Accountant of the Year

During a challenging year, Deloitte has contributed continuous value-added services to a private equity industry that has been hit hard by the economic downturn. According to data from Thomson Reuters, during 2009 the firm successfully advised on almost 30 private equity-related deals across Europe to the value of €1.2bn.

The private equity practice at Deloitte is an industry group comprising over 500 professionals from across the firm in the UK, who are in turn part of a network of 1,500 private equity professionals globally. Deloitte has demonstrated a continued commitment to the private equity industry; working with some of private equity’s leading investors, funds and portfolio companies, delivering value across the entire private equity lifecycle.

With a broad range of services and a world class consulting practice, Deloitte provides a vast array of integrated services to private equity firms and their portfolios of all sizes, sector focus and geographical footprint.

Some of the key differentiators which set Deloitte apart from its competitors in the market include its debt advisory, Islamic fund advisory, special situations and MENA fund advisory services.

Worthy of special mention is Deloitte’s debt advisory team, which has been kept particularly busy over the past year, having been involved in a number of complex and high-profile transactions involving combined debt facilities in excess of £10bn. Deloitte’s debt advisory specialists provide expert, independent, debt-focused advice, enabling clients to navigate what is today an extremely challenging market of debt refinancing, renegotiation, debt raising and acquisition/disposal refinancing. Significant partner hires have boosted the firm’s international profile, enabling clients to benefit from genuine global coverage. Across Europe, Deloitte has 60 professionals focusing on the debt markets. In addition, the firm’s independence from banks and other lenders ensures independent borrower-focused advice.

Ian Steele, partner and global head of corporate finance advisory, said: “We are delighted to receive this award. Our reputation in the marketplace is thanks to the calibre and commitment of our people, and this is a very gratifying confirmation that we are fulfilling our clients’ expectations and look forward to building on this throughout 2010.”

The firm also demonstrates strong expertise in special situations, working with both companies facing financial stress, distress, the risk of insolvency or administration and with potential investors wishing to capture opportunities in the distressed market. Deloitte’s scope of services includes two core areas: stressed solutions supporting underperforming or stressed businesses in taking pre-emptive action to relieve operational and financial stress, to stabilise and preserve value and to evaluate the strategic options which are available and fast-track M&A supporting stakeholders seeking to buy or sell a subsidiary within an accelerated timeframe (for example weeks rather than months) where the only other alternative might be insolvency.

Deloitte also established a financial advisory services business in the MENA region in September 2008 as a joint venture between the UK and Middle East firms of Deloitte. Critical to developing this side of the business has been the need to demonstrate a credible local presence, recognising that clients want to work with teams that have an “on the ground” presence. With this in mind, Deloitte has over the past year set up financial advisory teams based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Kuwait with plans to place teams into Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the near future. As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned GPs interviewed for Deloitte’s recently released MENA Private Equity Confidence Survey anticipate increased investment activity in this region over the forthcoming 12 months. These sentiments were echoed during the high profile private equity “Super Return Middle East (October 2009)” conference, which Deloitte sponsored.

In terms of promoting the industry during 2009 Deloitte launched a series of conferences targeted at CFOs of private-equity backed businesses. The CFO role has been highlighted in particular by sponsors as a position which is constantly under fire with regard to the return on investment. For example, in March Deloitte hosted a conference titled: “Protecting Value – focusing on funding, cash and costs.” The agenda covered the debt markets and the changing attitudes of lenders; cash optimisation and practical guidance on optimising cash within the business and how to prepare the business for a strategic disposal process. Most recent topics have included a focus on activities to drive positive business performance.

In conjunction with its sponsorship of the Super Return International conference in Berlin (February 2009) Deloitte launched the publication UpFront – Insights for Private Equity. The publication consists of a series of thought-provoking articles discussing the immediate priorities and long term outlook for private equity against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and increasing government intervention within the financial services arena. Leading private equity executives interviewed included Guy Hands (chairman and CIO of Terra Firma), Max Burger-Caulderon (chairman of Apax Asia) and Arif Naqvi (CEO of Abraaj Capital).



Headquarters: New York, US

Number of offices:

Employees: 169,000

Countries present in: 140

Private equity professionals: 1,500

Private equity professionals in Europe: Over 500

Private equity deals in 2009: Just under 30

Total value of deals: €1.2bn



• Advised on almost 30 private equity-related deals across Europe to the value of €1.2bn

• Despite the dramatic drop in deal flow, the debt advisory team still managed to advise on deals worth over £10bn

• Strong expertise working with distressed companies

• Launched a series of conferences targeted at CFOs of private-equity backed businesses

• Launched a private equity publication



Ernst & Young