Deal sees Deloitte Corporate Finance become market leader in the Netherlands

15 November 2018

The Corporate Finance arm or Deloitte has closed a substantial acquisition in the Netherlands with the purchase of Boer & Croon Corporate Finance, an M&A boutique with a team of 17 partners and consultants. “With the joining of forces, we become the largest corporate finance consultancy in the country with more than 100 professionals active in M&A, corporate finance, debt advisory and valuation & modelling,” says Oscar Snijders, Managing Partner of Deloitte Financial Advisory.

The team of Boer & Croon Corporate Finance (BCCF) advises companies in the private and public sector in the field of mergers and acquisitions, valuations and market regulation. The firm’s expertise is organised around sector teams, which are active in healthcare, business services, and the public sector.

“With its knowledge, track record and sector expertise, BCCF is a wonderful addition to our financial advisory business. This transaction underpins our growth strategy in the Netherlands,” says Snijders. While Deloitte is already the largest accounting and consulting firm in the country (Deloitte has a turnover of €897 million, while number 2 player EY generates around €837 million), the professional services firm still has the ambition to grow its Dutch footprint in the coming years, as part of its 'Plan to 2020' strategy.

Dutch growth strategy

“After three consecutive record-breaking years in terms of revenue and profit, our goal is to continue building and executing our growth strategy,” state the three executives of the Dutch organisation – Peter Bommel (CEO), Mario van Vliet (COO) and Engelhardt Robbe (CQO) – in the firm’s 2018 annual report. Financial Advisory is the smallest of the five major business areas (€ 76 million, or 8% of the total), however, it is currently the fastest growing wing of the Big Four firm, having grown by a staggering 30% in the latest year. The unit, which has a total of about 350 employees, of which 26 are partners, supports clients with four major service areas: Mergers & Acquisitions, Forensic & Financial Crime, Benefits & Pension Advisory, and Real Estate.

Deal sees Deloitte Corporate Finance become market leader in the Netherlands

Leveraging its team or roughly 85 consultants, Deloitte Corporate Finance is one of the largest deal-makers in the Netherlands, with the firm's ranking depending on which source is used for referencing. According to Mergermarket, an international database for deals, Deloitte is together with Oaklins (formerly Holland Corporate Finance) the financial advisor with the most deals behind its name in the first half of 2018, ahead of the likes of Rothschild, Rabobank and EY, and well ahead of KPMG. Two local databases in the Netherlands rank Deloitte as a top 5 financial advisor in H1 2018, and as a top four player based on transactions between Q1 and Q3 this year.

The bolt-on of BBCF's team takes Deloitte's total Corporate Finance headcount to more than 100, turning the firm into a market leader in terms of headcount and large deal footprint. Boer & Croon Corporate Finance has to date in 2018 contributed to 13 successful deals, including the acquisition or marketing consultancy VODW by EY, the sales of Mijnwater and catering group Debuut (sell-side), as well as two acquisitions in the healthcare industry. “BCCF realises a large number of transactions with its team of specialists,” remarks Snijders.

Track record

What fundamentally attracted Deloitte to Boer & Croon Corporate Finance was the firm's track record (“BCCF has a leading position in a number of sectors”), expertise (“they garner a lot of valuable experience”) and reputation among clients (“they enjoy a high level of customer satisfaction”). The joining of forces will add expertise and skills to Deloitte’s full suite of Corporate Finance services – spanning M&A advisory (due diligence, transaction services, valuations), Financial Institution Advisory (services to financial services) and Disruptive M&A.

For BCCF, the decision to join the largest professional services firm in the Netherlands will pave the way for two main opportunities, says Dagmar Enklaar, Partner at the boutique. “Deloitte provides us access to a large international network [the footprint of Deloitte Corporate Finance comprises 2,000 corporate finance professionals in over 120 offices]. We can continue to operate within a broader field of services, while allowing us to specialise further and to use our knowledge and experience more broadly.”

“With its knowledge, track record and sector expertise, BCCF is a wonderful addition to our financial advisory business. This transaction underpins our growth strategy in the Netherlands.”
– Oscar Snijders, Deloitte Financial Advisory

She adds that the move will also provide “personal growth and development opportunities” for the employees of BCCF. The boutique M&A advisor is led by a senior team which includes partners Dagmar Enklaar (since 2008), Neil Lomax (since 2014), Onno Vos (since 2015), along with Daan Haeck, Joost Plus and Matthijs van Thiel de Vries – all three as directors.

Rolf Visser, Managing Partner of Deloitte Corporate Finance, echoes the words of Snijders and Enklaar. “Together, we are even better able to provide our clients with specialised advice. Moreover, the talent and culture of BCCF fit perfectly with that of Deloitte. This transaction underlines our ambition to be the preferred choice for our clients and employees.”

Boer & Croon, which provides consulting (in a joint venture with Scandinavian consultancy Qvartz) and interim services and similar to BCCF carries the ‘Boer & Croon’ brand, is a separate company in the Netherlands and is not part of the deal. Following the integration into Deloitte, BCCF has left the international M&A network it was part of, Clairfield International.

PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI deal

09 April 2019

Accounting and consulting firm PwC has bolstered its Salesforce portfolio in the Benelux with the acquisition of ABSI. The move adds around 100 consultants and technology experts to its Salesforce practices in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. 

The move comes at a time when demand for Salesforce implementation services is rising rapidly. Salesforce is a provider of cloud-based systems that help companies build and nurture their (potential) clients through a rigorous and personalised customer relationship management approach. Over 150,000 companies today use Salesforce CRM to support their sales, service, commerce, marketing and e-commerce objectives. 

In the Benelux, ABSI was Salesforce’s first certified partner, back in 2002, and the firm has since grown into one of the region’s larger IT consultancies dedicated to the Salesforce platform. The company specialises in the implementation of Salesforce systems, the design of blueprints and business processes, the migration of data, and application integration.

“In a world that is digitising, organisations want to offer a personalised experience to customers, employees and business partners,” explained Maarten van de Pol, who leads PwC Advisory in the Netherlands. “The technological ecosystem of Salesforce meets this need – with the acquisition, PwC is strengthening its fast-growing digital transformation services on the Salesforce backbone.”PwC bolsters Salesforce arm in Benelux and France with ABSI dealThe integration sees ABSI’s 100-odd employees in Belgium (where the company was founded in 1995 in Brussels), the Netherlands (located in Nieuwegein, close to Utrecht) and France (Paris) join PwC’s ranks. As well as adding deep Salesforce expertise to its offering, PwC also expects to benefit from ABSI’s experience and propositions in the area of Dell Boomi, Sitecore, ServiceMax, Riva, Neurored and Ebsta. 

Doubi Ajami, founder and CEO van ABSI, remarked on the deal; “PwC and ABSI complement each other perfectly. Together we will be able to better serve our customers. While our focus remains 100% on Salesforce, thanks to the power and network of PwC we will also be able to work on broader projects at a strategic digital level.” 

PwC’s acquisitions in the Benelux build on previous Salesforce deals globally. At the end of 2017 the consulting firm for instance acquired UK-based cDecisions, shortly after it also bolted-on a Salesforce specialist in South Africa. The investments are part of PwC’s broader strategy to ramp up its technology consulting arm, amid a booming market for digital transformation services.  

Recently, PwC was named one of the globe’s top advisory and implementation partners for the Salesforce platform.