Business Irish

Sunday 25 August 2019

EY staff numbers and revenues soar past boom levels

Mike McKerr is country managing partner at EY
Mike McKerr is country managing partner at EY
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Accounting and advisory services giant EY is reporting double-digit growth for the fourth consecutive year at its Irish arm, with revenues of €247m in the year to the end of June last.

Staff numbers and revenues at EY Ireland are now significantly above boom levels, country managing partner Mike McKerr told the Irish Independent.

"Fee income pre-recession was close to €100m and is well ahead of that now. In terms of staff we were looking at 1,100 then compared to 2,400 now," he said.

The firm has increased staff numbers by 38pc since 2015, he said. This includes a recent intake of 248 graduates.

"We never had a redundancy programme, so we kept capacity in the business," he said.

Expansion outside Dublin is now particularly marked, including in Galway, where a new team of 25 will now be increased to between 75 and 100 staff, as well as in Cork and Waterford, he said.

EY has seven offices across the island of Ireland.

It operates on an all-island basis, including a significant presence in Belfast.

However, that structure could be endangered by Brexit, Mr McKerr noted.

"I sincerely hope we can continue [with the current cross-Border structure], a soft Brexit is clearly the preference, a hard Brexit would give us different challenges," Mr McKerr said

In the Republic, fee income grew 12pc in the 2017 financial year, compared to 9pc in the UK. Globally, EY reported annual revenues of $31.4bn (€27bn) for 2017, up 7.8pc.

New initiatives in 2017 included the appointment of Belfast-based Prof Neil Gibson, as EY Ireland chief economist, and the appointment of Shane MacSweeney as partner and head of government and infrastructure for EY Ireland, a new business area focused on longer- term capital projects, including State spending and private investment in renewable energy and other large-scale projects.

Meanwhile, research from PWC has found that Irish financial services executives are less concerned than their global peers about the potential of technological disruption to their businesses. Global executives are also more mindful of the value of protecting people's data, compared to their Irish counterparts.

Irish Independent

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