Ernst & Young (EY)

Who are EY?

Ernst and Young (EY) is a multinational professional services group born out of the merger of Ernst and Whinney and Arthur Young and Co.

Founded in 1989, the global network’s oldest component dates back to 1849 through the English firm Harding and Pullein. An accountant named Frederick Whinney joined the group, later becoming a partner whose son named the company Whinney, Smith and Whinney in 1894.

Meanwhile, in 1903 two Ohio brothers, Alwin and Theodore Ernst, had set up Ernst and Ernst. Elsewhere, in Chicago, Arthur Young and Co had been established in the same decade and since formed with British accountancy group Broads Paterson and Co.

Ernst mirrored the path to Britain, merging with Whinney Smith and Whinney to form Ernst and Whinney in 1979. Ten years later the two firms combined to form the company in its current form, which was only officially rebranded to its initialised EY name in 2013. 

While the group is based in London, EY’s global structure is split into its EMEIA, Americas, and Asia-Pacific operations. 

EY operates with over 30,000 employees across more than 700 offices and 150 countries around the globe

Led by Carmine Di Sibio, global chairman and CEO, the firm’s global executive team is completed by Andy Baldwin, global managing partner of client service, and Steve Krouskos, global managing partner of business enablement.

In the UK and Ireland, where the group is based, Hywel Ball is chair and regional managing partner, leading 17,000 staff members in the process.

What do they do?

EY offers four integrated service lines: assurance, consulting, strategy and transactions, and tax.

Through these lines, the group says it supports its clients to “capitalise on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth”.

It adds that EY’s “high performing, multidisciplinary teams” are also key in helping the company’s clients fulfil regulatory requirements, keep investors informed, and meet stakeholder needs.

Recent financials

The group reported combined global revenues of $37.2bn (£26.8bn) for the financial year ended June 2020, a year-on-year climb of 4.1%.

Revenues at its assurance arm rose 3.1% from $12.6bn (£9.07bn) in FY19 to $12.8bn (£9.22bn) in FY20, while its advisory department grew 4.9% to $10.6bn (£7.63bn) in the same period.

EY’s tax division saw the largest increase in revenues, rising 5.1% from $9.46bn (£6.81bn) to $9.76bn (£7.03bn), as its transaction advisory services represented the lowest jump of 2.8% to the smallest revenue of $4.09bn (£2.95bn).

As for the company’s UK operations, it saw a fee income increase of 5% to £2.6bn for the 53 weeks ended 3 July 2020.

In the news

While EY is a global network with consistent happenings, one of its most notable actions thus far in 2021 was the group’s acquisition of Frank Hirth’s personal tax service business for an undisclosed sum.

Through the deal that is subject to be completed in H1 2021, EY expects 200 employees and over 5,000 clients of Frank Hirth to form part of the acquired business.

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