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Monday, 22nd April 2024
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Managing growth successfully Back  
As managing partner of Deloitte, Pat Cullen leads a team of 46 partners and over 1,000 people providing audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to a range of both domestic and multinational corporations.
7.15 Leave the house for the daily commute. My daughter accompanies me and I drop her off on the way. Morning Ireland is on the radio and I reach the office fully briefed on the news of the day.

7.55 Arrive at the office,
do a quick review of the day’s newspapers and catch up on overnight e-mails – it never ceases to amaze me how they build up but I suppose this is a reflection of working with such a large international organisation. I respond to as many as possible until Maria arrives. We check out the diary and what’s in store for the day. It’s shaping up to be a busy one!
Pat Cullen

8.30 I visit our Hatch Street office, two doors up, which was opened in the Summer to house our ever expanding workforce. The Hatch Street facility is also home to the new Deloitte Academy – this is a state of the art, purpose built learning and development facility which features some of the latest innovations in room design, layout, audio visual features and technology. The academy can cater for over 200 people. Today I am going to address the participants in our management development programme, the aim of which is to support our people in the transition to management positions. We promoted 121 people internally within the firm this year so am confident the academy will be fully utilised!

9.30 I meet with Orla Graham, head of HR. It’s currently a very busy time for HR. We are in the midst of our graduate recruitment campaign and I’m keen to get an update on how it is going. This year we are looking to recruit 230 graduates across the firm, the largest number we have recruited in any one year at Deloitte - and the graduates that we will be taking on in the coming year really are vital to the continued growth of the firm. We expect the campaign this year to be more competitive than ever.

We also have a chat about the new HR initiatives we are implementing. Currently we are devising a home working policy to facilitate working parents and also those with particularly long commutes. It is important that we adopt a balanced approach which also addresses the needs of those working in the office. As the only professional services firm in the Top 50 Employers of Choice for five years in succession, we are continually seeking to maintain our competitive position with new initiatives and approaches.

10.30 I meet with the new partner in our financial services group, Brian Forrester. Financial services is a key growth area for Deloitte and we have recently recruited Brian to add to the group’s expertise. Brian has worked in the funds industry for many years and we have a constructive conversation on where growth opportunities exist for us, particularly in relation to overseas jurisdictions. I’m confident Brian will help in achieving accelerated growth within the group – and is a great addition to an already very strong team.

11.30 The Deloitte Fast 50 technology forum and awards are taking place this month and I call the head of our Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group to discuss the event. The awards recognise the fastest growing technology companies in the island of Ireland and are run in conjunction with our Northern Ireland office. All seems to be progressing smoothly and I look forward to meeting the companies on the night. I’m curious to find out who has nabbed top spot but am told that it is strictly confidential.

11.45 Quick look at e-mails to see what has come in throughout the course of the morning.

12.15 Conference call with the head of our Danish practice to discuss current developments in Deloitte in Scandinavia and Europe generally. It is important to stay close to any developments which could create opportunities in Ireland.

13.00 Over lunch I sit down with the relevant department heads in tax, audit, consulting and financial advisory. It can be sometimes difficult with our respective busy diaries to meet up but I find these lunches really useful. It’s pretty informal but I find that it is a great way of catching up on any new developments within the departments – not only with regard to clients but also about our own people within the firm.

14.30 Having taken over the role of managing partner in June of this year, part of my day continues to involve dealing with clients. It is important to stay in touch with a range of clients to obtain feedback and stay close to the marketplace. Trying to find workable solutions to some tax issues while keeping in mind the business needs of the clients presents a different type of challenge for an hour.

15.30 Meeting to discuss the upcoming CEO Forum, the annual event which we jointly organise with Enterprise Ireland. The event is now in its 18th year and will be rolled out in both Dublin and Limerick. The theme is ‘The Role of Leadership in Irish Business’ – one in which I am particularly interested given my new role. Speakers at this year’s event include Michael Carey, CEO of Jacob Fruitfield and Jim Breen, CEO of Pulse Learning. I walk back to the office upbeat that it will once again prove to be a very insightful forum for Irish CEOs.

16.30 Ger O’Mahoney, who heads up our regional practice, pops his head in the door. As part of his remit, he looks after the Cork and Limerick offices and certainly seems to have his hands full at the moment responding to the significant growth in business that we are experiencing. He regales me with stories of the Family Fun Day that they recently held for clients and their children – it sounds like plenty of fun was had in Fota House in Cork. We also discuss how their regional graduate recruitment campaign is progressing. Ger is very keen that we meet our graduate requirements as we did last year.

17.30 I meet with David Hearn, partner in charge of our consulting practice to discuss some exciting opportunities which could further increase the scale of our practice and highlight the advantage we obtained by retaining our consulting practice when our competitors exited the consulting business.

18.00 Catch up on outstanding correspondence and e-mails.

18.30 Head home for a quiet night in with M?ire. On the way home, I catch the news headlines in the car, and listen with interest as I hear that Deloitte’s new Generation Y survey has revealed that the current crop of graduates are more ambitious and confident then ever before – I look forward to welcoming them as trainees at Deloitte.

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