The FT is a really important knowledge source for me. You need to be able to engage in a broader discussion with clients about what’s happening in the world.Partner, PwC Australia
A connected firm with global reach
With a network of firms in 158 countries and over 250,000 employees, PwC is one of the world’s largest professional services providers. In an increasingly complex business environment, PwC’s reach enables the firm to take a global approach and connect the right people, technology and ideas in order to solve problems for clients.
In Australia, PwC delivers audit, assurance, consulting and tax services to more than 5,000 organisations. While some are focused domestically, many of those clients have cross-border interests or aspire to grow internationally.
In a market that’s impacted heavily by politics and economics in other parts of the world, teams across PwC Australia require sources of global analysis they can trust. Whether helping clients to mitigate risks or exploit new opportunities, it’s vital that advisers can make links between global events and their impact in order to provide suitable guidance.
Providing international context to local deals
Andrew Parker is a Partner at PwC and also leads the Australian firm’s Asia Practice. First and foremost, Andrew’s work is centred around advising clients who want to buy or sell businesses on their due diligence requirements. As part of the firm’s financial advisory arm, Andrew also works on Initial Public Offerings, as well as capital raising.
Many of the transactions Andrew works on are domestic, so he has a need both for local news sources and broader international dealmaking coverage.
“The Australian media helps with our deals work as it’s very domestically focused, but that’s also a disadvantage when it comes to thinking about what’s happening in the wider world,” Andrew explains. “Understanding the broader regional trends is helpful to our conversations here with clients, and I use the FT for that international perspective.”
Ultimately, what Andrew and his colleagues are providing to clients is their expertise. The FT, through a network of over 600 journalists around the world, provides the broad, joined up analysis that client-facing advisers need to stay informed.
“What do we have as a business?” Andrew asks. “We’ve got our people and our knowledge. We have to understand in-depth the areas that we’re experts in and that’s where the FT is valuable.”
Informing client growth
In Andrew’s other position as head of the Australian firm’s Asia Practice, the need to understand the trends and issues across their wider region is heightened further. In a nutshell, Andrew helps connect their Australian clients who are expanding into Asia, and Asian companies entering the Australian market, with relevant PwC experts.
“From the FT I gain an accumulation of knowledge that you just don’t get from our domestic media,” he explains. “I find that really useful in conversations with clients of all walks, whether they’re coming into Australia or Australian companies that are focused on their local market.
As well as the breadth of FT coverage, Andrew also highlights the value in having access to the thoughts and opinions of highly-regarded FT commentators. “The FT’s got a number of important thought leaders, like Martin Wolf and Gideon Rachman,” he says. “I find reading their interpretations of events really useful in terms of using those perspectives to shape my own views.”
Flexible access to intelligence
When juggling the responsibilities of two roles it’s unsurprising that Andrew describes himself as ‘time-poor.’ It’s therefore important he can access the most important and relevant content seamlessly across multiple platforms and devices.
The flexibility of an FT Group Subscription enables employees to consume FT content in any way that most suits their workflow.
In terms of his own information consumption, Andrew values the ability to combine content across multiple sources in order to feel fully briefed as quickly as possible. “It’s probably best to describe it as snacking,” he explains. “I’ll use Twitter for the headlines because it provides an aggregate view of what I’m interested in from the FT, as well as other news sources.”
Andrew also subscribes to FT email briefings for a concise summary of key developments in his topics of interest. “The newsletters are really useful,” he says. “They tend to categorise content nicely in a way that I can quickly get to the bits that are important.” There are over 30 specially curated newsletters available as part of an FT Group Subscription, covering topics from mergers and acquisitions, to global trade and sustainable finance.
Enabling teams across the firm to read the FT through a group subscription helps to amplify the benefits Andrew describes and he encourages colleagues at all levels to read widely and regularly in order to keep informed.
“Not everyone can be an expert on everything but there’s definitely an expectation that the people that we hire have a certain depth of curiosity. For us the biggest benefit of the FT is that global perspective,” Andrew concludes. “It’s just incredibly important.”
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