Vasile Iuga is a high flier in more ways
than one. The new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) South-East Europe
(SEE) managing partner has a degree in aeronautics and previously
worked for 12 years as an engineer and head of testing for a major
Romanian aircraft manufacturing company that built the nation’s
first plane.

Today, Iuga is more focused on elevating the quality of service
and training at PwC member firms in the region. After training at
Harvard and the London Business School, Iuga joined PwC Romania in
1991 and was promoted to partner six years later.

He continued his quick progression through the firm and was
appointed the country managing partner for Romania in 2004. Iuga
then became a member of the firm’s managing council of the Central
and Eastern Europe region the following year and just recently was
appointed as managing partner of PwC SEE.

Over the past five years, member firms in Serbia, Albania,
Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania and
Bulgaria have joined the partnership to form the SEE cluster. SEE
is a part of the firm’s larger Central and Eastern European region,
which is spread across 27 countries.

A consistent approach

Iuga said PwC aims to increase the existing relationships
between the SEE regional firms in order to deliver a higher and
consistent level of service.

“The countries within SEE region are in different stages of
economic and socio-political evolution but in the long run I am
convinced they will all align to the development pattern of the
European Union,” he said.

“That is why everything we have learned so far in Romania and
Bulgaria can be successfully applied in other countries of the
region.”

The World Investment Prospects survey of 2007-2009, released by
the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development last year,
noted that the SEE region is favourable for foreign direct
investment.

However, Iuga notes there is a growing concern that the
regulatory burdens can inhibit businesses’ ability and willingness
to invest in the SEE.

He said he believes more transparency and better information to
assist with dialogue between government and business is the key to
combat this.

Iuga is experienced in promoting the concerns of the business
community. While representing PwC on the American Chamber of
Commerce in Romania board and tax committee, he helped contribute
to the improvement of the Romanian business environment by bringing
attention to the issues faced by investors in their day-to-day
activity. He also provided a series of recommendations to the
government on how to solve these issues.

Despite these challenges, PwC Romania reported the highest
growth rate in the region, followed by Bulgaria and Serbia, in the
fiscal year end to June 2008. The tax and legal service lines
showed a high growth rate increase, as did assurance and
advisory.

Iuga told the International Accounting Bulletin: “The
growth is generated mainly by the growth of the economies in these
emerging markets and by the increased need of professional
services.

“Our clients are very interested in finding more and more ways
for achieving growth, improving operations, managing people,
managing risk, managing regulations and reporting to
stakeholders.”

Having dealt with turbulence as an engineer, Iuga now has the
task of steering one the largest accountancy firms through a
promising yet even more challenging climate.

Nicola Maher