EY Advisory buys digital design consultancy Seren

19 August 2015 Consultancy.uk

EY Advisory has bought UK-based digital design consultancy Seren as part of its continued investment to grow its strategy consulting services to more than 2,500 in the next five years. The deal will see 60 employees added to EY Advisory’s headcount, with plans made to open an EY-Seren practice in the Middle East.

Seren is an in 2003 established digital design consulting firm that helps its clients achieve digital business transformation through a customer-centred approach to design. The firm works with a variety of clients across a number of sectors, in particular, telecoms and financial services. The 60 staff strong consultancy is based in Silicon Roundabout, London.

As part of its investment and growth in the UK and globally, the UK Advisory practice of professional services firm EY decided to acquire Seren. According to the firm, this deal is the first of its kind as the firm plans to expand its global strategy consulting services to over 2,500 professionals by 2020, both organically and through continued acquisition.

EY Advisory buys Seren

Commenting on the acquisition, Steve Varley, Chairman of EY UK, 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. […] 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.”

For Seren, joining hands with EY will provide its team with added expertise and geographic reach. “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,” explains Ben Langdon, CEO of Seren.

Steve Varley and Ben Langdon

Following the deal, Seren and its employees will remain at their Silicon Roundabout premises, while taking on the name EY-Seren. Langdon will continue as the CEO of EY-Seren and as partner at EY in the UK and co-founders Catriona Campbell and Terry Heath will become Senior Advisors to EY in the UK and the EY-Seren team.

As a next step, EY-Seren will begin with the development of a practice in the Middle East, building on the foundation that the two firms developed in digital strategy and customer experience services across the Middle East.

Other related acquisitions for EY include that of US/UK strategy consultancy Parthenon and customer insight consulting firm Sweeney.

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