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Richard Houston

Senior Partner and CEO, Deloitte UK

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This Annual Review brings to life not only how our people are helping to address some of the biggest challenges facing businesses, the public sector and our communities – but also how they‘re helping them make the most of opportunities to grow and thrive. 

Alongside this, our suite of reports bring important transparency to our financial results, our investment in audit quality, our commitment to sustainability and our progress in building an inclusive culture to ensure a diverse pipeline of talent for the future.

Our FY23 financial performance was strong but growth slowed in the second half of the year and into the start of FY24. In September, in response to the uncertain economic landscape and changing markets, we announced proposed changes across our firm.

This has been an unsettling time for those affected and the priority of our firm’s leadership has been to help and support people throughout this process.

Inclusive growth and resilience: for the UK and beyond

Businesses are facing increasingly complex markets amid high inflation and geopolitical tensions, alongside tackling the impact of generative AI, energy transition, and political uncertainty ahead of a UK general election.

Our priorities over the year have centred around helping clients build resilience and find opportunities for growth. And we’ve seen significant demand for our services in digital transformation, cyber security, forensics and sustainable supply chain strategies, as we accelerate how we work across geographies to bring the best skills and capabilities to our clients. 

Transforming through technology: for businesses and communities

This year we continued our long-term commitment to digital as an enabler of growth. Growth both of our own firm and that of the clients, companies and charities we support.

We’ve been doing this in many ways: supporting business’ efforts to decarbonise in order to meet their climate goals, strengthening their business with digital transformations that add value in complex economic times, and exploring new uses of technology to reach new audiences. And we’re tackling the digital divide by helping charities build digital skills, develop digital strategies and improve access to technology through our Deloitte Digital Connect programme.

Over the past year we’ve continued to invest in technology, with £120m directed towards improving quality, client service and our hybrid working experience.

Better futures: for people and the planet

Despite the difficult economic landscape we continued to invest in our people over the year, through reward, promotions and benefits.

This included investing over £310m in salary increases and bonus payments, as well as over £50m in learning and development. We also upgraded our benefits package to include fully funded Private Medical Insurance and improved policies around maternity, paternity, adoption and surrogacy, bereavement and menopause.

Alongside this, we increased our investment in communities across the UK, working with over 90 society partners through volunteering, fundraising, charitable donations and pro-bono projects. These projects are all aligned to our 5 Million Futures societal impact strategy, which aims to help people overcome barriers to education and employment, building skills and creating better futures.

Looking forward

With increasing economic and geopolitical uncertainty, it’s clear that many businesses, including our own, are facing more challenging markets. But we have navigated challenging economic periods before – including the pandemic – and I’m confident that we can do this again.

The breadth of our capabilities, alongside our investments in people and technology, means we’re in a unique position to provide the advice, support and insights necessary to help businesses navigate complexity and consider longer term prospects for future inclusive growth.

Richard Houston
Senior Partner and CEO, Deloitte UK and Deloitte North and South Europe

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