EY Bolsters CX Credentials With Black Dot Acquisition

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Consulting giant acquires Australian customer strategy and transformation consultancy

Ernst and Young has purchased Australian customer transformation consultancy Black Dot as part of plans to strengthen its CX credentials in several countries.  

The consulting giant said bringing on the boutique Black Dot business and its teams across Australia, the UK, Singapore, and Canada brings customer strategy, design, user experience, digitisation, omnichannel, commercialisation and implementation service capabilities to help its clients drive customer-oriented growth.  

Black Dot was founded locally in 2001 by Marty Nicholas and has since extended its footprint globally. Under the terms of the deal, Nicholas joins the EY partners based in Sydney, while managing director for EMEA, Mark Taylor, joins the EY partnership in the UK. Black Dot’s 64 employees also become part of EY operations locally, plus in the UK, Singapore and Canada.    

“The customer transformation capability that Black Dot brings complements our world-class EY Port Jackson Partners strategy team, bringing deep growth, omnichannel, sales and marketing skills and linking perfectly with our customer research, experience, digital and data analytics capabilities,” EY regional consulting managing partner for Oceania, Justin Greig, said.  

“As a result, EY Australia now offers clients a market-leading set of customer and growth services spanning innovation to successful commercial execution – and further strengthens EY transformation leadership momentum.”  

EY acquired the Jackson Partners business in 2020, adding the 13-strong team to its global strategy practice, EY Parthenon, and bolstering employee numbers to more than 5000 people.   

Nicholas said combining EY’s complementary strategy, technology, data, digital and people advisory capabilities with Black Dot’s customer and growth expertise “sets us up to unlock more value faster for clients looking to transform how they go to market”.  

“Critically, the cultural fit with EY across all our centres has been unforced and energising from the outset,” Nicholas continued. “Watching the team get behind the opportunity to help EY fulfil their ambition of building a world-class customer and growth capability has been exciting. The personal and professional growth opportunities this enables us all are unrivalled.”   

Ernst and Young has made several acquisitions to extend its reach into the marketing, digital and CX services sphere. In 2018, it acquired Adelphi Digital, a digital innovation firm, adding 170 staff to its ranks.