EY bolsters Advisory practice in Oceania with Adelphi Digital acquisition

17 November 2018 Authored by Consultancy.com.au

Professional services firm EY has acquired Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, a digital consultancy with around 170 employees based in Australia, Singapore and Thailand. As part of the deal – financial details have not been disclosed – Adelphi Digital Consulting Group will be integrated into EY Advisory, with its brand founded in 1996 leaving the stage.

The bolt-on to the firm’s Advisory fast growing practice comes three months after EY Australia bought Articulate Consulting, a boutique change consultancy based in Sydney which was integrated into the People Advisory Services practice. The acquisition of Adelphi Digital Consulting Group continues the firm’s buy-and-build strategy to accelerate growth, both within APAC as well as globally. 

In Asia, EY snapped cybersecurity consultancy Xynapse in September, having already closed significant deals in Canada (Halo Management Consulting, Nexia Friedman) and the UK (Roverview and Citizen), among others. “Acquisitions absolutely have to be part of the growth strategy, but it has to be measured. We will buy in areas that have the biggest tailwinds behind them, where clients have a real hunger for those services, and where we have pent up demand,” commented Tony Johnson, Managing Partner for EY Oceania. 

The landscape in which Adelphi Digital Consulting Group operates – digital consulting – is one such area. Client demand for digital transformation services is booming globally; according to one estimate by an analyst firm, the segment has doubled from $22 billion to $44 billion in the past twelve months. The service area’s growth is equally visible in Australia’s management consulting market, which is valued at around US$5 billion, with technology consulting growing by an above average growth rate of 8.6% in 2017. 

EY bolsters Advisory practice in Oceania with Adelphi Digital acquisition

Established in 1996, Adelphi Digital Consulting Group supports clients with five major digital propositions: digital business strategy, website/application development, content development, social media and data analytics. “Adelphi provides acceleration, expertise and capacity to further help our clients respond to digital disruption in their respective industries,” said Lynn Kraus, Managing Partner of the Advisory arm in Oceania. She added that the deal will complement the firm’s existing digital consultancy offering, paving the way for a more end-to-end service. “The addition means we can help our clients move rapidly and seamlessly from concept to code.” 

Deeper into the CMO space

Among the clients Adelphi Digital Consulting Group has worked for in Australia are My Greater Sydney (developing a digital tool to execute the metropolitan’s vision), Port of Brisbane (redesign the company’s website), Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (develop the Clean Sport App), and Designcraft (revamp the online customer experience of the Canberra-based furniture company).

On the firm’s investment, Johnson stated: “Digital and automation are embedded in all parts of our business and that is where the future lies and where the growth will come from.” The move comes at a time when EY and many of its rivals are ramping up their presences in the digital (CIO) and digital marketing (CMO) scene. The likes of Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC have also all encroached into agencies' turf in recent years.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Adelphi Digital Group, Margaret Manning, said that her partner team is delighted to be joining a global powerhouse such as EY – the accounting and consulting firm has a global turnover of US$31.4 billion. “EY has a very strong innovation consulting culture which is a great match with our heritage in digital transformation and user experience design,” she said. All of Adelphi Digital’s team will join EY in Australia and Singapore. “The team are extremely excited to be joining,” she concluded. 

Earlier this year, EY was named a Australia’s most inclusive workplace at the Pride in Diversity awards, and a top consulting employer for graduates.

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