IAB Press Interview: End of Year Review 2021

Thought Leadership
December 23, 2021

PrimeGlobal CEO, Stephen Heathcote, spoke to International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) about his views on this year’s market challenges, company milestones, and his predictions for 2022.

IAB: How has your organisation grown over the past year through the pandemic? Where has this growth come from in terms of service lines and regions?

Stephen Heathcote: We are proud to report a combined annual firm revenue of $US3.5bn, with an unprecedented 20% revenue increase in 2021. Our firms experienced: strong organic growth particularly in advisory services (12% growth), increases in staff (21% growth to 29,000) and growth in location coverage (now with coverage in over 941 locations). We welcomed 34 new member firms. Asia Pacific grew by a staggering 247% and EMEA by 17%. Seven new Sub-Saharan Africa firms joined covering seven countries and we increased Top 100 US firms to 12 (from 11).

What have been the reasons for this growth?

New members know they are joining a forward-looking community, which shares best practices on emerging opportunities such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG). Over 300 best practice examples were shared with firms in 2021. This has attracted high quality progressive firms. We targeted recruitment to address members future needs. This included recruiting an experienced Chinese national to lead our Asia Pacific plan. We developed market specific value propositions particularly targeting China.

What key milestones has the company achieved this year?
Steve Heathcote Prime Global Ceo
​"Record annual firm revenue growth of over 20%, our first ever DEI conference with over 300 global attendees, our independent member survey showing 83% satisfaction, and countries covered breaking the 100 mark." Stephen Heathcote, CEO, PrimeGlobal
What has the experience been like for workers across your member firms? Has work been office based, hybrid or from home?

Firms bring teams together in person, or virtually, when there is a clear objective. In the US, because of the talent shortage, firms have been most flexible. In Asia and Latin America, the trend has been to bring teams into the office, albeit less frequently. In the UK there is a lot of diversity between firms.

What have your main priorities been in term of hiring and retaining staff, and providing incentives, over 2021?

Our priority has been engagement to develop and achieve our Strategy and embed an inclusive culture. A committee of PrimeGlobal staff and member firm volunteers was established with the goal being to infuse DEI conversations and insights into the very fabric of the associations and firms’ strategies.

What is the outlook for your company in 2022? Any new plans and initiatives? 

We aim to realise value from our significant investment in a technology enabled engagement platform. We will create a range of community groups to enhance members learning, particularly adoption of technology to support advisory services. We are launching a major initiative to provide practical support to help firms get started with ESG services.