Company news in brief

17 June 2021 | Business

PwC in major ESG push

Accounting firm PwC said on Tuesday it would invest US$12 billion over five years to create 100 000 new jobs aimed at helping its clients grapple with climate and diversity reporting and also in artificial intelligence, as part of its new global strategy.

The new hires will come from mergers and acquisitions PwC completes and direct hires from competitors, Global chairman Bob Moritz said in an interview. Of the 100 000 people PwC will hire, about 25 000 to 30 000 will be in the United States, and 10 000 of those will be from Black and LatinX communities, Moritz said.

At present, the firm employs about 284 000 people globally.

Moritz said PwC had approached environmental, social and governance (ESG) more "narrowly" before, focusing on reporting frameworks.

"Now every employee of PwC has to be familiar with the issues," he said, adding that ESG will be embedded in the firm's work.

PwC is increasing training for partners and staff in ESG in areas such as climate risk and supply chains and creating an ESG academy.

PwC will also set up new leadership institutes that help executives, boards of directors and C-Suites create diverse workforces and manage in uncertain times. – Nampa/Reuters

Iceland completes largest IPO ever

Iceland has completed its largest ever initial public offering as the state has sold off more than a third of its stake in the bank Islandsbanki in an oversubscribed offering that will value the lender at US$1.3 billion.

Islandsbanki, formerly Glitnir, was one of the three lenders that failed within days of each other in 2008, prompting a state takeover that resulted in the restructuring of existing banks and the creation of new ones.

At one point, the country's banks held assets worth 10 times the Iceland's economy, most of that in foreign currencies, making them overly exposed when the financial crisis hit.

Shares on offer were sold at 79 Icelandic crowns (US$0.6533) and the offering, amounting to a value of US$457 million, was the largest IPO in Iceland's history, Islandsbanki said.

The state has sold of 35% of its ownership in Islandsbanki, which has a domestic market share of around one-third and around 740 employees. – Nampa/Reuters

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