Deloitte creates human capital 'powerhouse' with latest pick-up

24 October 2019 3 min. read

Deloitte will absorb human capital firm Presence of IT to create what it says is the largest HR transformation practice across every market of the Asia Pacific.

Professional services giant Deloitte has picked up Presence of IT, a leading human capital management firm with a footprint spanning 17 locations across the Asia Pacific and US and a headcount of approximately 600. The Presence of IT team – including co-founders, David Brookes and Shaun Flannery – will join Deloitte’s 2,300-strong regional Human Capital practice, making for what the firm describes as a human capital powerhouse in APAC.

“I am really excited to welcome the team from Presence of IT to Deloitte,” said APAC Consulting head Adam Powick. “Presence of IT is an organisation we have worked with and alongside for many years and we have always greatly admired the quality of their people and the work they deliver for clients. Combining the strengths of our two organisations will provide clients across Asia Pacific with access to an unrivalled, world class team of Human Capital Management experts.”

Established by Brookes and Flannery at the turn of the century in Sydney as a specialist HR/Payroll technology provider, Presence of IT has since grown into a HCM consulting and tech implementation leader with consolidated revenues according to the Australian Financial Review valued at upwards of A$120 million. The co-founders will now join Deloitte’s Human Capital leadership team in Australia as partners, along with Presence of IT co-CEO Shane Grobler.

“We know and appreciate one another’s strengths; we share similar cultures and a common commitment to help our people and clients excel,” commented Grobler. “We are both focused on building a truly engaging talent experience for those connected to our firms, to innovating the way we do things and striving for ongoing excellence. This is a story of two strong teams coming together to ignite exponential advantage, where the sum is truly greater than its parts.”   

Deloitte creates human capital 'powerhouse' with latest pick-up

Details of the deal have not been made public, but it has been described as Deloitte’s largest ever consulting transaction in Australia and the first of such a scale regionally since the firm merged its Asia Pacific operations in September of last year. Since that time, the APAC arm of Deloitte has added a number of smaller players in Australia – including risk consultancy Converging Data Australia, which has extended operations in Malaysia and the Philippines – but none outright in Asia.

Beyond Australia, Presence of IT employees will now cross to Deloitte offices Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan, along with others in New Zealand, India and the US. They will form what Deloitte describes as the largest and most capable human capital and HR transformation team across every market in the Asia Pacific region, or, in the words of Powick and Brookes, the new “undisputed leaders” across the Human Capital marketplace.

“The future of work is all about how people feel, defined by the experiences they have when interacting with business and with customers,” said Brookes. “Together, we generate end-to-end value with an extended global reach for our clients that is unlike anything in the market today. The combination of our people, our innovations and our shared vision for delivering simplified business experiences is the ultimate advantage in shaping the world of work now and for the future.”

Philip Yuen, Deloitte’s Southeast Asia CEO, added; “ASEAN is one of the largest economic zones in the world. There is immense growth potential in this region, driven by labour-force expansion and productivity improvements. In Southeast Asia, we have experienced huge growth in demand for our human capital consulting services as companies strive to remain competitive in the changing landscape, adapting their organisations to meet global talent and business demands.”