News at Smith

PwC’s Bob Moritz Kicks Off CEO@Smith Speaker Series with Record Attendance

Sep 23, 2011
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


ceoPassersby 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 as individuals.”

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 PQ.

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 cultures.

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 Japan.

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.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty masters, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.