The 2019 Top 25 Consultants: Julien Courbe

Julien Courbe

PwC

Excellence in Financial Services

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying “change is the only constant in life.” That’s the first thing you learn in consulting, says PwC’s Julien Courbe. “You’re not only learning about a vast array of clients and industries, you’re also evolving and reinventing yourself along the way,” he says. “More importantly, our clients are looking to us to lead the charge, so you better be constantly reinventing yourself!”

Courbe says he had always been interested in a career that would allow him to explore a variety of industries and have lots of experiences. “That drew me to consulting, and I loved the client service and the impact we can have on entire industries and ended up staying with it for my entire career,” he says. 

As Lead Partner for the Financial Services Advisory practice at PwC, Courbe advises C-suite executives looking to achieve sustained advantage in a market that is constantly shifting. While today’s financial institutions experience unprecedented pressure to quickly identify and seize growth opportunity, Courbe works hand in hand with them to accelerate value through discovering new sources of growth, embracing digital transformation and innovation. 

“This kind of personal and professional development is something we’ve been working hard at PwC as we encourage our teams to broaden their skill sets and even think beyond our immediate areas of consulting,” Courbe says. “Whether it’s our heightened focus on innovation or expanding our point of view as ‘one firm’—we’re bringing the breadth of what we have to offer to our clients, which is forcing each of us to evolve and grow.”

Working with and developing people has always been one of his sources for inspiration and motivation throughout his career, he says. “I have always loved that in consulting when you create results for our clients, our teams succeed. With each client success, we add value to our people with interesting and challenging work that enables them to grow their career,” he says. “This has driven my relentless focus on both achieving our clients’ desired results to and developing our future leaders.”

Courbe’s always been focused on driving results and relentlessly executing PwC’s strategies. “I’ve found it is critical to not only rally your client or team around the strategy, you have to rally them around the desired outcome and what it means for them in the future,” he says. “Then they will execute the strategy for you and create the outcome that will change the game for your clients and keep them ahead of the competition. It’s about bringing our people along the journey with us, and creating a path forward together.”

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your career? 

Courbe: “I am most proud of rallying our whole team in transforming our business by thinking digitally in everything we do to help our clients outpace change and improve performance. Seeing our entire team of partners and staff embrace our digital strategy has been a great experience. What I am most excited about is the impact it has had on our people; partners and staff with all different skills and background—regulatory, technology, operations, and strategy—have become energized by transforming their own skills and thinking digitally. And they are solving our clients’ problems by harnessing digital to accelerate growth.”

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