John Parkhouse

John Parkhouse

CEO and Senior Partner of PwC Luxembourg

Business Services / Luxembourg

“CEOs here are more confident than the global average”

While the average global CEO worries over attracting talent and staying apace with technological change, these areas are where Luxembourg is most competitive, says John Parkhouse, PwC Luxembourg‘s UK-born CEO and Senior Partner.

How does Luxembourg compare with other EU business hubs?
Luxembourg is more dynamic, diverse and innovative than other jurisdictions. For example, our population mix is incredible – 77 nationalities are represented in PwC alone. Luxembourg’s melting pot of cultures, experiences and insights truly enhances its global business stature.

Is Luxembourg ready for the estimated 3,000 new jobs Brexit may bring?
PwC Luxembourg is helping UK-based firms find solutions to stay successful in the EU single market. From the beginning, Luxembourg has been very clear on its strategy to help the UK. The country’s government is going to get the right infrastructure and eco-system ready for any newcomers.

What are the main takeaways from PwC’s 2017 CEO survey?
CEOs here are more confident than the global average, and more sensitive to regulations, namely those that have come about in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Yet, Luxembourg-based CEOs are bullish, stressing opportunity and growth, while global CEOs are concerned over talent attraction and technological disruptions.

“PwC Luxembourg is working with the government and others on reskilling; that is, to see which skills will be needed in order to transform present skills into future ones.”

How is PwC supporting local companies to embrace digital transformation?
Every body is being touched by digital transformation, which is affecting user experience, data analytics, robotics and automation. PwC Luxembourg helps by providing local expertise supported by our global knowledge. In early 2018, we’ll launch what we call our Experience Center, which will be operated as a co-creation hub where clients can plug-in their technologies, experiment with data boards, sandbox their ideas and test solutions.

Where do you think Luxembourg will emerge as a global innovator?
Luxembourg can lead in Fintech, whereby companies find new ways to merge technology with finance. Also, with the Space Resources initiative, there are now at least 60 firms eyeing Luxembourg to operate space mining businesses or work on related technologies. This is a great example of how Luxembourg is capable of taking a new field and then build a niche that resonates with global business.

How is PwC aiding local skills development?
PwC Luxembourg is working with the government and others on reskilling; that is, to see which skill sets will be needed in order to transform present skills into future ones. Business and government must manage labor markets and societal disruption, or risk losing business sustainability.

What is currently driving growth at PwC Luxembourg?
Having surpassed the €400 million-turnover mark in 2017, growth is now coming from new technology, investment in liquid assets and private equity, as well as increased regulation. However, this year our strongest growth dimension was on the tax side, with a big focus on helping clients meet increasingly complex compliance needs.

As a Briton living here for 23 years, what are some prevailing myths about Luxembourg that you can debunk?
One common myth is that Luxembourg is a sleepy backwater, which it is not. Luxembourg is a melting pot of talent that looks forward. Another myth, that you need speak Luxembourgish or French, is also false. I’m living proof of that.