PwC establishes Caribbean
cluster group

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has officially grouped a regional
network of eight member firms in the Caribbean in an effort to
improve collaboration and resource sharing. The group, known as the
C8, features firms in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the
East Caribbean (Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, St Kitts and
Nevis), Jamaica, the Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaçao and St
Maarten) and Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos
Islands.

C8 features various strategy groups dealing with ways to improve
the efficiency of core PwC service areas such as assurance,
taxation and advisory. Although each firm is an independent entity
in a legal and organisational sense, they are now able to draw upon
regional resources much more efficiently.

PwC Jamaica territory senior partner and newly appointed C8
chairman Everton McDonald told IAB the C8 network connects
the skills, expertise and industry knowledge of 80 partners and
1,400 staff in 15 countries in the English- and Dutch-speaking
Caribbean.

“These eight firms, including Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean, are
pretty dominant in our individual markets and there is a
recognition that by collaborating we could use that position to
offer distinctive client services within the region and take
advantage of opportunities that this new level of collaboration
will provide,” he said. “It also provides a means for us to share
our talent and resources to meet our global PwC standard and pursue
the global strategy.”

McDonald is the inaugural chairman of C8, a position that is to
rotate between senior territory partners every two or three years.
He described C8 as an umbrella organisation that helps firms where
required.

“There are opportunities that in the past on an individual firm
basis we might not have been able to take advantage of because of
the resource constraint. Now we have the ability to move resources
within the region to take advantage of such opportunities,”
McDonald explained, adding that he expects the strategy to generate
revenue growth across the region.

Forming regional cluster groups is part of PwC’s global strategy of
regionalisation. Although complete integration of firms is not
under discussion at present, McDonald said such a structure could
evolve in the future. He added that the C8 group was also motivated
by an effort of Caribbean governments to better integrate the
different islands’ economies.

“There are various initiatives on a Caribbean level for the
Caribbean economies to work closer together. There are a quite a
few businesses in the Caribbean that are spreading their wings to
do business in as many territories as possible including going into
South and Central America. So we see our positioning as critical to
be part of this movement for greater Caribbean integration and for
the expansion for inter-regional business activities,” McDonald
said.

McDonald said PwC is the leading firm across the Caribbean in terms
of size and the amount of business the firm attracts. However, it
is not the only Big Four firm to establish a specific Caribbean
cluster: Ernst & Young and Deloitte have similar but smaller
clusters covering the same region.

Arvind Hickman