As P&A Grant Thornton marks its 35th anniversary this year, the firm also celebrates an important transition in leadership as the company welcomes a new breed of exceptional leaders.
In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, the firm embraces this new chapter, banking on its leaders and its 1,600-strong people to carry out a compelling strategic vision with an unwavering dedication to client service.
As before, the goal for P&A Grant Thornton is to make sure it satisfies the needs of its diverse roster of clients and, along the way, help redefine industry standards and leave a lasting impact on the business advisory landscape.
Among the distinguished leaders tasked with leading the firm to greater heights is Atty. Olivier “Vier” D. Aznar, the newly appointed vice chairman and deputy managing partner. The firm also appointed Romualdo V. Murcia III as its new chairman and managing partner.
With almost 24 years of service and dedication to the firm, Vier’s career trajectory is a testament to his exemplary leadership and commitment to excellence.
As a leader, Vier places a strong emphasis on integrity, considering it a non-negotiable value in their line of work. He also exhibits a remarkable leadership style, by valuing diverse perspectives, seeking input from others, and ensuring that there are various channels in the organization wherein everyone’s voice could be heard and appreciated.
He recognizes the importance of learning from one another and fostering a culture of coaching and mentorship within the company, ensuring that no employee feels alone in their growth journey.
“Every single person at P&A Grant Thornton is a valuable contributor who should be treated with equal respect. I don’t consider myself or any person as a better professional than others in our organization, as I believe that we just have our own different roles, and that all of us are capable contributors to the cause of the firm. We understand that there is no one-man team in this industry and that we must work together—and learn from each other—to further thrive,” he told the Inquirer in an exclusive interview at the company’s office in Makati City.
Vier’s journey with P&A Grant Thornton began humbly as a junior staff member in the audit division. Through hard work and determination, he steadily advanced within the organization, assuming various roles, including managerial positions in both the audit and tax divisions, then tax director, and finally partner.
Notably, Vier’s academic achievements include passing the October 1999 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure examination where he obtained the 16th highest overall rating. He graduated cum laude from the University of the East Manila with a degree in accountancy and earned the honor of being the College Academic Excellence Awardee and the Most Outstanding University Graduate in 1999. Thereafter, he pursued law at the San Beda University, and subsequently became a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Recently, he also completed the Grant Thornton Senior Leadership Programme in Harvard Business School in Boston, US.
A key driving force for the firm’s success is its client-oriented culture. With a deep commitment to genuine care and responsiveness, they provide top-notch service to their clients, understanding that their success is intertwined with the satisfaction and well-being of their clientele. The company’s expertise lies in providing business advisory services on different phases of the client’s business life cycle.
To navigate the fast-changing business advisory industry, Vier and the newly appointed partners are keen on expanding the firm’s reach and visibility.
“We would be reaching out to more organizations more proactively to help them and present solutions to possible problems they may not even realize they have. As the business environment evolves, we remain dedicated to adaptability and excellence, making sure our practices are not antiquated and are relevant in today’s fast-paced world,” he said.
Despite the industry’s fierce competition, P&A Grant Thornton stands firm in its conviction that its strengths lie in its “people care” approach and client service-oriented mindset. These continue to provide the firm with repeat engagements from clients and foster lasting relationships with them.
One challenge faced by the firm is the shortage of CPAs in the Philippines. In response, P&A Grant Thornton takes proactive measures, providing extensive trainings and opportunities to non-CPA graduates-hirees to equip them with the necessary skills for the job.
With all the challenges faced by the firm and by Vier in his professional journey, his response against work stress was, “If you have the prettiest woman in the world as your wife and you have two very lovable kids, which I believe, I am fortunate to have; for me, every stress that you can think of would be gone in a quick glance by just looking at them. And of course, on top of all, prayers really work wonders.”
As P&A Grant Thornton embraces the future with its new leaders and partners, it remains grounded in its mission to deliver exceptional service while fostering a culture of respect, collaboration, and growth.
With Vier and the new batch of leaders and partners at the helm, the company is poised for continued and sustained growth, making its mark as an industry leader known for its genuine care and commitment to its clients.
As published in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 28 July 2023