In this section of our annual report find out how we’re working together to do things differently and add value for our clients. From balancing business understanding with innovation and insight, technology has been a huge part of our year. You’ll be able to see highlights from each of our lines of service as well as our international alliances and global network.
Hear from our Head of Clients and Markets, Kevin Burrowes, who talks about how we’re helping our clients solve important problems, from startups to multinationals.
At PwC we use our Intelligent Digital approach to help clients solve some of the most important societal problems. Examples include using machine learning to identify predictive indicators of gambling behaviour or the launch of our own drones team.
Our growth in the Middle East continues to be strong. We have been advising and supporting governments and businesses as they navigate some of the biggest challenges in the region, including ongoing geopolitical tensions, demographic shifts, impact of technology and the need to diversify economies during recent periods of low GDP growth.
With around 4,000 people based in 12 different countries across our Assurance, Tax, Consulting, Deals and Strategy& businesses, we are ideally placed to help both regional and multinational clients to develop and execute their strategies in the Middle East and beyond. Examples of this include our work with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the implementation of its 'National Transformation Plan' or Vision 2030 and helping our clients prepare for the introduction of VAT in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
In Africa, PwC is the largest provider of professional services with over 400 partners and 9,000 people located across the continent. The UK firm is now four years into our alliance with Africa, which was introduced to meet the increased demand for professional services as trade and investment activities grow.
Mandatory Firm rotation and regulatory activity is creating churn in the South African audit and professional services market specifically, and more broadly across the continent. Our African firm has a large and mature audit practice, and FY18 saw a number of new, high profile audit appointments. We continue to support local market activity across all lines of service, and grow sustainable capability and capacity in alignment with the local firm and their strategic priorities.
The UK firm is now five years into our strategic alliance with Central and Eastern Europe and strong revenue growth in the region has been achieved again this year. This is against the backdrop of a complex political and economic environment in the region and ongoing US / EU sanctions with Russia.
A particular focus for investment in the region is technology, including cyber security, data analytics, Business Recovery Services and forensic capabilities. We anticipate further increase in future revenue growth opportunities, based on these investments and strengthening relationships with the CEE firm.
There are now member firms operating under the PwC brand in 721 locations across 158 countries, employing 236,235 people under the overall coordination of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.
A Network Leadership Team sets our overall strategy and agrees the standards to which all member firms must adhere. PwC UK is well represented on this leadership team, as well as on the Global Leadership and EMEA Executive teams.
Robert Moritz is the Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.
Through these stories we're sharing how our people have been working together across the business, with clients and key stakeholders, to lead the way in changing times.