Deloitte acquires Australian cyber security firm Zimbani

17 March 2020 4 min. read
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Deloitte has acquired cyber security firm Zimbani, adding a team of around 50 to its Australian ranks. 

Zimbani has been on Deloitte’s radar for a while. The company was founded in 2013 and has since seen booked strong growth, landing the firm a spot in Deloitte’s Tech Fast 50 in 2017. Deloitte closely monitors the developments of all start-ups and scale-ups that make the list, either for its own offerings or to the benefit of its clients across the country.

The addition of Zimbani – financial details have not been disclosed – significantly bolsters Deloitte’s cyber security practice. Commenting on the deal, Deloitte Australia Cyber Leader Ian Blatchford said, “Zimbani’s particular focus on security architecture and engineering has created a strong reputation in the cyber market. It is one of only a handful of providers in Australia capable of operating at scale.”

The move comes at a time of growing cyber threats. A recent global study by PwC among CEOs found that cyber security now ranks as the fourth most strategic priority in boardrooms, behind just trade conflicts, economic uncertainty and regulation. Globally the damages that follow from cyber attacks and data thefts now exceed $600 billion a year according to McAfee, while in Australia the costs of cyber are estimated to be in the “hundreds of millions” according to AusCERT, the Australian Cyber Emergency Response Team.

Deloitte acquires Australian cyber security firm Zimbani

On the matter, Deloitte Australia CEO Richard Deutsch, said, “Cyber-crime is regularly listed as one of the major business risks globally, so it is critical that businesses are on the front foot, anticipating, monitoring and managing the threats and key risk events in real time. Cyber is everywhere… and we see cyber readiness and resilience as a key enabler for our clients.”

Tapping into the clients need, and the rapidly growing commercial opportunity, the consulting industry has been quick to ramp up its capabilities and headcount. Deloitte has been one of the most successful in this, and is now in terms of business volume the largest cybersecurity consulting firm in the world.

M&A has been a key driver of this success, both globally and in the region, demonstrated by the recent APAC acquisitions of Practical Smarts in Singapore, SecurePath in Malaysia, Code QB in Thailand and now Zimbani in Australia. Deutsch: “Through these investments we are hyperscaling our cyber business across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.” 

As part of the deal, the founder and CEO of Zimbani, Rene Morel, will join Deloitte as a Partner in the Cyber practice. Chief Security Architect Jason Paul and Chief Operating Officer Ben Smith will join Deloitte as a Principal. The Zimbani will continue to operate from offices in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Speaking of the joining of forces, Morel said it will help his team scale across the Australian and Asia Pacific regions: “We help protect some of Australia’s most critical enterprises across the financial services, energy & utilities, education and airline sectors. Deloitte has the world’s leading cyber practice, now we can do that at scale and more rapidly.”

The deal is Deloitte’s seventh deal in Australia and New Zealand in the past year. The accounting and consulting firm generates over $2.3 billion in revenue and has been using inorganic growth to complement its organic growth for years, helping it achieve double digit growth for fifth consecutive years.