EY to integrate Asia Pacific and Japan operations in coming year

12 November 2018 Consultancy.asia

Global Big Four accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young will next year integrate its Asia Pacific and Japan operations, with Patrick Winter to lead the expanded region.

As a reflection of the evermore globalised nature of business, the Big Four accounting and consulting giant Ernst & Young has announced that it will integrate its Asia Pacific and Japanese geographic regions from the middle of next year, a move mirroring rival Big Four firm Deloitte’s recent Asia Pacific merger. Current EY Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner Patrick Winter, who only recently took over the top position, will now head up the new combined region as of the 1st of July 2019.

Currently the global firm’s hottest growth market with a five year annual compound growth rate of 10.2%, EY’s Asia Pacific operations contributed some $4.1 billion of the firm’s record $34.8 billion in revenues for its past financial reporting year. With the addition of Japan (which together with Korea contributes and estimated 44% of the Asia Pacific’s overall $50 billion management consulting market), that revenue figure pushes out to $5.3 billion.

In total, the new geographic region will comprise of activities in 23 countries – home to an EY headcount of more than 51,500 including 2,800 Partners – and is according to the firm a response to the increasing inter-Asia regional trade opportunities for organisations across the Asia-Pacific, with the integration intended to enhance co-operation between EY’s Asia-Pacific entities while providing greater global connectivity for EY Japan’s global clients.EY to integrate Asia Pacific and Japan operations in coming year“In recent years, the countries of the Asia-Pacific region have become Japan’s biggest trading partners and many EY Japan clients view the region as a strategically important market with significant economic growth potential,” said EY Japan Area Managing Partner Scott Halliday. “The integration will strengthen the EY Japan position in Asia-Pacific and help enable EY Japan to cooperate more closely with not only the EY Asia- Pacific geographic area as whole, but also EY member firms’ offices globally.”

According to the firm, EY Japan, which through its origins dates back to 1967 and now employs over 7,800 professionals active in 17 local cities including its Tokyo headquarters, will maintain its current legal entities in Assurance, Advisory, Transaction, and Tax service lines – with the firm stating that the integration will strengthen its regional credentials in key sectors such as financial services, technology, energy, consumer products, automotive and healthcare.

“EY is a highly connected professional services organisation and the integration of EY Asia-Pacific and EY Japan geographic areas represents a step-change in how EY teams will provide services to EY clients in Asia-Pacific,” Winter said of the integration. “This move will help EY professionals bring new solutions to clients faster, assemble broader and more experienced teams, continue to lead on audit quality through connected teams of over 80,000 auditors across the globe and invest in EY services to benefit EY clients on a broader scale.”

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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.”