Friday 14 December 2018

EY snaps up DKM in first Irish acquisition

EY-DKM economic advisory director Annette Hughes
EY-DKM economic advisory director Annette Hughes

Colm Kelpie

Consultants EY has made its first acquisition in Ireland, snapping up DKM Economic Consultants

EY, which would not disclose how much it paid, said the deal expands its existing Government, infrastructure and economic advisory services in Ireland.

The 15-strong EY-DKM Economic Advisory team, led by partners Shane MacSweeney and Luke Charleton, will offer enhanced expertise across a wide range of specialisms, including construction and property economics, project appraisal, transport, urban economics and market analysis.

Mr MacSweeney said the complexity of the questions from its clients had increased.

"We're at a very interesting economic crossroads. On the one hand, we have the fastest-growing economy in Europe, and on the other hand, we have significant uncertainty around things like Brexit, geopolitics, wider technological disruption. What I was finding with our clients is that they are operating in this really dynamic environment and they are grappling with these higher levels of uncertainty, and their questions to us are becoming more complex, such as Brexit, wage inflation and skills," he said.

"The more that we got these questions, the more we realised that we needed to diversify and widen our service offering. What we felt was that a lot of these challenging questions would be better answered through detailed economic analysis and detailed economic forecasting."

He said the recovery has brought with it complexities not seen in the crisis years.

"Any professional services firms, including our own, expanded particular service offerings to deal with the times that we were in, such as restructuring services, expanding out different tax offerings and so forth. We're in a much different market place now. We're dealing with a different set of challenges."

The DKM team will relocate operations from Grand Canal Wharf to EY's office on Harcourt Street this month, but the brand will be retained.

DKM's existing clients include many of Ireland's largest private and public sector companies, Government departments, local authorities and State agencies, and the EU Commission. With the former DKM team, EY now employs 2,096 people across the island.

EY-DKM economic advisory director Annette Hughes said EY is the right brand and the perfect partnership for DKM.

"We will continue to provide a broad-based economic consultancy service, and will continue to focus on the same areas and sectors as we did prior to being acquired by EY," Ms Hughes said.

Irish Independent

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