Corporate Value Advisory: Where technical expertise meets value creation

Corporate Value Advisory: Where technical expertise meets value creation

Nigel Smythe
Corporate Value Advisory Leader, Deals

As a valuation expert, my workday sits at the intersection of commerciality, independence, subjectivity, and fairness – even if that intersection sometimes feels like Times Square, New York or Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo. That’s because the range of work in Corporate Value Advisory (CVA) is so diverse, the analytics we do is always changing and the clients we service range from those in the ASX50 to small private enterprises. But our team wouldn’t have it any other way. 

In CVA, we thrive on commercial decision-making, data and analytics, and solving problems. Often, it’s when the clock is ticking, and a deal needs to be closed out, that our wide-ranging experience and vast network is most valuable to our clients – and value is at the heart of everything we do in CVA. 

So, what pressures have we been staring down during the past twelve months, and what’s in store for the coming year?

Value creation

FY22 highlights: Transforming how we do business

PwC’s global New Equation strategy is designed to solve challenges today and tomorrow, and so we’ve been focusing on growing and developing our CVA team for the future. In fact, growth is perhaps our greatest achievement in the past 12 months, and we’re now Australia’s largest and most diverse valuation practice.

We’ve doubled our number of partners since 2018, and we’ve now got around 80 staff onshore. I also like to have up to 10% of our team on secondment at any one time – broadening our people’s experience and freshening up our collective thinking. We’re also getting closer to gender parity, with 40% of our team identifying as female.

Our people are empowered, recognised, and rewarded for innovating, and our culture is collaborative and inclusive. Truly, it’s something special to work here. In CVA, our people are what I like to call ‘do the right thing’ type of people. We just love helping others; that’s manifestly what we do.

I’ve spent the past few years working with the team to transform how we operate the business. As an integrated national practice, we’ve invested in technology and digitisation, we have established teams offshore that support our business onshore and we’ve deepened our technical and industry expertise in growth areas in the market. However, execution is only part of our equation. What I’m most proud of is how our leadership group has co-created a culture where we are all focused on the personal development opportunities and wellbeing of each other and the team - and trust is at the heart of it all.

We haven’t just transformed how we operate; we’ve diversified our business model during the past 12 months, too. From dispute valuation work to plant equipment matters, and from quantifying the impacts of ESG issues (such as modern slavery) to taking a more forensic focus in the transaction space; we’ve expanded into new areas that complement our existing model and that, ultimately, grow our business.

FY 23: Fortune favours the bold

There are plenty of macro factors at play in the market right now (inflation, interest rates, supply-chain pressures, and geopolitical tensions), so there’s a need for dealmakers to adjust expectations. Yet it’s fair to say there are plenty of deals opportunities out there. Capital is still readily available, and companies that are bold enough to seek growth could be well rewarded.

In the next 12 months our CVA team will focus on:

  1. How can we make the best use of alternate delivery models? How can we innovate and create new opportunities?

  2. How do we continue to drive the automation and digitisation of our data and evaluation process? This, in turn, allows our team to focus on what’s really important to our clients, such as delivering high-end commercial advice.

  3. Where are the gaps in the market? Where can we grow our practice? Where are the career opportunities for our people? 

CVA: Where technical knowledge meets value creation 

Speaking of career opportunities, in CVA we attract a broad (but very talented) range of candidates. Our team members come from diverse backgrounds and bring a whole host of skills, from engineering to geology, and from accounting to analytics.

What we all have in common, however, is that we fundamentally enjoy working together - alongside our clients - and are proud of what we create and deliver in the market. Our clients want us to make the most of the capital that’s available to them at any one moment – to do deals efficiently and effectively. This can only be achieved with a strong technical understanding of risk and return, plus a talent for creating value. That’s what we do. I’m privileged to lead a team with precisely those qualities.

More information 

Find out more about our Corporate Value Advisory or about a career in deals.

Shaping the future of deals

In a series of eight articles, our Deals leaders reflect on the year that has been and the market outlook ahead, speaking to the value they bring to a deal and what makes their team tick.

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Nigel Smythe
Corporate Value Advisory Leader

"In Corporate Value Advisory, our people are what I like to call ‘do the right thing’ type of people. We just love helping people; that’s manifestly what we do."