Deloitte celebrates 40 years of business in Brunei

01 October 2018

The Brunei arm of Deloitte has celebrated its 40th year of business in the Sultanate, just months after the Big Four firm’s Malaysian branch marked a 50th anniversary of its own.

Business is booming for Deloitte. Recently, the current biggest of the Big Four global accounting and consulting firms announced record revenues of $43.2 billion, breaking the $40 billion barrier for the first time to widen the gap at the top of the consulting tree – thanks in no small part to growth of 13.3 percent in its Asia Pacific business. On top of that, the firm was this month named as one of the top five most attractive employers worldwide.

But if that wasn’t enough of a reason to celebrate for its more than 100 employees in Brunei, then a recent 40th anniversary has done the trick, with a gathering held at a restaurant in Jerudong to mark the special occasion – with Deloitte’s Brunei branch having officially launched 28 July, 1978, shortly before it was ratified that the oil-rich Sultanate would gain its full independence from the British in 1984.

According to the firm, it has since sought to work with the government and give back to the community through its thought leadership and a range of social initiatives, including, recently, its participation in the government’s i-Ready Apprenticeship programme under the Manpower Policy and Planning Unit (MPPU), which seeks to train and upskill the local workforce through partnerships and international placements.Deloitte celebrates 40 years of business in Brunei

In May, the programme saw its first crop of apprentice graduates sign up with Deloitte, ready for deployment to gain invaluable experience and mentoring at one of the firm’s Southeast Asian branches, which includes some 8,000 professionals spread out across 25 office locations in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Malaysia – the latter of which celebrated its own 50th anniversary in May.

“We support the Brunei Government’s initiatives to enhance the employability of new Brunei graduates and help them be future-ready by strengthening their knowledge in the areas of consulting,” Deloitte's Consulting Leader for Brunei, Lee Chew Chiat, said at the time. “We look forward to continue our support that will include holding more recruitment drives, and work closely with the MPPU to identify opportunities for more Bruneians to be part of our Deloitte Southeast Asia consulting team.”

And that exciting opportunity for young Brunei professional hopefuls may be about to broaden, with Deloitte’s Southeast Asia arm now having merged with the China, Japan, Australia and NZ operations into a single operational unit – Deloitte Asia Pacfic, led by former Australia CEO Cindy Hook. Coinciding with the merger announcement, Deloitte said it would invest some $321 million to attract and develop local talent.

“Congratulations to Deloitte Brunei for achieving this significant milestone. This comes at a very exciting time with the formation of Deloitte Asia Pacific,” Deloitte Southeast Asia CEO Philip Yuen said of the occassion. “Moving forward, Deloitte Brunei, as part of Deloitte Southeast Asia, will be able to leverage on the expanded scale and collective capabilities of our Asia Pacific colleagues to continue to effectively contribute to the country and help Brunei businesses grow locally and regionally.”


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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.”