3 minute read 23 Jun. 2022
ey-women-ceo-walking-with-assistant

The CEO Agenda

Authors
Grant Mitchell

EY APAC SaT Sustainability Leader; Partner, Strategy and Transactions, EY Port Jackson Partners, Ernst & Young LLP

Dedicated to helping clients create powerful strategies. Inspired by moving beyond typical sector boundaries.

Byron Pirola

Partner, EY Port Jackson Partners, Strategy and Transactions, Ernst & Young LLP

Experienced strategy consultant. Served boards and chief executives across a range of industries globally. Committed husband and father of five.

3 minute read 23 Jun. 2022

Australia and New Zealand CEO Priorities

The CEO Agenda places the challenges facing Australia and New Zealand CEOs into a global context. The report draws on EY’s survey of more than 2,200 CEOs in every major economy, across every industry sector, and across all types of corporations – both publicly listed and private. We have augmented this data with insights from our own practice, aided by professionals from our Partner group.

We use this knowledge to compare the attitudes of local and international CEOs on issues central to their agenda: definitions of value; the focus of strategic conversations; operational imperatives; and the way in which new geopolitical an climate risks are being included in corporate decision-making. Like their international peers, Australia and New Zealand CEOs are ambitious for growth, including through M&A, and for improvements in ESG performance for the benefit of a broad group of stakeholders. But compared to their United States and European peers, they feel less investor support for long-term investment strategies, and they are clearly struggling with the complexities of balancing the needs of shareholders and other stakeholders.

Locally, CEOs have evolved a distinctive approach to value creation. For example, they have more focus on ROIC and less on growth, an approach to M&A that is more focussed on technology acquisition and on India and portfolio restructuring plans that include more divestments compared to international peers.

As in all our work, our intent is to encourage our clients to think deeply – driven by data – about some of the beliefs, perhaps unacknowledged, that drive their strategic decisions.

Summary

For Australian and New Zealand CEOs, the survey paints a picture of a new, broadening strategic landscape; one in which geopolitics will become a more assertive factor, alongside evolving priorities regarding sustainability and technological change. The survey also paints a challenge for CEOs to integrate these broader priorities into their objectives, strategies and organisation designs.

Contacts:

Grant Mitchell, APAC SaT Sustainability Leader EY Port Jackson Partners

grant.mitchell@eyportjacksonpartners.com

Byron Pirola, Partner, Strategy and Transactions, EY Port Jackson Partners

byron.pirola@eyportjacksonpartners.com

David White, Senior Advisor, EY Port Jackson Partners

david.white@eyportjacksonpartners.com

About this article

Authors
Grant Mitchell

EY APAC SaT Sustainability Leader; Partner, Strategy and Transactions, EY Port Jackson Partners, Ernst & Young LLP

Dedicated to helping clients create powerful strategies. Inspired by moving beyond typical sector boundaries.

Byron Pirola

Partner, EY Port Jackson Partners, Strategy and Transactions, Ernst & Young LLP

Experienced strategy consultant. Served boards and chief executives across a range of industries globally. Committed husband and father of five.