In an effort to make Singapore the company's third "centre of excellence" in Asia, Deloitte & Touche announced plans to double its staff there to 2,200 in the next few years, which would take the company from the smallest to the largest of the Big Four accounting firms in Singapore.
At 1,100 staff currently, Deloitte plans to add Singapore to Tokyo and Hong Kong as one of it is centres of excellence, William Parrett, global chief executive of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, told The Business Times.
The Times reported that Deloitte's plans took the industry by surprise as the trend has been to increase hiring in the respective domestic markets when there is growth as cost is much lower there than having more staff based in Singapore.
Parrett told the media recently that Singapore is a magnet for global and regional multinational headquarters and it makes sense to further develop Deloitte Singapore's expertise to meet clients' business.
"As a centre of excellence, we will be strategically expanding our current recruitment of global and local professionals into our key service areas," Parrett said.
Commenting on the staff expansion, Chaly Mah, managing partner of Deloitte Singapore said: 'The objective is to use Singapore to support the region." Specifically, "The growth rate is much faster in non-audit areas such as tax, risk management, asset management, mergers and acquisition and forensics."
Deloitte & Touche Singapore will combine with Deloitte Consulting to help build the firm's capacity in Singapore.
Parrett said Deloitte is making a big push in China and will invest US$150 million over the next five years in that country.
The Big Four audit firms are scrambling to establish themselves in China to be part of that country's booming economy. Deloitte will rely on its offices in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong to build its presence in the region, Mah said.