PwC’s Bob Moritz Kicks Off CEO@Smith Speaker Series
with Record Attendance
Passersby may have thought that a rock star or presidential candidate was en
route to Van Munching Hall’s Frank Auditorium on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 13,
2011. The crowds were lined up out the door to see the top exec of PricewaterhouseCoopers,
Bob Moritz, for the first CEO@Smith speaker series event of the academic year. Registration
was cut off at 300, but estimates are that 600 showed up to hear Moritz’s speech,
which was broadcast live to two overflow classrooms and the Van Munching Hall’s
Pownall Grand Atrium plasmas.
Moritz, chairman and senior partner at PwC, and a team from PwC spent much of
the day at the Robert H. Smith School of Business – meeting with students, administration
and faculty members and touring the University of Maryland campus.
PwC has a strong partnership with the Smith School and regularly recruits business
students on the undergraduate and graduate level. Moritz said that PwC’s challenge
is to attract the best talent, deploy that talent and enhance their skills. His
speech centered on three themes of “leadership, technology and you – your mindset
Moritz encouraged students to work on their personal brand and stressed the importance
of personal and professional networks. At times you may not see potential impact
of the relationships you are making right now – and how these relationships will
affect the leader you will become. He said to walk into every opportunity like it
is an interview for something else and be willing to take a risk. Early on in his
career Moritz moved to Japan, which he describes as the biggest risk, but also his
most impactful decision.
Moritz is a graduate of SUNY, where he studied business administration and accounting.
After he graduated he had a choice of going to work for IBM or PwC. He said that
he picked PwC because he thought it would be easier to move to IBM from PwC than
vice versa. He never thought he would still be there, and now in the leading position
with the company.
What does it take to be successful? It’s not just a high IQ, or even EQ, said
Moritz. He introduced the audience to two additional quotients – the CQ and the
The “cultural quotient” he said is so important if you are going to be successful.
If you are going to operate globally, you need to understand and appreciate other
But what is perhaps the most important quotient, he said, is the “passion quotient”
– if you have this, you don’t just get stuff done, you make a lasting impact. You
don’t just do the task – you think bigger. “Be relevant, valuable and deliver the
goods,” he said.
About Bob Moritz
Bob Moritz is the firm's chairman and senior partner, having been elected by
the U.S. partnership to serve a four-year term beginning July 2009. Prior to that,
he served as the Assurance Leader of the U.S. firm from 2006 to 2009; from 2004
to 2006 he was the managing partner of the New York office and Metro Region.
He joined the firm in 1985 and became a partner in 1995. From 1998 to 2001, he
served as the Metro Region Financial Services Leader. From 2001 to 2004, he led
the Financial Services Audit and Business Advisory practice, which includes the
banking, capital markets, insurance, investment management and real estate sectors.
He served a three-year tour in PwC - Tokyo, providing audit and advisory services
to numerous European and US-based financial services organizations operating in
He is a graduate of SUNY - Oswego and certified by the American Institute of
Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of CPA's and the New Jersey
State Society of CPA's.
For more information about CEO@Smith, visit:
Alissa Arford, Office of Marketing Communications