Cadence joins economic advisory division of EY Australia

20 August 2019 4 min. read
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EY has acquired Cadence Economics, a Canberra-based consulting firm specialised in economic advisory and modelling. 

Cadence Economics was founded four years ago by a trio of former advisors of Deloitte Access Economics – Steve Brown, Bob Scealy and George Michalas. The boutique consulting firm supports clients with economic data analysis and the application of sophisticated economic modelling techniques, helping them create better forecasts or with shaping policy and regulation.

With the acquisition of Cadence Economics, EY bolsters its economic advisory wing, which across Oceania has a team of around 100 experts. “Being at the forefront of economic analysis, modelling and forecasting is crucial for our clients as they face rapid disruption and change, right across the economy,” said Jo Masters, EY’s Chief Economist for the Oceania region.

“Alongside strengthening our capabilities in economic advisory, the team from Cadence will increase our capability in economic modelling – they have a unique scalable model that is transportable across borders,” added David Larocca, a partner at EY Australia.

While Cadence Economics works predominantly for government organisations and associations – clients include the likes of the Department of Environment and Energy, the ACT state government, the governments of New South Wales and Queensland, Masters Builders Association and the Universities Australia – Larocca highlighted the opportunity to bring Cadence’s expertise to EY’s private sector clients. “They enhance our ability to provide greater economic insights for clients, particularly in the private sector.” 

Cadence joins economic advisory division of EY Australia

As part of the deal, Steve Brown has joined EY as a partner. He previously was a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, and was one of the leaders of Access Economics when the firm was bought by Deloitte in 2011. Before that, he worked among others with the Industry Commission and the Australian Bureau of Agriculture Economics (ABARE). Brown is an expert in quantitative economic analysis and public policy advice – his expertise spans a range of techniques including econometrics, partial equilibrium modelling, economy-wide modelling, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, economic impact and contribution studies, return on investment analysis and program and policy evaluations.

Bob Scealy, who joined Access Economics just before it was scooped by the Big Four firm, has joined EY as an associate partner. He specialises in computable general equilibrium (CGE) models – an approach that use actual economic data to estimate how an economy might react to changes in policy, technology or other external factors. Meanwhile, George Michalas has been appointed a director by EY. He spent most of his career with Cadence Economics and Deloitte Access Economics, and previously shortly served the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

According to Larocca, EY is positioned as one of the leaders in economic advisory across Australia and New Zealand, a feat that attracted Cadence Economics to the Big Four. Scealy elaborated, “Moving over to EY allows us to continue to build our capabilities, to improve our offering to our clients, and to put our tools in the hands of a strong, multidisciplinary team. Joining their economic advisory team is a fantastic opportunity for everyone.” 

The move comes within a year of two other acquisitions completed by EY Australia, and both were focused on advisory offerings. The bolt-on of Plaut IT in February this year accelerated EY’s technology consulting push, while the purchase of regional player Adelphi Digital added a team of 170 digital-focused employees to EY’s footprint in Asia Pacific.