Big Four firm EY has acquired digital design and innovation consultancy Seren, a UK agency which works across a number of sectors, in particular, telecoms and financial services, as part of the strategy to build into global consulting business
The acquisition of the consultancy, which will be rebranded as EY-Seren, is the first of its kind for the UK advisory practice and is part of continued investment and growth in the UK and globally.
EY plans to grow its global strategy consulting services to over 2,500 professionals by 2020, both organically and through continued acquisitions.
This acquisition follows others in related areas, such as Bedrock (a service design boutique in North America), Parthenon (US/UK strategy consultancy) and Sweeney, a customer insight consultancy in Australia.
Steve Varley, EY’s UK chairman says: ‘This acquisition is a flagship transaction for EY in the UK. We’re already achieving considerable organic growth in the UK advisory business - it grew 15% last year - but we are also committed to looking for opportunities for inorganic growth, especially when we find firms with cutting-edge innovation and a really strong talent pool like Seren.
‘London, and the wider UK, is fast becoming a global leader in technology and digital innovation. The acquisition of Seren brings together EY’s world-class brand and global reach with Seren’s leading digital consulting capabilities and innovation. I’m really excited about what we can achieve together.’
Current chief Ben Langdon will continue as chief executive of EY-Seren as a partner at EY in the UK. Catriona Campbell and Terry Heath, co-founders of the business, will remain as senior advisers to EY in the UK and the EY-Seren team.
Seren and its 60 employees will be based at its current offices in Silicon Roundabout at Old Street, London.
Langdon said: ‘Seren and EY have been working together for the last year on a number of shared client projects. The success we have achieved as a combined team prompted both companies to consider how we can work together more closely and we’re really pleased to be joining forces formally.
‘We’ve spent the last 14 years developing market-leading design for customer service; joining EY will give us the opportunity to apply our collective skills to a broad range of blue-chip clients around the world.’
EY-Seren also plans to set up a practice in the Middle East.
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