engage magazine issue 003 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'07 - Page 32

32 PROFILES Focus on Paul Cleal Background 1996 Paul joined PricewaterhouseCoopers 2001 Partner 2006 UK Management Board Member for People aul joined PwC (for the first time) as a graduate in 1987, decided he did not want to be an accountant and left without qualifying. Paul’s subsequent route back to PwC was via the public sector, first joining Croydon Council as a graduate manager. At Croydon Paul worked under the direction of the Deputy Chief Executive. After working on strategic projects such as the Croydon Tramlink and other early Private Finance Initiatives (PFI), Paul was seconded to the Treasury 1994 to help to promote PFI. Once the secondment ended, Paul was at a crossroads, he could have gone back to Croydon, but having completed an MBA at the London Business School, Paul decided to rejoin PwC. For the first 10 years or so Paul worked on PFI type projects. By 2001 a second role opened up for him – People Partner – working on HR issues for the department. Paul worked in this role for four years. Paul identified three role models, who over the years have given him guidance and support and enabled him to develop his skills and knowledge base: David Wexler – enabled him to look at the big picture, a strategic thinker who demonstrated how to move away from focussing on the narrow detail. David was able to take information from a huge range of sources and come up with a series of solutions. Paul also cites Nigel Middleton and Tony Poulter, both of these men had different styles, but Paul was able to extract key lessons on delivering excellent client service. Paul also received valuable insights into how the PwC partnership works; its culture and its values. Both of these individuals were invaluable in showing Paul the way as they both had a clear understanding of the system in which they were trying to help people progress. Paul would advise a new graduate, thinking about joining PwC that “it is a good place to work, with many opportunities in many countries. Think about what you want and never be afraid to tell people what you want – they won’t guess”. Corporate Social Responsibility In terms of CSR, 3000 members of staff currently volunteer through the company’s Community Affairs Programme. Staff carry out a variety of activities including: helping schoolchildren to read, working with the Prince’s Trust, and working in partnership with various charities, providing opportunities for education and employability. Internally, PwC also has 10 people networks, including the ethnic minority forum, where people come together to discuss common issues. In terms of procurement, PwC’s small business policy is currently being looked at with a view to adapting procedures in order to better work with small business. On a personal note, Paul would like to look at the global impact of developing sustainable healthcare in Africa. As well as volunteering on an individual basis, it is also important for firms to offer their skills on a pro bono basis – this would have a significant effect. Career Highlights Becoming a partner at PwC Being promoted into current role “It is very validating when people have faith in you and give you a chance, and I hope that it inspires others as it shows there is a lot to play for, never underestimate what can be achieved, but all of us need help along the way”. P Paul Cleal, UK Management Board Member for People