EY books another year of double-digit growth in the Asia Pacific

17 September 2018 Consultancy.asia

Ernst & Young has achieved solid growth of 7.4% over the past year to book record global revenues of $34.8 billion, with its Asia Pacific business the standout region.

The Big Four accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young has kept the pressure up on its rivals PwC and Deloitte with a record $34.8 billion take for its past reporting year till the end of June – equating to 7.4% growth against 2017 (in local currency and 11% in US dollars) across its various service lines and regions and its eighth consecutive year of overall growth. The Asia Pacific was again the firm’s hottest market, achieving growth of 10.5% with a five year annual compound growth rate of 10.2%.

Altogether, the firm raised revenues of $4.1 billion in the Asia Pacific (exc. Japan), with Greater China again featuring as one of the EY’s top five markets for overall revenue in its third consecutive year for double-digit growth. The Australia market was also noted for its strong growth, while India, which sits within the firm’s EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) geographic division, led all locations with growth of 16.3% (its eighth year of such growth).

The firm’s performance in India belied the EMEIA lagging other regions overall with growth of 6.9%, yet the region collectively still accounted for $13.9 billion of the overall tally – with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain cited as particularly strong growth markets – behind the Americas, which pulled in revenues of $15.6 billion (at 7.4% growth for 2018 with a five-year CAGR of 9%). The US remained the major share of the firm’s revenues both regionally and globally, with a grand haul of $14 billion.

The balance between growth and traditional markets was further reflected across EY’s service lines, which saw its advisory and transaction advisory lines up 10.1% and 13.9% respectively, and its assurance division (up 4.4% and 6.4%) still lifting the bulk of the weight with return of $12.5 billion each. Yet, the firm’s advisory line has again outshone its tax division, with earnings of $9.6 billion against $9 billion, while the remainder came via its booming transaction advisory services ($3.6 billion) which has now achieved a five-year CAGR of 13.3%.EY records double-digit growth in Asia to book record global revenuesIn respect to the EY’s growing advisory segment – which includes consulting on rapidly emerging Industry 4.0 technologies such as robotic processes automation (RPA), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and cybersecurity – the firm has already stated its intention to reinvest $1 billion back into new technology solutions over the next two years, and has continued to open its flagship wavespace innovation centres across the globe, including plans for further rollouts across its Asian markets.

Carmine Di Sibio, EY’s Global Managing Partner for Client Service, said in conjunction with the release of its annual financial report; “Our commitment to deploying the best use cases for new technologies helps clients not just keep pace, but stay ahead of the vast disruption in today's business world. Significant investments in people, technology and alliances over the past few years are transforming traditional and emerging EY services alike. We are proud that we are empowering clients to succeed and grow in this complex environment.”

In further support of its technological aspirations, the firm has put in a concerted training and recruitment drive in the domain over the past year, with EY now boasting a workforce featuring over 20,000 data and analytics practitioners around the world and more than 2,000 data scientists. Altogether, the firm’s advisory division saw an 11.7% jump in headcount over the past year (to nearly 60,000 employees worldwide) – matched only by the rise in its transaction service professionals – while the Asia Pacific recorded a 4.4% boost in personnel across all departments.

Overall, the firm’s headcount increased by 5.7% globally, adding 65,000 new faces from more than 2 million applications to take its total employee count to over 260,000 (with the firm’s attrition rate rising marginally to 21.1%) – stationed across 700-odd offices in more than 150 countries. For the 2018 financial year, the firm has admitted 1,147 new partners, with close to a third of those operating in emerging markets such as the Asia Pacific – which saw regional Area Managing Partner Patrick Winter take the helm in July.

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Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million

09 April 2019 Consultancy.asia

The BCG-backed B Capital Group has raised over $400 million in the first close of its second fund. Based in Singapore, B Capital has now raised $766 million across two funds.

Established by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and ex-BCG Senior Advisor Jav Ganguly in 2016 – and backed by Boston Consulting Group from the outset – the Singapore-based venture capital firm B Capital has according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing secured $406.1 million in commitments at the first close of its second fund – adding to $360 million raised last year for its first fund.

Launched toward the end of March, the second B Capital Fund has so far attracted 62 investors, and although a final close date or target hasn’t been disclosed, an unnamed source told Forbes that the VC firm is looking to double the size of its first fund. Meanwhile, B Capital has already built up a portfolio of 19 start-ups, with a focus on technology in the healthcare, financial services, industrial logistics and consumer enablement segments, and a particular eye to the Southeast Asia and India markets.

“We continue to strive to be a launch pad for entrepreneurs across a wide range of verticals and seek to provide our portfolio companies with the necessary resources and access to some of the most important business leaders,” said Saverin, who moved to Singapore in 2009. “We are committed to helping the next generation of entrepreneurs deliver transformative technology to the world and are strategically positioned to disrupt the realm of venture investing.”Asia-based BCG-backed tech fund B Capital raises a further $400 million Anchored by BCG, and partnering with BCG’s Digital Venture’s incubation arm, B Capital styles itself as a bridge between the innovative tech start-up realm and leading global corporate incumbents – bolstered by BCG’s deep client network (some 1,800 globally according to the consulting firm) and domain expertise in the investment fund’s areas of focus. Further, B Capital and BCG work together to uncover the most promising areas of investment.

“We partnered with the Boston Consulting Group because of their unique insights into the industries that we invest in and their unparalleled access to the world’s leading corporations,” said B Capital’s Ganguly, who in addition to spending the past six years with BCG served as a senior vice president at Bain Capital during the prior six. Earlier, Ganguly spent three years as a senior manager at MBB rival McKinsey & Company.

“It is inspiring to be backed by investors who recognise that our combined extensive experience as entrepreneurs and business creators provides a unique and valuable perspective as to how we support and provide capital to our portfolio companies,” adds Ganguly. “Our first-hand experience building and scaling enduring businesses has allowed us to bridge an important gap connecting entrepreneurs in need of resources to scale their businesses with corporations seeking to innovate and leverage emerging technologies.”

With B Capital said to be aiming to invest $20 million in each portfolio company, including reserves for future growth funding, Southeast Asian and Indian investments to date include Singapore short-term financing match-making platform Capital Match, ASEAN last-mile logistics provider Ninja Van, Carro – a Singapore-based vehicle sales and subscription service, and India’s Mswipe, a mobile point-of-sales solution.

“Whether it is funding availability, stage, talent, institutions, or exits, the presence of such whitespaces in the ecosystem makes it equally challenging and rewarding for investors,” Saverin and Ganguly wrote of the gaps in the Southeast Asian and Indian investment space in a founding post on LinkedIn. “We are very excited and bullish in the long run because we see the opportunity to bridge that gap and make a positive impact in a community of two billion people.”