EY buys international customer transformation consultancy Blackdot

12 April 2022 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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In its second deal this month, Big Four firm EY has snapped up Australian consultancy Blackdot, adding a team of 65 professionals in four countries to its ranks.

Boutique advisory Blackdot boasts a team of more than five dozen professionals across Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Canada. Headquartered in Sydney, Blackdot is a customer experience specialist, advising clients on customer strategy, design and implementation.

“Blackdot are a great addition to our already strong customer team and we look forward to working with them, both here in Australia and around the world,” said David Larocca, Regional Managing Partner and CEO of Oceania at EY.

EY buys international customer transformation consultancy Blackdot

Marty Nicholas, who founded Blackdot in 2001 and has been the firm’s CEO ever since, will join EY’s business consulting partnership in Sydney.

“I’m genuinely excited about what joining EY will bring to our clients and people,” said Nicholas, who is now tasked with building EY’s Customer & Growth practice. “Combining EY’s complementary strategy, technology, data, digital and people advisory capabilities with our customer and growth expertise sets us up to unlock more value faster for clients looking to transform how they go to market.”

Blackdot’s EMEA managing director Mark Taylor will join EY’s partnership in the UK, while altogether 64 staff cross to the firm in various offices globally.

“We are very excited to have the team from Blackdot join EY,” said Oceania Managing Partner for Consulting, Justin Greig. “The customer transformation capability that they bring complements our world class EY Port Jackson Partners strategy team, bringing deep growth, omni-channel, sales and marketing skills and linking perfectly with our customer research, experience, digital and data analytics capabilities.”

The acquisition, which comes on the back of a more than doubling in revenues for Blackdot since 2019, follows that of digital transformation and UX design consultancy Adelphi in late 2018, which added around 170 employees in Australia and Southeast Asia. Yet, in an interview, Greig explained that while EY had a treasure chest of capabilities in many change areas, the firm still felt that it was “missing a little bit of magic.”

Meanwhile, Nicholas cited the cultural fit as another motivation for joining EY. “Watching the team get behind the opportunity to help EY fulfil their ambition of building a world class customer and growth capability has been exciting. Whilst this is a huge milestone for everyone who’s contributed to the growth of Blackdot over many years, it really does feel like the end of one great chapter and the beginning of another.”

For EY, the acquisition comes hot on the heels of its purchase of project management consultancy Cadence and within a year of its bolt-on of cybersecurity specialist SecureWorx. Internationally, the Big Four has closed several deals in the first quarter of 2022, including two by EY-Parthenon, its strategy consulting wing.