A former diplomat, Schoonbroodt is known for having created the start-up Label R in 2017. This start-up was active in risk assessment and ESG due diligence in the field of non-regulated hedge funds, mainly private equity.
After about four years of work, Schoonbroodt brought her start-up to maturity and decided to follow a different path. “I sold the company's 'know-how' a few months ago to a firm in Luxembourg. The question then was what I was going to do. Would I stay with the start-up as a consultant or would I join a larger group? I talked about it with Olivier Carré, financial services market leader at PwC, who then suggested that I join the new Strategy& team,” explains Schoonbroodt, now a director in the Strategy& Luxembourg department at PwC.
"I liked the project because it was both an entrepreneurial project in the sense that PwC was launching this new structure for Luxembourg. There was this idea of remaining an entrepreneur within a group. I wanted to keep an activity linked to my expertise while leaving my comfort zone a little. At the beginning, I had a few preconceived ideas about the imposing structure that a group like PwC can be. But, in the end, it was the opposite and a nice surprise. I found an entrepreneurial and dynamic spirit in this new structure where everything can be developed,” the former start-up founder says.
A team to build in two years
Within the PwC network, the Strategy& department, the firm's global strategy consulting business, employs about 3,000 people. In five years, this structure has doubled its global revenues, from $700m in 2015 to $1.4bn in 2020.
In Luxembourg, this department was much less present and PwC now wants to accelerate in this area of activity. “To put it simply, this is PwC's strategic consulting business. It is a little less known in Luxembourg, but it is already well developed in the world. It is therefore interesting to develop this structure here in Luxembourg. We are going to focus mainly on sustainable finance because the market is clearly moving in that direction. Sustainable finance is becoming more and more important, especially as it covers different sectors, from auditing to operations, including regulation and the insurance sector. In the end, sustainable finance can be found in all of PwC's areas of expertise,” says Schoonbroodt.
In terms of Strategy&'s objectives, the Luxembourg entity will give itself two years to build a team and establish itself in the country. "Initially, we will work to strengthen the team, which for the moment consists of Andrew McDowell, in addition to the supervision of Matt Moran and François Génaux. Then, within the next two years, we hope to have built a team of around ten people in order to position Strategy& as a reference in the Luxembourg marketplace in terms of strategic consultancy for investment funds, wealth management, banking and insurance,” concludes Schoonbroodt.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.