Accounting and consulting giant PwC has launched a new global centre dedicated to crisis management. With the move, the Big Four anticipates on the impact the changing risks landscape is having on businesses and executives, as well as the growing need for dealing with crisis situations. PwC’s Global Crisis Centre is organised as a virtual hub across the firm’s international operations and is headed by UK-based partner Melanie Butler.
Over the past years businesses have seen a rise in the threats they face, ranging from large-scale crises (e.g. the Zika or Ebola virus) to stress events that significantly impact the continuity of ‘business as usual’ (e.g. a financial collapse of a partner in the value chain) or more long term threats that may, or may not, materialise. In the case of crises the economic impact can be massive – for example, economic losses from cybercrime in 2014 were estimated at $375 billion and insured and uninsured losses from natural catastrophes in the same year at $194 billion. In addition to the sheer size of damages, a report commissioned by the WEF shows that risks/threats are also becoming more frequent and wide-spread.
The news has (gradually) been finding its way up to boardrooms – according to a recent study by PwC among 1,400+ CEOs globally, today two-thirds of CEOs believe that their businesses face more threats today than three years ago. Moreover, over half of the CEOs surveyed are concerned about their readiness to respond to a crisis.
Global Crisis Centre
In a bid to support executives and managers successfully navigate through the threats landscape, and, more importantly, build a frontier to remain ahead of the game, PwC has taken the initiative to launch a new centre dedicated to crisis management. The new unit will serve as an international virtual centre of excellence, and be staffed by professionals from across the firm’s network of member firms in 150+ countries. PwC’s new ‘Global Crisis Centre’ will according to Melanie Butler, UK partner and leader of the Global Crisis Centre, provide clients with a "coordinated end-to-end set of global solutions" that help organisations before, during, and after crises strike.
The centre’s field of expertise spans the management and business landscape, reflects Butler. "Whatever and whenever a crisis occurs, ‘business as usual’ becomes a thing of the past. There is a real need to have robust plans in place as the effect of a crisis on a business can be long-lasting, and to tackle and overcome crisis, you need expertise at every step." The unit provides its offerings to private sector organisations, but also governments and NGOs, acting as convenors between different groups and organisations.
Propositions include risk management and crisis planning services (“we help clients prepare for crisis by giving them the strategies, capabilities and tools to avoid it, mitigate it, or manage it”), crisis response services (“we enable businesses to react to a crisis quickly and effectively”) and recovery & remediation services (“we help our clients emerge from the crisis stronger than they were before”).
The Global Crisis Centre is already up and running, says Butler, concluding: "Our team is ready to hit the ground running, helping organisations avoid and prepare for crisis, respond quickly and confidently when a crisis occurs, and emerge stronger from the experience."