Rotterdam, 14 July 2021
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than a year ago, involved many uncertainties - for society as a whole, but also for our clients and employees. Like many other organisations, Deloitte was confronted with unprecedented challenges. From working with colleagues on location for or with clients, we moved to working remotely from home. For some, that involved solitude or working with children at home – everyone had different private circumstances. The COVID-19 situation has put pressure on the organisation and in some cases has affected the wellbeing of Deloitte staff. The Supervisory Board would like to express its utmost appreciation and thanks for the way in which employees, management and partners have continued to dedicate themselves to serving clients and implementing the new 'Connect for Impact' strategy.
With our Connect for Impact strategy and focus on our purpose, Deloitte aims to drive long-term value creation for clients and make an active contribution to solving major social issues. Deloitte does so through and together with our clients, for example by helping organisations to prevent cyberattacks and become more secure, by adding trust in financial reporting through our audit work, and through the Deloitte Impact Foundation. This strategy was frequently discussed in the Supervisory Board meetings. The Supervisory Board makes its contribution by continuing to challenge and act as a sounding board for the Executive Board and supervise the execution of the strategy, putting the public interest first when performing audit and non-audit activities, and further developing Deloitte’s own talent strategy.
"With our Connect for Impact strategy and focus on our purpose, Deloitte aims to drive long-term value creation for clients and make an active contribution to solving major social issues."
This year, the Supervisory Board had to work mostly digitally, with shorter but more frequent meetings. The agenda topics were once again diverse. Due to the unexpected circumstances related to the COVID-19 situation, our focus at the beginning of this Financial Year was primarily on crisis management. Crisis management focused on (i) the internal organisation, in the form of supervising scenario planning, monitoring the liquidity of the firm and discussing the implementation of government measures, (ii) discussions about people, which focused on keeping as many talents on board in order to warrant their employment and the ability to kick-start our client work after the crisis and (iii) guaranteeing the continuity of services for clients. In this financial year, the Supervisory Board's role also included frequent discussion of important strategic themes, such as inclusion & diversity and succession management. In this broad agenda, Audit Quality remains a key theme, and the future of the accountancy profession and Deloitte's role therein is one of the important focus areas. The Supervisory Board will continue to encourage the daily policymakers of the Audit firm to play a pioneering role in this, and to continue the dialogue with all stakeholders. We also closely monitor the risk-reward balance of our advisory businesses, as these are increasingly awarded more complex and challenging engagements.
Although the outcome of the crisis is surrounded by uncertainty, the past year gives us confidence that Deloitte, with its strategy, has chosen the right direction, further expanding its strong market position and - together with employees, partners, clients and other stakeholders - continuing to hold its leadership position.
On behalf of the Supervisory Board,
Hans van der Noordaa, Chairman of the Supervisory Board