EY Acquires DKM Economic Consultants

08 Jan 2018 | 10.07 am

EY Acquires DKM Economic Consultants

Terms not disclosed for EY’s first Irish acquisition

08 Jan 2018 | 10.07 am

EY Ireland has acquired DKM Economic Consultants for an undisclosed sum, in what is the firm’s first acquisition in Ireland.

DKM is a privately owned economic research firm was part of Davy Stockbrokers from 1981 until 2006. Its expertise and insights cover a wide range of sectors, including construction, infrastructure, health, transport, urban development and agriculture.

The consultancy’s history stretches into the 1970s, when it was first established by economists Brendan Dowling, Robbie Kelleher and Colm McCarthy, whose surnames’ initials comprise the business name. DKM was bought out by two of its senior researchers, John Lawlor and Annette Hughes, in 2006.

Following its acquisition by EY, the new EY-DKM economic advisory team will be led by partners Shane MacSweeney and Luke Charleton. The team will integrate into the EY network.

The DKM staff will also relocate operations from Grand Canal Wharf to EY’s office on Harcourt Street in Dublin this month. DKM’s existing clients include a number of Ireland’s biggest private and public sector companies, government departments, local authorities and state agencies, as well as the EU Commission.

Mike McKerr, country managing partner of EY Ireland, said that the rationale for DKM’s acquisition was to build on recent investments made by EY in its government, infrastructure and economic advisory offering.

“Many of our Irish clients, domestic and international, are grappling with uncertainty from a variety of perspectives including social, political and technological. With more than 35 years of unparalleled experience in the Irish market, DKM offers our clients market-leading expertise to help them understand the future economic environment they will operate in, and to help them navigate the road ahead,” McKerr added.

Annette Hughes, director at EY-DKM economic advisory, said that she and her DKM principals were delighted that EY approached the firm with the intention to acquire it.

“We believe that EY is the right brand and the perfect partnership for us, and will lead to further success in the future. 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,” she continued.

Shane MacSweeney, head of government, infrastructure and economic advisory with EY Ireland, also commented on the acquisition. “[It] comes at a time when Ireland is at a critical economic crossroads, with Brexit, wider geo-politics and technological disruption.

“The condition of roads, schools, telecommunications, availability of housing and other physical assets greatly influences the economy’s ability to function and grow, drive job creation and encourage inward investment. We’re looking forward to introducing the services of EY-DKM Economic Advisory to new and existing clients in the new year,” he said.

DKM’s shareholders prior to EY’s acquisition were John Lawlor (25%), Brendan Dowling (45%) and Annette Hughes (30%). In the year to February 2017, the company booked a profit of €14,000 and had net worth of €311,000.

Six consultants were employed by DKM, earning an average salary of €62,000. Directors’ emoluments for the three principals during the period came to €179,000.

 

Photo: Luke Charleton (left), Annette Hughes and Mike McKerr

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