A student from Udelar’s Faculty of Economics was waiting at the door of a Uruguayan company to start his first day of work. His day had started early because he had to be there at 8 in the morning and the place was far from the center of the city. Strictly speaking, the 20-year-old student was not going to work for that company, but he would be part of a group that would contribute to his audit.
from that moment already almost 39 years have passed. This coming May 31, 2023 closes a cycle in the career of that young man who finished, not only leading the subsidiary in Uruguay of the firm for which he started working in 1984, but rather He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Deloitte Spanish Latin America and a member of the Board of Deloitte Global.
The start of the race Jose Luis Rey It was at Tea Consultores y Auditores, which represented the English-based professional services network Touche Ross, which would later become Tea Deloitte & Touche. “Being part of that human group was a fundamental factor in the development of what came after”narrated Rey in dialogue with The Observer. “This firm formed us as professionals, as people and as citizens, complementing and reinforcing the values that we brought from the family,” he added. The professional also recalled that this firm was a pioneer in developing actions to implement social inclusion, in stimulating creativity, in undertaking and in “promoting disruption” in the field, while achieving the highest technical quality and development academic.
He started as an external auditor, and while he worked for companies in multiple industries, he concentrated on the financial sector. In turn, he undertook other paths, such as financial advice and the development of strategic activities in Deloitte’s relationship with clients, as well as in the growth of the firm.
Rey appreciated the career that the firm allowed him to pursue over almost four decades and recognized that this path is being traveled today by different professionals, who began their careers there. “I belong to an organization that is the first job for most of its members, who have different social backgrounds, histories and ways of thinking; this has enormous value in building a professional career”, she reflected.
“In recent years, and until this coming May 31, my responsibility was inn chair the Board of Directors that represents all the members of Spanish Latin America and work to align medium and long-term objectives together with the Steering Committee, who has the responsibility for management and execution. Likewise, I represented Spanish Latin America on Deloitte’s Global Board, the governance body of the global network,” said Rey.
As of June 1, it will be the Uruguayan partner Mariella de Aurrecoechea who will succeed Rey as Chairman of the Board of Deloitte Spanish Latin America.
A chaotic world that needs more and better solutions
“Our firm is positioned today as the largest in the world in the professional services industry,” Rey said. And he continued: “This represents a great challenge for which we are prepared, through our multidisciplinary approachwhich allows us to have specialists in each of the topics that our clients require”.
For Rey, the world of Businesses are currently facing “changes on different fronts”, ranging from the dizzying evolution of technology to the threat of new pandemics, wars and their political consequences. “This leads us to have sharper planning and consider more professionally designed scenarios than we were used to,” with the objective of “deepening and looking for different solutions to those that the business world previously required”.
Deloitte “is not only focused on the development of our professionals and clients, but also on that of our communities,” Rey emphasized. In this sense, the firm developed the initiative World Class Impactwhose purpose is influence and positively change the lives of 50 million people in the world between 2020 and 2030. This plan seeks to influence the lives of urban and rural inhabitants, and attack gender inequities, improve access to education and job opportunities. In addition, World Class Impact it also concentrates efforts on combating climate change and promoting sustainability in its different dimensions.
The value of Uruguay and the potential in its “human energy matrix”
Asked about the Uruguayan reality and the country’s potential, Rey said that Uruguay “must take advantage of the development of talent and the competitive advantages that we have as a country in the region.”
In this sense, he elaborated: “We do not have natural resources that change our economy, there are no deposits of lithium or oil – at least, from what we know so far. So, in the same way that we evolved in our energy matrix (and in which we all agree), we have to focus and develop a ‘human energy matrix’”.
How is this differential achieved? According to Rey, the key is promote and develop education in the areas that will be in greatest demand in the future.
This is an issue “in which we all have to become aware as a society and where each one in their position of responsibility must make their contribution,” he added.
“Uruguayan talent is recognized regionally and worldwide and that opens up possibilities for foreign investment and export of services, but for this we have to deepen the generation of this knowledge and be able to respond to the demand”, he asserted.
After almost 39 years of experience, Rey insists with the preaching that “good character and empathy are no less important than intelligence” when it comes to performing in the market and “relating with our people and our clients”.
“What’s next after this long professional journey?” he asked. The Observer to finish the interview. To which Rey, after meditating on the answer, expressed: “In the short term, take a breather, be able to give my family a little more time, if they allow me, and, after achieving a certain balance, calibrate and reformulate towards carry out activities that make me wake up with the same desire and energy as until now”.