Deloitte Korea to join Big Four's Asia Pacific unit from next month

20 May 2020 3 min. read

Deloitte Korea will be joining the firm’s Asia Pacific operations from the beginning of next month, after having previously been excluded due to issues around gender imbalance.

Following up on a report from earlier this year, the Korea Herald has now reported that Deloitte Korea will be admitted to the professional services giant’s regional Asia Pacific organisation following a vote among its partnership conducted last month. Earlier reports contended that the APAC branch of Deloitte wasn’t previously satisfied with Deloitte Korea’s efforts to enhance gender diversity among its leadership ranks.

“Based on a partner-level vote conducted in April, we will officially join as member of Deloitte APAC, starting June 1,” Deloitte Korea stated in a brief press release.

Cindy Hook, former Deloitte Australia head who became Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO when it was formed in 2018, said, “We welcome Deloitte Korea into Deloitte APAC, as the Korea market is expanding its leverage in the technical and consulting fields.”

According to the Korea Herald, Deloitte Korea will invest $22 million into the regional entity over the next four years, with the publication adding that this will be partly funded at the global level.

Deloitte Korea to join Big Four's Asia Pacific unit from next month

When Deloitte’s regional Asia Pacific unit was formed, combining the operations of members in China, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand, the firm announced a $321 million investment into its new entity.

The three year outlay was according to Hook aimed as providing “immense career development opportunities” to help Deloitte “attract, develop and retain the very best talent the region has to offer, equipping them with the resources to deliver first-class service to our clients.” She added; “Our aspiration over the next few years is for Deloitte Asia Pacific to become the undisputed leader in professional services in the region.”

Revenues-wise at least, Deloitte is already the biggest of the Big Four, with its Asia Pacific enterprise helping the firm to further accelerate from the chasing pack. Last year, Deloitte posted global revenues of $46.2 billion (ahead of its closest competitor PwC’s $42.4 billion), adding $3 billion to its haul of $43.2 billion the year prior. The firm’s Asia Pacific geography contributed $7.1 billion to the latest overall figure, up by 11.6 percent.

While the latest news of Deloitte Korea’s acceptance to the Asia Pacific didn’t detail any of the steps taken to address concerns, the previous report quoted an unnamed source who noted that a high-ranking executive of the Korean office last year emphasised the importance of female leadership after the local office scored the lowest regional points in an assessment on the issue, promising he would create better working conditions.