Accenture acquires 120-strong Dutch consultancy Zestgroup

16 December 2021 3 min. read

Accenture has expanded its consulting team in the Netherlands with the acquisition of Zestgroup, a 120-strong consultancy that is best known for its track record in the energy and utilities sectors.

Founded in 2003, Zestgroup specialises in helping clients in the energy and utilities space with advisory, project delivery, change and tech implementation on topics including energy transition, market regulation, renewable energy, operational excellence, procurement spend optimisation, and technology.

Clients include large energy companies (Eneco, Essent, Vattenfall), utility groups (Enexis, TenneT, Joulz) and water companies (Vitens, Waterbedrijf Groningen). Zestgroup also serves clients in other sectors (such as food & beverage, high-tech, manufacturing, transport & logistics) – here the focus is mainly on project management services.

Accenture acquires 120-strong Dutch consultancy Zestgroup

Zestgroup will be integrated into Accenture Operations, and rebrand as ‘Zestgroup – Part of Accenture’.

Manish Sharma, Group Chief Executive van Accenture Operations, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Zestgroup to our team, adding significant expertise to our energy consulting and procurement capabilities.”

For Zestgroup, the joining of forces with Accenture will provide the firm with “new opportunities for our clients and people,” said chief executive officer Ramon van der Wal. “Our combined expertise will help our clients move faster and smarter, while it will offer our people with larger and more end-to-end projects as well as international career opportunities.”

The energy and utilities sector is a sweet spot of Accenture, in particular in the Netherlands. The industry vertical is one of the firm’s largest in size, and has groomed many of its leaders, including Manon van Beek (CEO of Accenture in the Netherlands between 2013 en 2018; now CEO of TenneT) and Irine Gaasbeek (Accenture’s Dutch CEO between 2018 en 2021; now with the firm in a regional role).

The current CEO of Accenture in the Netherlands, Nicole van Det, welcomes the expertise that Zestgroup brings in the area of climate change and net zero transitions – two of the most upcoming fields of expertise within the consulting landscape.

“A sustainable future relies on organisations moving faster to transition ways of working to those that make greater use of sustainable clean energy sources. With the industry expertise of Zestgroup we can even better help our clients achieve their carbon emission objectives.”

The deal is Accenture’s second in the Netherlands this year, following the bolt-on of Cygni (a Swedish group that also had an office in the country). Globally, Accenture’s is on an M&A rampage, having absorbed more than 20 acquisitions this year.