Professional services firm EY has bought Sweeney Research, a research and consulting firm based in Australia. Roughly 70 professionals will join EY’s Australian Advisory practice. As part of the transaction Sweeney Research will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity for the next 12 months.
Sweeney Research was founded in 1972 by founder Brian Sweeney. Over the past 42 years the firm has grown to one of the leading research companies in Australia, with more than 70 employees and 100+ part timers working across offices in Melbourne and Sydney.
According to Bill Farrell, EY Oceania Advisory Leader at EY, the acquisition of Sweeney Research will provide three main benefits to the Big 4 firm. Firstly, it will significantly boost the size of its market research team from the existing 30 to 100+ consultants. “This will see EY Australia’s national Customer Advisory team grow to more than 100 people and become one of Australia’s leading advisors in the area of market research, customer strategy, marketing, sales and service.” Secondly, the addition will boost both the breadth and depth of service offerings: “Sweeney Research will strengthen our ability to help our clients move beyond the design of customer strategies and advise them on the execution of these strategies, particularly in the rapidly growing digital space.” And lastly it will further boost EY’s industry expertise, in particular in the pharmaceutical, fast moving consumer goods and retail markets.
In a press release Marc L’Huillier, former CEO of Sweeney Research and now partner at EY, states that he is thrilled to be joining the Big 4 firm. “We look forward to working closely with our new colleagues to further enhance client engagements through the use of cutting edge customer insights and to offer our services across the entire EY network.”
As part of the deal EY and Sweeney Research have decided to maintain the latter’s autonomy and brand, at least for the coming 12 months. After that period EY will integrate Sweeney Research into its Advisory practice and potentially drop the Sweeney Research brand or opt for a joint branding.