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May 26, 2010

PwC sets sights on rapid Middle East expansion

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) UK is helping its Middle East colleagues take on regional leaders Ernst & Young in a bid to become the dominant firm in the region.

PwC UK partners are investing heavily in a strategic alliance with its Middle East counterparts to increase regional revenue beyond $500 million in two years.

The alliance allows UK partners to pour large amounts of money into regional operations without having a legal presence there. All PwC Middle East staff and partners are employed by local firms.

PwC’s Middle East presence has grown rapidly at about 50 percent per annum for the past three years despite the global economic crisis.

PwC said the biggest potential is in advisory services, which is mainly due to the investment plans of countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia. A PwC spokesperson said these countries plan to spend $100 billions on infrastructure alone in the next few years.

PwC has stepped up recruitment in the Middle East in the past year, admitting 24 partners and hiring 400 staff at firms in the region.

The total headcount for PwC in the Middle East is about 2,500, including 170 partners.

The PwC spokesperson refused to comment on media reports that many of the new PwC Middle East staff and partners had been poached from rival Ernst & Young.

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