Saturday 21 April 2018

Grant Thornton closes in on 'Big Four' accountancy firms with RSM Farrell Grant Sparks merger

Grant Thornton office
Grant Thornton office

Paul O'Donoghue

Grant Thornton, one of the country's largest accounting firms, has absorbed its smaller rival RSM Farrell Grant Sparks.

The two companies have agreed a merger, subject to regulatory and competition approval. The newly merged entity will be known as Grant Thornton and will be led by current Grant Thornton Managing Partner, Paul McCann.

According to figures published in Finance magazine, Grant Thornton is the fifth-biggest auditing firm across Ireland with €82m of fee income. RSM Farrell Grant Sparks is the seventh-largest, with fee income in 2013 of €32.2m.

The merger will consolidate the combined entity’s position as the fifth largest firm in the Irish accountancy market. The combined company will have over 750 staff and 51 partners.

The merger also brings Grant Thornton closer to breaking the hold that the so-called 'Big Four' firms of PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young have on the lucrative auditing and advisory market.

Grant Thornton’s Managing Partner, Paul McCann said that RSM Farrell Grant Sparks “fits well with the overall culture of Grant Thornton.”

He added: “This consolidation will serve to increase competition within the larger Irish firms, particularly in the areas of audit and taxation, as well as the growing market for corporate finance advisory services."

Managing partner with RSM Farrell Grant Sparks Jim Mulqueen said: “This is a very positive move for both businesses.

“This provides an enhanced service offering which will provide clients with access to an even greater range and depth of experience and skills”.

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