She is a deal-maker

Maria Lalousis

Deals Partner,
PwC Middle East

Maria Lalousis is an engineer by background and before joining PwC she advised the highest levels of the Australian government on large scale projects. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Engineers and one of a handful of STEM partners working in the Capital Projects space in PwC. She believes that STEM graduates bring essential skills and valuable perspectives to the Deals business and in return they get a breadth of experience that they can take to any industry. She talks passionately about the Edge programme and what it is like working as a Partner in the Middle East.



Tell us a little about what you do and your career background?

I advise clients on how to achieve value for money from capital expenditure (CAPEX) related spend and focus on project governance, project and contract reviews, CAPEX optimisation and delivery. I’ve worked in a wide range of industries including infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, healthcare and education. Prior to moving to PwC, I was a Project Director with the Australian public service.

Why were you attracted to Deals?

I was put in a Business Recovery Services (BRS) situation quite early in my career, where I had to support a client coming out of a contract, close down an entity and do all the contract analysis and negotiations. This is when I got my first taste of Deals work. I really enjoyed it and was keen to do more.

What do you attribute your success to?

I tend to ignore the view of it being a male dominated profession and just get on and do what I have to do. I didn’t set out thinking that I would be a partner in PwC, however opportunities arose and I grabbed them. Speaking up is important and having a view that you are not afraid to express. I put my success down to taking opportunities when they present themselves and always being eager to learn. I am still learning on the job every day.

What would you say to any young females debating whether a career in Deals is for them?

If you are interested in solving issues that genuinely impact the world around us, enjoy working as part of a team and are eager to learn new things, then consider a role with Deals. PwC is a place where you get to work with smart people and you’re intellectually challenged all the time. I work in a multidisciplinary team in the Middle East and I really enjoy exposure to the different perspectives and educational backgrounds. It keeps me engaged, interested and allows us to bring broad insights to clients on the complex issues that they face.

You are an engineer by background. Would you encourage STEM graduates to apply to Edge?

Yes, absolutely. If you are a STEM graduate, then you are likely to be very process driven and very organised. This gives you a strong basis from which to upskill and complete the accounting qualifications quite quickly. While I am not CFA qualified, my STEM background has allowed me to pick up an understanding of key financial information really easily. So, don’t let that deter you. If you want to understand the wider economic global position, how businesses operate and how geo-politics work; then a career in Deals could be for you.

What do you see as the benefits of the Edge programme?

As our Edge graduates rotate around the business, they work in different areas and with different leaders and get real exposure that isn’t typical in the early stages of a career. This develops them into agile, nimble and flexible consultants who have a range of skills and experience that can be flexed in many different situations. So from a long-term employment perspective, whether you are in an up market and there are lots of transitions and deals; or you are in a down market, where there is market consolidation, debt restructuring, crisis situations - our Edgies’ breadth of experience can bring real value.

What excites you about the work that you do?

I really enjoy the breadth and diversity of the work that we do in Deals. In one week, I can be working with our educational team on establishing new universities; with BRS on restructuring the debt of a contractor; doing valuations on M&As with our Transaction Services. It is cliched, but every day is different.


Click to view Maria Lalousis on LinkedIn


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Contact us

Helen Sullivan

Helen Sullivan

Director, Global Programme Director for Edge, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 02890 245454