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EY on a mission

In the first of a series of features on Corporate Finance Faculty member firms, Brian Bollen looks at EY’s acquisitions and how it looks at deploying M&A to expand its international services.

EY’s move into a fully fledged global organisation continues to build momentum. The first few months of this year saw no fewer than 14 acquisitions take place – a core part of the business’s strategic goals.

“We have closed more than 50 acquisitions since 2012, in Italy, France, Switzerland, the UK, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, and across the US,” says Steve Watson, EY’s global performance improvement leader, the man responsible for acquisitions and alliances.

Under EY’s ‘Vision 2020’ strategy, it plans to re-establish itself so that it has a presence in more than 140 countries, creating a truly global footprint, and aims to achieve annual revenues of $50bn by 2020. Of this, EY advisory services would be generating $15bn, compared with the $7.3bn delivered last year. This target will be met through a combination of organic growth, the introduction of a range of new services and products, and acquisitions and alliances.

“Making acquisitions has moved from an ad hoc process aimed at building raw capacity, to a more planned and structured environment,” says Steve Martin, former EY global deputy vice chairman for advisory. He says these acquisitions are, on their own, expected to add 2% of overall growth.

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