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Foreword

A positive human future for our clients and people

A letter from Ken Toombs, CEO:

It’s been another remarkable year. I’ve witnessed, with great pride, our teams applying their ingenuity to tackle transformational projects and deliver end-to-end innovation for clients in challenging times. Our strong business performance reflects this momentum; we generated fee income of £691.5 million in 2021, growing our business by 24%, and making us one of the fastest growing major consultancies.

As the way we live and work continues to change in unprecedented ways, our purpose of bringing ingenuity to life is more important than ever. It directs our focus, unites our team and inspires our clients as we work together to build a positive human future.

John Alexander

A message from John Alexander

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Innovating for our clients

What sets us apart is our dedication to innovating our clients’ experience of working with us, both in what we do and in how we do it – bringing ingenuity to life in every interaction.

And we’re perfectly positioned to do so. We’re the only company with the range of expertise – strategists, innovators, designers, consultants, digital experts, scientists, engineers and technologists – to deliver end-to-end innovation. We accelerate new growth ideas from concept, through design and development, to commercial success. And we revitalise organisations – building the leadership, culture, systems and processes to make innovation a reality.

In our Ingenuity Review, you’ll read about how we applied our market-leading capabilities to build new revenue platforms, improve experiences for our clients’ customers, and transform organisations to be more resilient and agile.

You’ll discover how we met consumer demand while preserving the environment by partnering with start-up Wildtype to take its sustainable lab-grown salmon to market. You’ll see how we inspired better decisions around national security by creating a ground-breaking virtual reality ‘Museum of the Future’ with the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). You’ll read how we improved end-of-life patient comfort by joining up with start-up Bearpac Medical to develop a user-friendly medical device. And you’ll find out how we’re accelerating the transition to electric vehicles with an emblematic design for an EV chargepoint concept.

Bringing ingenuity to life means delivering outstanding client work and taking our rich insights to the market through our thought leadership. This year, we published research on topics such as how to use organisational agility to gain a competitive edge, how financial services can provide customers with more sustainable choices, and how we can think differently about water to help decarbonise the planet.

Electric vehicles chargepoint

Investing in our people

We deliver great work because of our brilliant people. They bring real-world experience to tackle our clients’ biggest challenges. And they live our purpose every day. Last year, we welcomed nearly 1,300 new people to PA, including 50 partners. And we continue to hire at pace in 2022 – further growing the critical skills that help our clients thrive.

In return for our people’s expertise and commitment, we offer stimulating work, inspiring teams to learn in, and an inclusive and supportive culture to help them grow.

Our people’s wellbeing and fulfilment are at the heart of our strategy. We’ve made progress against our Inclusion and Diversity commitments, including rolling out company-wide race allyship training and launching our Women in Leadership programme. We continue to grow our employee networks: including Mental Health & Wellbeing; Military; Pride; RISE (Racial Inclusion and Social Equity); and Women’s. We also mark important international events throughout the year to celebrate the diversity of our teams. Yet we can and will go further in our endeavour to be active allies and create a more inclusive culture that supports diversity in all its forms.

We’ve continued to invest in becoming a place where our people excel and feel engaged, every single day. We provide access to specialist learning and mentoring opportunities to help our people grow their skills. And we believe in celebrating and rewarding those who go above and beyond through our Purpose Awards, which recognise individuals who are doing truly ingenious things for clients, their teams and others at PA.

PA people have always cared about our communities, volunteering their time and expertise for societal good. And 2021 was no exception. We invited our interns to tackle real technology challenges – from creating more cost-effective diagnostic devices to designing a global asset tracking system – at our Global Innovation and Technology Centre. We helped underprivileged students develop leadership skills through our Springboard work experience programmes in the UK and US. Meanwhile, our Women in Tech team ran free coding courses to support women’s careers. Our ninth annual Raspberry Pi Competition promoted STEM education by encouraging schoolchildren in the UK and the Netherlands to use a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to innovate during the pandemic. And we continue to promote the value of women in defence through our partnership with Women in Defence UK.

I’m delighted that in 2021 we established The PA Foundation. We’ll work together with The PA Foundation in pursuit of our shared mission: to develop and inspire people, particularly those facing disadvantage, to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow, applying their ingenuity to solve the world's biggest challenges. We’ve committed £10 million over the next five years and 10,000 hours of skills-based volunteering to The PA Foundation in year one to amplify the impact of our giving back and volunteering work.

We take our environmental responsibilities seriously, as a business and as an advisor to our clients – and actively seek work that creates positive, meaningful impact. Last year, we committed to Net Zero by 2030 and Science Based Targets (SBT) to ensure our environmental practices contribute to limiting the global temperature rising beyond 1.5°C. We champion our people to lead the wider conversation around sustainability through our networks, thought leadership and events such as COP26, serving as a catalyst to inspire other organisations to act.

Woman working in laboratory

Our future

Looking forward, a strong 2021 means we’re in a great position for growth.

Our strategy is clear. We’ll focus growth on our core geographies, investing in building our deep sector expertise and bringing together our end-to-end capabilities to create even more ingenious responses to our clients’ biggest challenges. And we’ll ensure we continue to recruit diverse talent and further invest in creating opportunities for our people to learn, develop and build exciting and rewarding careers.

The completion of Jacobs’ strategic investment in March 2021 marked the beginning of a successful new chapter for us. Jacobs’ complementary capabilities have further strengthened our ability to deliver innovative solutions for our clients.

We remain on track to grow our annual revenue to more than £1 billion by 2025.

We have big ambitions for the months and years ahead as we build on the momentum of a successful year. It’s a privilege to lead this extraordinarily talented team. Together, we believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future.

Graphic with numbers 22, 23, 24, 25

A message from John Alexander, Chair:

“I continue to be inspired by the excellence and dedication of our teams, who every day push themselves and our clients further to innovate for a positive human future. It is because of their efforts that we embark on 2022 in a stronger position than ever.”

Delivering end-to-end Innovation

Global events and trends continue to challenge the nature of work as we knew it. Leaders can unlock ingenuity to meet the needs of their customers and people.

In this section, we explore our work with clients in 2021 through our stories and insights. We have organised them against the five megatrends topping the agenda of today’s business leaders: the empowered consumer, the future of work, the sustainability and climate imperative, the quest to lead healthier lives, and protecting people and organisations.

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