Simon Phemister and Chantal De Beer join PwC as partners

11 June 2023 2 min. read
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Former Victorian jobs department secretary Simon Phemister and Deloitte veteran Chantal De Beer have joined the partnership at PwC, boosting the firm’s leadership as it freezes internal promotions.

PwC may have paused its traditional round of mid-year partnership promotions amid current turmoil – after a record number of admissions at its last end-of-year intake – but it hasn’t prevented the embattled professional services firm from recruiting fresh senior leaders, with former Victorian jobs department secretary Simon Phemister and two-decade Deloitte veteran Chantal De Beer recently joining as partners in Melbourne and Perth.

Departing earlier this year after more than four years in the role, former Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions secretary Simon Phemister has been recruited to PwC’s partnership in Melbourne.

Simon Phemister and Chantal De Beer join PwC as partners

Previously, Phemister was an economic advisor to Daniel Andrews as deputy secretary in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and has since leaving the public sector co-founded leadership and purpose consultancy the Dux Project.

One of the flagship initiatives of the Victorian jobs department launched under Phemister’s watch – led by former employment and innovation minister Jaala Pulford, who is now a specialist advisor at Sayers – is the state’s $64 million digital jobs program, which has reskilled more than 2,500 mid-career professionals to date in areas such as analytics, AI and cloud. PwC features among the program’s employment placement partners.

Meanwhile, former Deloitte partner Chantal De Beer has also recently joined PwC as a partner in its corporate value advisory deals team out of Perth – marking a long-time return to the firm after first kicking off her career at PwC in South Africa. She has since spent the best part of two decades at Deloitte working in the areas of forensics and risk advisory across two stints, first in South Africa before joining the firm in Perth in 2017.

“I am thrilled to be joining PwC Australia to help grow its investigations and fraud risk management team,” De Beer stated. “While this area has been historically quite reactive, I am pleased business leaders are increasingly taking a proactive approach to protect their company from these damaging behaviours. I look forward to finding solutions to our clients’ important problems and working alongside some of the best in the business.

Partnership deferrals

At the turn of the year, PwC was cruising toward the 1,000 partner milestone, having admitted more than 100 new members to its ranks over the course of 2022 to take its total tally to close to 950. The picture is much less clear now, with approximately 50 eager mid-year candidates reportedly told they would now have to wait until at least December – the executive decision described by a PwC spokesperson as currently prudent.