By: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read January 2021 — Dixon Hughes Goodman is a leading professional services firm offering assurance, tax and advisory services to clients nationwide and internationally. In an interview with Invest:, CEO Matt Snow highlighted the importance of helping clients achieve their goals during this uncertain landscape and also discussed his focus on innovative technology.
Why did DHG pick Charlotte to be the firm’s headquarters?
We are the largest professional services firm headquartered in Charlotte and in the greater Southeast region, which is something we are really proud of. We chose Charlotte for many reasons, including the promising economy and business environment, proximity to a major airport and great quality of life. These are three factors we consider when expanding into any new market and were especially important when deciding where to put our headquarters. Charlotte has been great to DHG and we are very optimistic about the future of this area – between the strong talent pool and vibrant economic development, the future continues to look bright. We are very fortunate to call Charlotte home.
How did you work to help businesses navigate the CARES Act?
We needed to help our clients understand the different provisions of the CARES Act. We had to do this quickly but we also wanted it to be consistent, innovative and thoughtful, efficient and properly risk-controlled. We quickly built a command center, as part of the DHG Solutions Lab, to centralize the CARES Act knowledge distribution. Although never contemplating a global pandemic, a few years ago we created the Solutions Lab, which focuses on the incubation, development and deployment of high value, relevant solutions for clients in today’s rapidly changing business environment to handle the new and emerging issues they face. The Solutions Lab is responsible for digesting the constantly evolving regulations, educating our team and getting materials out to our clients. They listened closely to our teams and our clients and identified new opportunities to help our clients understand the CARES Act, which really became one of our most significant tasks last spring.
How would you describe the strength of the financial services industry?
We are seeing a lot of activity in the financial services space – we have a robust consulting practice and provide assurance and tax services to many clients in this industry. We spend a lot of time understanding what the environment is and how that’s going to change in the future. Despite challenges caused by the pandemic, the financial services industry has fared well. The banks are sound, and we actually had strengthening of the overall system as a result of the last economic downturn. We have a strong financial services system in the country and especially here in Charlotte.
We are fortunate to have representation of the nation’s largest banks, insurance companies and other financial services entities right here in Charlotte, and we work with many of them in a variety of ways. One of the things we are seeing now is a heavy focus on technology. That will be an area that the city of Charlotte needs to continue to invest in. I think we will continue to see the banks and the insurance companies moving to even greater technology-based operating and delivery systems, including things such as automation of processes and greater data analytics in decision-making. We are also seeing continued change in the regulatory environment, which means we are spending a lot of time with our clients, helping them interpret and implement new regulations.
How is the firm involved in the community, particularly in terms of inclusion and diversity?
Shortly after we went into full virtual mode, the country began to witness a number of difficult events involving racial injustice. The death of Ahmaud Arbery really hit me, as a Georgia native, followed so quickly by the death of George Floyd and others. We quickly knew that the country was in crisis. Many of our team members were reeling from what they had witnessed and, as we would learn from many, from a lifetime of feeling marginalized. As a firm, we started incorporating discussions about race and inequality into our weekly and biweekly conversations within the firm. We hosted a session called “My Experience: Black in America,” to hear from DHG teammates about what it is like to be Black in America and at DHG. More than 1,600 individuals joined the session and asked more than 100 questions to learn and broaden their perspectives. We then organized 61 smaller Unity Sessions to dive deeper into these topics in smaller, group settings.
One of the messages we heard from our people was the need for DHG to look to stronger community involvement around these issues. We have been involved with YBLA (Young Black Leadership Alliance) for years and are great friends with the organization. Our long-standing relationship with YBLA turned into a partnership of sorts. Through our partnership, we hosted Community Conversations to focus on education and action in the Charlotte community, but given the virtual nature of the conversations, our team members from across our footprint were able to join, which was very impactful.
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