2019 Vault Rankings
Not your ordinary consultancy
Rebranded from Ernst and Young in 2013, EY's history stretches back as far as 1903. One of the Big Four accounting firms in the world today, alongside Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Deloitte and KPMG EY does not offer consultancy services in the conventional sense, having sold its consulting arm to Capgemini for $11 million in 2000, but it does provide what it calls advisory services. In other words, it advises companies on effective business strategy but refrains from getting its hands dirty with implementation work. Under this advisory umbrella, EY offers clients actuarial services, business advisory services, business risk services, financial services risk management, fraud investigation and dispute services, and technology and security risk services. Meanwhile, clients can take advantage of the firm’s additional offerings, under its assurance, tax and transaction wings.
While a complete list of EY’s clients would undoubtedly be a long and luminous affair, it’s perhaps best to work instead with a representative sample. Clients basically fall into two camps, those where the firm attests to financial statements, and those where it doesn’t. In the former camp are firms of the stature of Amazon, Coca-Cola, Intel, Renault and UBS, while the latter group includes AXA, Citigroup, eBay, Johnson & Johnson and Vivendi.
Not so young, but definitely earnest
EY is headquartered in London, but is organized under five different geographical areas: Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), the Americas, the Far East, Oceania and Japan. Its lineage stretches back to Cleveland in 1903, when brothers A.C. and Theodore Ernst opened an accounting shop with the imaginative name Ernst & Ernst. Three years later, Scottish immigrant Arthur Young, together with his brother Stanley, opened another eponymous accounting shop, Arthur Young and Company, in the fair city of Chicago. Between them, the companies spent the next 85 years pushing the boundaries of the accounting business, more or less inventing management accounting (Ernst) and developing an expertise in training (Young).
The British connection was established in 1957, with a merger between Ernst & Ernst and UK firm Whinney Murray & Co. That movement, which created Ernst & Whinney, was the last significant development in the history of the firms until 1989, when a merger created Ernst & Young, which went on to become one of the original Big Eight audit firms. That number has since fallen to four, due to mergers and the Enron scandal, the latter event responsible for the tightening of Securities and Exchange Commission restrictions in the US. Tighter conflict-of-interest regulation led to EY’s sale of its consulting wing in 2000, a deal which came with a five-year noncompete agreement with buyer Capgemini. Since that agreement ran its course, EY, as seen above, has been steadily rebuilding its capabilities, and currently employs over 75,000 staff in its worldwide assurance and advisory division. In the four years business advisory has been trading, accelerated growth has seen it reach the same size and value as when it was sold to Capgemini in 2000 (and within a much shorter time frame than it took the former management consulting services business to reach that same stature).
1 Lambeth Palace Road
London SE1 7EU
Phone: 44 (0)207 951 2000
Employer Type: Private
Global CEO: Mark Weinberger
2008 Employees (All Locations): 77,800