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.