EY buys Adelphi, adds 170 staff in Australia, Singapore and Thailand

17 November 2018 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read

EY, one of the globe’s four largest accounting and consulting groups, has beefed up its digital consultancy offering in Asia Pacific (APAC) with the acquisition of Adelphi Digital Consulting Group. The deal sees over 170 staff join EY in Australia, Singapore and Thailand.

In the APAC region, EY generates revenues of $4.1 billion (excluding Japan) on the back of 10.5% growth, which makes APAC EY’s hottest region globally. While the majority of growth has been realised organically, M&A plays an integral part of the firm’s growth strategy. In September this year, Tony Johnson, who leads EY Oceania and a direct report of APAC Managing Partner Patrick Winter, said “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.” 

This has seen EY already absorb two players in Asia Pacific this year – Articulate Consulting, a boutique change consultancy in Australia, and cybersecurity consultancy Xynapse, which has offices in Malaysia, China and Hong Kong. The latest deal, the purchase of Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, adds 170 consultants, digital specialists and designers to the firm’s footprint in Singapore, Thailand and Australia.

Commenting on the deal, Max Loh, EY Asean and Singapore Managing Partner, said: “Adelphi Digital Consulting Group has a strong reputation in the market for delivering leading edge digital experiences for clients, and their addition strengthens our ability to help companies seize the upsides of digital and accelerate their business transformation.”

EY buys Adelphi, adds 170 staff in Australia, Singapore and Thailand

The move comes at a time when digital consulting is booming. Against a backdrop of digitisation impacting all facets of business, from primary processes and internal operations to partnerships and ecosystem collaborations, clients are increasingly turning to consultants to support their digital ambitions. EY is one of the leading players in the digital consultancy space, alongside many of its classic rivals such as Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, technology heritage players such as Accenture and Cognizant, as well as agencies – which are seeing their market share being eaten up by the rise of consultancies.

According to Lynn Kraus, Managing Partner of Advisory for Oceania, the bolt-on of Adelphi Digital will enable EY in APAC to support clients “with all aspects of their digital lifecycle from strategy; product and service innovation, and customer experience to technology development.” She continued, “we can now help our clients move rapidly and seamlessly from concept to code.” Loh added, “Our unique advantage is being able to infuse digital into the multi-domain and cross-service line EY approach to help clients solve their complex end-to-end business transformation challenges.” 

Digital development

Founded in 1996, Adelphi Digital Consulting Group helps clients with their digital development endeavours. The firm supports the development of digital strategies, and the execution of website/application development, content development, social media and data analytics.

In Singapore, the company helped the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) with refreshing its website to reflect the new strategy of the organisation. Among its other credentials, Adelphi Digital Consulting Group also helped Science Centre Singapore and Skinny Pizza with an online engagement, while supporting Tiong Bahru Bakery with an online experience revamp, building on a mobile-first approach. In Australia, where the largest part of Adelphi’s employees are based, the local team has worked for the likes of Port of Brisbane, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, Designcraft and My Greater Sydney, a group that has the vision to reshape Greater Sydney as a metropolis of three cities.

For Adelphi Digital Consulting Group, integration into EY will provide the firm with larger opportunities for growth. Margaret Manning, CEO of the acquired group and now a Partner in the Advisory practice of EY based in Singapore, explained: “The Adelphi Digital team are extremely excited. EY has a very strong innovation consulting culture, which is a great match with our heritage in digital transformation and user experience design.”

For an overview of significant acquisitions EY has closed in the past years, see the page EY | Mergers & Acquisitions on Consultancy.org.