PwC has acquired Everett, a consultancy specialised in Identity and Access Management solutions. More than 50 consultants in four countries join the professional services firm – with the acquisition PwC Advisory further strengthen its cybersecurity services.
Cybersecurity has, in recent years, become an increasingly important priority for companies. Cyber-attacks are becoming more common, and the negative consequences of cyber-attacks can often cause a huge impact. The consequences range from disrupted operations by damaging databases or websites to hacking payment systems to commit financial fraud. Moreover, the potential theft of personal data or intellectual property from companies, often the result of bad habits from employees, leads to significant, sometimes even structural damage to reputation and competitiveness.
With the acquisition of Everett, PwC strengthen its cybersecurity services. Everett is a specialist in the field of Identity and Access Management (IAM). Its services allow organisations to, in a safe and user-friendly way, gain access to information, for which, reliability, manageability and security are key. Everett employs fifty five IAM consultants, specialised in business consulting (advisory), technical consultancy (architecture) and system integration (IT engineering). Everett has offices in the UK (Manchester), Germany (Düsseldorf), the Netherlands (Nieuwegein – the firm’s largest hub) and Italy (Rome). The transaction was advised on by Netherlands-based advisors from IMPROVED Corporate Finance, De Metz (a law firm) and, of course, PwC itself.
“Identity and Access Management solutions are the keys to security, privacy, and the digital user experience that are essential to being successful in online business. This acquisition will bolster our strategy to offer organisations advanced security and data solutions for the their digital business,” says Ad van Gils, Chair of the Advisory practice at PwC in the Netherlands.
Expanding the range of cybersecurity services is, according to Van Gils, part of PwC’s long term strategy – the fast-growing cyber domains is one of the firm’s growth engines. Worldwide, consultancy firms are working on scaling up their cyber services. PwC – as the other Big Four firms – is active in the acquisition market. PwC UK, earlier this year, picked up Praxism, a consulting firm in Edinburgh, which employed 14 employees dedicated to IAM. Last year PwC’s UK arm also struck a strategic alliance with Tanium, a specialist in securing devices that are part of very large enterprise networks ("Internet of Things") – a domain seen as particularly porous to cyber threats. Gerwin Naber, head of PwC's Dutch Cybersecurity and Privacy arm, adds “Our new Everett colleagues will be a fantastic addition to our rapidly growing Cybersecurity practice.”
Gerald Horst, CEO of Everett, says “Joining the PwC network will give us opportunities to further expand our services. Combining the extensive knowledge and experience of both Everett and PwC will create new opportunities for us to serve our clients even better. For our people, the acquisition will offer new career opportunities and more chances to develop their talents further.”
PwC's decision to invest in cybersecurity fits into a wider trend in the market – as in particular the large professional services firms scale their cybersecurity capabilities in order to capitalise on the enormous potential in the market. Deloitte for example recently opened a ‘Cyber Intelligence Center’ in The Hague (Netherlands) and entered into an alliance with IT company Equinix, while KPMG, over the past year, acquired several cybersecurity specialists (Qubera, P3 Consulting and Trusteq Oy).