EY Acquires Family Enterprise Business Services Practice of HWSC

Ernst & Young LLP has acquired the Family Enterprise Business Services (FEBS) practice of Headwaters SC, LP (HWSC). James C. Bly, Jr., the founder and CEO of HWSC, has joined Ernst & Young LLP where he will serve as an Executive Director.

A professional services firm founded in 1982, HWSC helps business-owning families develop and implement strategies related to business growth, company capitalization, generational transition, and shareholder liquidity. Most of HWSC’s clients are multi-generational family enterprises, which typically control upper middle market companies.

“The addition of the FEBS team from HWSC reflects EY’s ongoing commitment to family businesses and family offices that represent an incredibly important segment of our economy and drive opportunities in communities across the country,” said Kate Barton, EY Americas Vice Chair of Tax Services. “Jim and his team have deep experience with these companies and the unique opportunities and challenges they face. The HWSC team is going to be a great addition to our Private Client Services practice and our EY Global Family Business Center of Excellence.”

Bly founded HWSC 35 years ago to help family-owned and controlled businesses. He has personally advised the principal owners of hundreds of businesses on wealth building or transitions. Bly also co-founded the Business Growth Alliance (BGA), an international network of professional service firms dedicated to assisting owners of private companies.

“By joining EY, we will be able to deliver cross-border, multi-disciplinary services to enterprising families and family offices that own and control operating businesses and operating assets, in a way and on a scale that was not previously available in the market,” said Bly. “We have carefully planned this transition during the past couple of years, as it stemmed from a joint vision and passion for serving enterprising families as well as a purpose-driven mindset and shared interest in building a better working world. I am proud of what we have accomplished at HWSC over the last 35 years, and my team and I are excited to further build that legacy with EY.”  

EY is a global market leader in advising and guiding family businesses. With almost a century of experience supporting the world’s most entrepreneurial and innovative companies, we understand the unique challenges they face — and how to address them. We offer a personalized range of services aimed at the specific needs of each individual business — helping it to grow and succeed for generations. Our Family Business Global Center of Excellence is a powerful resource that provides access to our knowledge, insights and experience, connecting family business owners to their peers through the strength of our global network.