Grant Thornton acquires two consulting firms in the Netherlands

17 December 2018 3 min. read

Grant Thornton has acquired two small consulting firms in the Netherlands. The purchase is the firm’s first in the country since financial consultancy ConQuaestor was acquired five years ago.

Both new consultancies will be integrated into Grant Thornton Advisory, the consulting arm of the company, on January 1, 2019. One of the two acquired players supports clients with measuring their social impact, and subsequently with implementing measures to improve performance. The firm has a team of 10 professionals. The second acquired company is a cybersecurity specialist with a team of around 20 consultants and IT experts.

Commenting on the acquisitions, managing partner of Grant Thornton in the Netherlands Frank Ponsioen said, “We are glad that we can add these two advisory firms to our organisation. They will provide a significant contribution to our Advisory business, especially in important areas such as sustainability and cybersecurity.” 

Against a backdrop of growing digital threats hitting the frontiers of organisations, cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing segments in the consulting industry. In particular the larger players with a technology footprint are investing heavily in ramping up their cybersecurity skills, with M&A a common means used to bring in the required skills and capacities. All of the Big Four for instance have in recent years internationally picked up cybersecurity consultancies, with Grant Thornton now following suit in the Netherlands.Grant Thornton acquires two consulting firms in the NetherlandsThe growth in demand for social impact services comes on the back of growing awareness by companies to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were established by the United Nations over three years ago, there is still a long way to go before full compliance is achieved. According to a study by Tilburg University and sustainability consultancy Sustainalize, just a minority of Dutch organisations have currently incorporated the SDGs in their strategic planning and company-wide processes. 

With a revenue of $5 billion and approximately 50,000 employees, Grant Thornton is one of the ten largest accounting and consulting firms of the globe. Around 35% of global revenue is generated by the firm’s Advisory business ($1.7 billion), which last year was also Grant Thornton’s fastest growing service line (4.1%). 

For Grant Thornton in the Netherlands, the two deals are the first since the purchase of ConQuaestor in April 2013. As part of the deal, 400 consultants would transfer to the professional services firm, however, the transaction was turned back a year later – instead, the interim wing of ConQuaestor moved over to staffing specialist DPA, while the consulting arm of ConQuaestor opted to continue business independently, since operating as Improven.

Other deals closed this year in the Dutch management consulting industry include the acquisition of Boer & Croon Corporate Finance by Deloitte, the purchase of VODW by EY Advisory, and Sia Partners’ bolt-on of boutique firm Dicitas Consulting.