EY capitalises on soaring demand across all professional services

EY is creating 520 jobs across its seven Irish offices.

EY capitalises on soaring demand across all professional services

Joe Dermody

Business is booming for the top accountancy practices, with demand for expert advice in data analytics and cyber-security, plus constant demand for the traditional audit-and-tax services.

EY is creating 520 jobs across its seven Irish offices. This will include 305 graduates, plus 215 experienced new hires. In all, 145 of the new roles will be based in EY’s two Dublin offices, with 65 in EY’s Munster offices: 35 in Cork, 15 in Limerick, 15 in Waterford.

These hires will take EY staff numbers over 3,000 for the island of Ireland.

The €65,000 average salary for EY’s experienced hires indicates that this is a quality sector seeking top talent. In January, EY Ireland acquired the DKM Economic Advisory practice, who are offering expert Brexit strategy advice to public and private sector clients.

“We expect that business to continue growing quickly, as well,” said John Higgins, managing partner of EY’s Cork office and head of transaction advisory services. “The traditional areas of audit and tax are continuing to grow, but the big growth opportunities are in new areas, like data analytics, cyber and risk management. Around 60% of the growth we’ve experienced in the past year has been in non-traditional areas.

There was a time, in the past, when you’d see people queuing up in EY’s office in Cork, waiting to meet with their accountant. Now, it’s all Skype calls and Bloomberg screens. We have invested significantly in digital, and in talent

EY’s Munster clients will know that its 20,000 sq ft of offices in City Quarter, Cork, have been completely modernised. Its offices in Limerick and Waterford are also equipped with the latest technology.

The way clients interact with EY has changed markedly. This is reflected in the popping-up of thinking spaces, like EY Wavespace, in London, the “physical, mental and digital space, where, together with our clients, we ask better questions and explore new ideas that will help them thrive in the transformative age”.

Then, there’s EY Seren, which has an office in Dublin. It offers expertise in innovation, design, and optimisation. Listed case studies include: an innovative, new product for a payments company; new product ideas for a global media group; a global innovation programme for a car brand.

EY Seren is also delivering new, customer-focused ideas and products for broadband companies, banks, an internet TV business, capturing online business for cruise lines and optimising online sales for leading retailers.

“Our clients realise that we are a full-service firm,” said John Higgins.

We’re working on all sorts of projects, such as smart-metering for utilities companies, working with health services, loan-transaction projects with banks, and agri-food projects. Our clients are experiencing change, and technology is at the heart of most of that change

“We regularly host workshops and breakfast briefings on diverse topics, from cyber-security and GDPR to Brexit.

“It is amazing also to see so many high quality candidates entering the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. There are some fantastic companies in, again, this year, and we can see plenty more in the pipeline for next year.”

EY’s strength in Munster is backed by a diverse portfolio of business clients, from FDI corporations in life sciences and pharma, to big wholesale groups and rapidly evolving smaller companies.

EY had double-digit revenue growth of 10% in Cork in 2017, and 18% growth in 2017 across Munster. The company has had a 70% increase in headcount at EY Cork in the last five years. The current headcount is at around 220 in Cork, with an ambition to grow to 250 in the next 18 months.

The new EY Cork office space at City Quarter, Lapp’s Quay, was designed by MCM and Henry J Lyons; it features a spacious, open-plan layout and was developed to create a more progressive work environment. EY’s new office embraces the firm’s global EY@Work model, which is based on developing modern office space supported by the latest technology, design, and environmental standards.

As part of its efforts to attract and retain top talent, EY has 15 people who are working in Munster by choice, while delivering national roles. These people take on the roles knowing they’ll most likely spend three days each week in Dublin.

For instance, on this basis, EY recruited Sean Casey in the new role of advisory head of energy and assets. He was formerly COO of Ervia, the parent company of Irish Water.

“We are doing a lot of work in the utility space, and Sean said he wanted to work from Cork,” said John Higgins. “We’ve a lot of people in Cork and Limerick who fit into that work model. For some quality people, we’ll make that work for them.”

EY Cork has also recruited Niall Barrett, formerly director of finance with Gilead Sciences. EY Ireland’s assurance partner, Ronan Clinton, is based in EY’s Waterford office; he joined the firm from accountants, Clinton Flynn, in Waterford, where he was one of the partners.

EY’s creation of 520 new roles follows double-digit growth for four consecutive years and a 36% increase in headcount in the last two years.

EY is actively recruiting candidates to fill a variety of roles in areas including data analytics; IT advisory and transformation; risk; cyber; digital strategy and customer experience. Ongoing demand in the firm’s core audit, tax, and corporate finance practices has also led to the creation of these new roles, including fast-growth areas, such as economic advisory; tax-and-audit innovation and automation.


Leaders Left-Right: Keith Faga, Chin Ru Foo, Cillian Leonowicz, Vincent Hodder and Claire M Murphy

Leaders Left-Right: Keith Faga, Chin Ru Foo, Cillian Leonowicz, Vincent Hodder and Claire M Murphy

Keith Fagan, country manager of Molson Coors Ireland, has been elected as chairperson of The Irish Brewers Association (IBA), the voice for the brewing industry in Ireland. He has also previously held senior roles with United Biscuits Ireland and Nestle Purina. The IBA chair became vacant when outgoing chair Maggie Timoney, CEO of Heineken Ireland, stepped down due to her appointment as CEO of Heineken USA. Jonathan McDade, head of the IBA, said he looks forward to working with Keith Fagan on the issues that are pertinent to the beer industry in Ireland; he also paid tribute to Maggie Timoney’s contribution to the brewing sector in Ireland over the past five years.

Maarten Schuurman has been appointed as managing director of Heineken Ireland, effective September 1. He is with Heineken 22 years in global and general management roles, notably in the Netherlands; he was MD of the firm’s operating companies in Suriname, South America and Burundi in East Africa. His current role is head of global sales, based in the company’s international HQ in The Netherlands. For the past three years, he shaped and delivered Heineken’s global sales agenda including revenue management and its e-commerce across all continents. He joined the firm in 1996 as a management trainee. He will succeed Maggie Timoney who has been appointed CEO of Heineken USA after five years with the firm in Ireland.

Chin Ru Foo has been named as a global brand director with William Grant & Sons, the independent, family-owned distillers. She will manage the Irish and American Whiskey and Trailblazer brands, including Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey. She was previously Baileys global strategy and content creation manager having spent 10 years working for Diageo across senior positions in Singapore, London and Dublin. She succeeds Caspar MacRae, who is now marketing director for William Grant & Sons UK and Ireland. She said: “2018 will be the year we amplify Tullamore D.E.W’s exciting new platform. We’ve only scratched the surface of the Beauty of Blend campaign.”

Cillian Leonowicz has been appointed as director of business development in Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab in Dublin, which has helped more than 100 clients deliver blockchain proof of concepts and solutions. He has worked in consulting, financial services and tech sectors for the past 10 years. He joined Deloitte in 2015 as a fintech lead for pioneering new blockchain initiatives. He was previously global head of digital and client solutions consulting for Fenergo; and he was DST Systems’ business development lead for South East Asia, based in Singapore. He holds a Law degree from UCC and an MBS in Management Consulting from the Smurfit School at UCD.

Vincent Hodder has been appointed as CEO of LEVEL, the low-cost airline brand of International Airlines Group (IAG). He brings 25 years’ experience with airlines including low cost carriers such as Jetstar in Australia and Asia and VivaAerobus in Mexico. He is currently chief strategy officer at UK regional airline Flybe where he was instrumental in turning around revenue performance and refining the strategic direction of the business. He holds a BComm from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School. He is also a fluent Spanish speaker. LEVEL’s current fleet of A330-200 planes will expand to seven aircraft next year.

Claire M Murphy has been appointed as group general counsel and company secretary with open-access network provider enet. She will lead all legal workstreams for the group, as well as corporate governance matters; she is now also head of shared services, leading HR, business transformation initiatives, and regulatory matters. She brings 13 years of legal experience in industry, in the utility and card payments sector, and in private practice with law firms. She studied Business and Law and a Commercial Law Masters in UCD. She qualified as a solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland; she holds diplomas in Intellectual Property and Intellectual Technology, as well as In-house Legal Practice.

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