EY Consulting buys 450-strong Fabernovel (its largest deal in years)

07 July 2022 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

EY has acquired Fabernovel, a France-headquartered innovation and digital transformation company with an international footprint.

The deal adds around 450 employees to EY Consulting’s team in France (330 staff), China and Singapore (100 staff), and the United States (20 staff), making it one of EY Consulting’s larger acquisitions in the past decade.

“This deal is a strategic investment for EY and is part of our strategy to expand EY Consulting in Western Europe to a $1.5 billion business and grow our headcount to 10,000 employees,” said Ignacio Rel, Head of EY Business Consulting for Western Europe.

EY Consulting buys 450-strong Fabernovel (its largest deal in years)

The joining of forces in particular strengthens EY’s capabilities in the area of customer strategy, design, innovation, and digital transformation. Founded in 2003, Fabernovel helps clients with designing new products and services, and then bringing those to life through a mix of creative, business consulting and technology services.

Fabernovel serves clients in sectors such as financial services, healthcare, energy, luxury, retail, life sciences and telecom, and has a leading position in the platform economy segment, where the firm delivers projects at the forefront of developments (for example: platform models, metaverse) and has a well-respected quarterly thought leadership publication (GAFAnomics).

Clients range from major corporates (Fabernovel serves 80% of CAC 40 companies in home market France) and family businesses to internationalising scale-ups and start-ups.

“Fabernovel bolsters our customer-oriented innovation and digital transformation offerings,” said Bertrand Baret, Deputy Managing Partner of EY Consulting for Western Europe. “We are convinced that their capabilities will be a major differentiator for accelerating our growth and that of our customers.”

Eric Fourel, the boss of EY in France, pointed at the cultural fit between the two companies – an essential part of any successful merger in a human-driven industry such as consulting. “Our cultures are both very close and complementary.”

The deal builds on a string of acquisitions EY has closed in the segment over the past years, including VODW in Belgium and the Netherlands, Greenwich Consulting, Bluestone Consulting, Cognistreamer and Kalydia in France, EtVenture in Germany, Dobermann in Sweden, Yello in Italy, and Seren in the United Kingdom.

Patrick Ruijs, Managing Partner of EY VODW, welcomed the deal, stating that it will provide EY with “enormous opportunities, both for our clients and employees. Being able to tap into such a network is exactly why we as VODW chose to join EY four years ago.”

For Fabernovel, integrating into EY’s ranks will enable the consultancy to work on “the most challenging and complex innovation projects around” and “continue its internationalisation strategy,” said Stéphane Distinguin, Founder and President of Fabernovel.

The deal is expected to close at the end of 2022. Terms and conditions have not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, outside of the customer-focused innovation transformation segment, EY has over the year closed a larger batch of acquisitions, including the high-profile purchases of strategic players OC&C Strategy Consultants in France and Port Jackson Partners in Australia (both are now part of EY-Parthenon, EY’s strategy consulting outfit).