Wednesday evening marked the official inauguration of the new headquarters of Deloitte Luxembourg: D.Square; prior to the opening, the press were invited for a tour of this 60-metre-tall building.
Located in Cloche d’Or, D.Square boasts sixteen floors and offers a total of 30,000 m2 of space for its 2,000 employees. The top floor, named "The Gallery", is reserved for Deloitte's clients and features a spacious waiting room, meeting rooms and a dining area. Each meeting room is named after an individual who has had an impact on society in some way, for instance Spanish painter Salvador Dali.
Level -1 houses an auditorium (with a capacity of 199), which is used for both internal and external events, as well as the "Greenhouse" space. Indeed, Deloitte has several Greenhouses located around the world and these are designed to work with and not just for clients. This modular area can be adapted according to the needs of the client and the style of event, for instance workshops. The Greenhouse has also been left purposely empty to allow for movement.
To complement the Greenhouse, Deloitte Luxembourg boasts a digital lab for "fresh thinking". Clients can work in the Greenhouse space for a few days to brainstorm before bringing their ideas to the Lab. Projects tend to focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain solutions. Both spaces have been designed by trained and certified individuals. In addition, Deloitte Luxembourg has launched its new D.Square app; one can scan pictures located around the building with a smartphone and receive an interactive video explanation from Deloitte's team.
On this occasion, Deloitte Luxembourg's Managing Partner, John Psaila, and Partner and Operations Leader, Sophie Mitchell, also spoke with the press. On the subject of Brexit and a possible impact on Deloitte, whose main headquarters are located in London, John Psaila said that no one knew how Brexit would actually play out. Nevertheless, he remained “confident in the agility of the Luxembourgish marketplace” and the ability of Deloitte to “adapt to [its] clients”. He also mentioned the role of Luxembourg as a “very competitive marketplace for talent”, although he recognised that the skills demanded by the market are changing, for instance there is a growing need for cybersecurity experts.
On the matter of possibly increasing the workforce in line with the opening of the new Luxembourg headquarters, Mr Psaila stated that Deloitte “adapts its numbers according to demand in the marketplace”. As such, the firm has already experienced growth in recent years and expects more growth in the future. When discussing what new aspects D.Square had introduced to Deloitte Luxembourg, John Psaila highlighted “collaborative working spaces”, as well as “a new working environment” in general. For instance, the firm has introduced more flexible working hours, allowing its employees a greater “balance between private and professional life”.
In response to a question from Chronicle.lu , on the future of Deloitte Luxembourg, John Psaila summarised the firm's vision for the future in three words: “agility, for the market and for people”, “sustainability” and “digitalisation”. On the latter point, he added that whilst “digitalisation is not something new”, there is currently a “big [digital] revolution” that needs to be addressed. Regarding sustainability, it is worth noting that, throughout the building, the lights switch on and off according to movement.
The press visit was followed by the official inaugural ceremony in the presence of some 300 guests and representatives from Luxembourg's civil society and financial centre. On this occasion, John Psaila delivered an opening speech, followed by speeches from Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Chief alderman of Luxembourg City, Serge Wilmes.
In his speech, John Psaila praised the architectural design of the new building. Designed by Paul Bretz Architectes and Moreno Architecture, D.Square has become "a landmark in Luxembourg City", according to Mr Psaila. He went on to compare the history of Deloitte Luxembourg to that of the Grand Duchy as a whole and thanked successive Luxembourg governments for their support since the firm's inception in 1950. In fact, Mr Psaila highlighted how both Deloitte and the current government were trying to address the changing demands of new generations; he stated that both needed to "help and power the new generations as they join us", adding that the future was in their hands.
For his part, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel began his speech by highlighted the success of the Cloche d'Or project in general. He went on to emphasise how Deloitte is "based on trust and partners", which he compared to the relationship between Luxembourg and the UK. In response to Mr Psaila's comment that the Prime Minister had had "a hard week" following the visit of the British Prime Minister's visit on Monday, Xavier Bettel clarified that "the UK are our partners and we deeply regret that they will leave" but that he respected the UK and its decision to leave. He dismissed accusations that it had been the Luxembourg Government's intention to humiliate the UK, calling this interpretation "very wrong".
Returning to the subject of D.Square, he joined John Psaila in comparing Deloitte to the Luxembourg Government, particularly in terms of multiculturalism. He commented that "being open was the biggest success of this country". The Prime Minister concluded by wishing the Deloitte team success.
Finally, Serge Wilmes expressed content with the firm's decision to stay in Luxembourg City and highlighted that this new office was just one of many projects that improves the quality of life and quality of public spaces in the capital. He concluded that more affordable housing was needed, not least to accommodate Deloitte's many employees and to encourage more talent to join the firm.
The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the official opening plaque by Xavier Bettel and John Psaila.