Professional services firm EY launched its global strategy consulting organisation EY – Parthenon (EY-P) across Africa on July 22, bringing in a connected corporate and transactions strategy offering to the continent.
EY-P is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, in the US, and has 40 offices in 45 countries globally, including three in Africa – in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos.
EY-P, with more than 6 500 professionals globally, will be led from Johannesburg by well-known business executive Paul O’Flaherty, who has extensive experience in corporate South Africa, including three years as Eskom FD.
He has previously also served as ArcelorMittal South Africa CEO, Absa group engineering services CE, Group Five CFO and also as CFO and CEO of a United Arab Emirates-based family business.
“With so much [Covid-19] pandemic-driven uncertainty in the world over the past 18 months, nearly every organisation is now facing huge strategic challenges,” says O’Flaherty.
He adds that the pandemic has prompted a “new world to unfold at breakneck speed”, with leaders having to grapple with the changes to doing business, such as a more distributed workforces, the rapid shift to digitisation, sustainability and challenges to supply chains.
“But these disruptions bring opportunity across Africa. African business now has a rare opportunity to use this crisis to take a leap forward and redesign their longer-term ambitions,” says O’Flaherty.
He adds that the recent looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng has come as a shock to the country. “It further underlines the need to adapt to this setback and respond strategically, ensuring businesses are working for all members of the community.”
EY Africa CEO Ajen Sita says CEOs are no longer just running companies; they are also managing complex ecosystems as the pandemic has brought home to so many businesses.
“They need to rapidly reset their strategies and implement them in double quick time. Our overarching purpose is to help businesses avoid the pitfalls of short termism. Businesses that think and plan for the long term attract the best people, the most committed investors and are the most beneficial to society,” he says.
He adds that it is non-negotiable for businesses to recognise that their strategic planning should accommodate all stakeholders – shareholders, employees, customers, communities and the sustainability of the environment in which they operate.
Businesses working with EY-P will have access not only to African consulting expertise but also global experts from wherever they are based.
EY-P consults across all sectors of the economy and works with the private and public sectors.