PwC announces new Bradford base for 2019

18 December 2018

As PwC continues a nation-wide reshuffle of its resources to ensure its UK firm is well-positioned to help clients in a period of uncertainty, it has announced a new office in Bradford. According to Senior Partner Kevin Ellis, the new location will open its doors in January next year.

As the UK closes 2018 with arguably even less political and economic certainty than it started with, many firms are seeking external advice on their business plans for the coming period. To better match this morphing regional need, PwC has been working to expand or consolidate its operations across the UK to better match the demands of clients in each area.

Earlier in the year, the firm said it would grow its presence in the UK’s second city in 2019, moving to a new office in Birmingham. However, the firm is expected to close six regional offices: two internal memos leaked to the British media revealed PwC’s intent to close its 40-strong Hull presence, as well as offices in Sheffield, Plymouth, Liverpool, Norwich, Swansea and Dungannon, in Northern Ireland. Now, PwC has revealed that it will be staffing a new Bradford base in the coming year.  

PwC announces new Bradford base for 2019

In an article from news site, Kevin Ellis, Senior Partner at the Big Four firm, declared that a base is due to open in the city in January. At present, the exact location of the office has not been confirmed, but the announcement means Bradford will join fellow Northern hubs Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle in benefitting from the firm's presence.

Ellis said he hoped the opening of the office in January would help increase PwC's impact. At the same time, he used the piece to highlight why the firm has chosen Bradford, stating it will enable the firm to meet the UK Government's priority areas for raising education standards and promoting social mobility for young people.

"We have one in nearby Leeds, but the interns we speak to from Bradford say the distance can feel insurmountable when you feel part of a very different community," Ellis stated. "So alongside our work with schools there, it will hopefully help bridge the gap to work. "The office will focus on a range of audit tasks, developing skills and boosting employability irrespective of background.”

Welcoming the news, Nick Garthwaite, President of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said, “For a business the size of PwC to come into Bradford is a positive and healthy statement. It will create new jobs, bring in additional investment and enhance the city’s profile across the region and beyond. PwC have demonstrated a firm commitment to helping to increase social mobility and raise aspirations and education standards and are to be applauded for that. We look forward to welcoming them with open arms.”

Agreeing, Alison Hedley, Employer & Placement Services Manager at the University of Bradford, remarked, “This new Bradford base will help students at all levels in the city see a career with PwC as something they can relate to. The University has a strong record in working with local employers to develop employability in students and graduates, most of whom wish to stay in the area on graduation, so a new local PwC office is welcome news and we look forward to building on our already strong links with a major employer in the region.”


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”