financial crime advisory and analytics among other areas.