Professional services firm EY has bought Net Balance, one of Australia’s leading sustainability consulting firms. The Net Balance team will be integrated within EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability practice across offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Net Balance was founded in 2006 by Terence Jeyaretnam. Over the past eight years the firm – which specialises in sustainability advice, assurance and research – has grown strongly, driven by a buoyant market for sustainability services and a successful business model. Net Balance currently has roughly 50 advisors, working across locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Perth and London.
In line with EY’s ambition to grow its sustainability capabilities, the Big 4 accounting and consulting firm has decided to acquire Net Balance. According to Mathew Nelson, Asia-Pacific Climate Change and Sustainability Leader at EY, the addition of Net Balance will boost its expertise across the entire value chain of sustainability advisory services. “This acquisition will further strengthen EY’s ability to service our clients across all areas of sustainability and climate change, particularly social, supply chain, energy and sustainability advisory services,” he says.
As a result of the acquisition, EY’s local Climate Change and Sustainability team will grow to over 90 advisors, making it “the largest sustainability service provider in Australia”, claims Jeyaretnam. In addition, the integration will in the view of the Net Balance founder provide a further boost to its footprint, both to clients and employees. “Joining our colleagues at EY is very exciting as it will present both our clients and our staff with significant opportunities especially as we look to expand into new markets and broaden the range of services, projects and initiatives we can offer.”
Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. The acquisition is intended to be completed in late September 2014, at which stage Net Balance will be fully integrated with EY.
For EY, Net Balance is the third large deal in the consulting landscape in the past two months. In August EY bought Sweeney Research (70 employees), another Australian based management consultancy, and in July it acquired The Parthenon Group, a global strategy consulting firm with roughly 350 consultants that recently was nominated one of the globe’s top 50 consulting firms (#11 on the list).