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June 30, 2008

Ernst & Young fully integrates member firms in Ireland

Further integration is to take place among Ernst & Young firms, with the partners of the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland firms voting unanimously to form an all-Ireland practice.

The new structure became effective at the start of this month. Republic of Ireland managing partner Paul Smith will lead the new business and Belfast managing partner Mike McKerr will become markets leader.

The all-Ireland practice will form part of the new Ernst & Young Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) area practice, which was effective from 1 July and will integrate 87 firms under a single executive team. The Irish firm will have more than 1,200 staff, working out of offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Belfast. The Belfast office will remain part of the Ernst & Young UK partnership structure, which will remain separate from the Republic of Ireland partnership structure. For all market-facing activities the six offices will operate as an all-Ireland practice.

Smith said the planned integration is a “major step change” for Ernst & Young throughout Ireland and for the new EMEIA firm. He added: “We will be operating as a seamless, consistent business, offering our clients a more globally integrated approach that reflects the way they themselves do business. Increasingly, business and capital act without borders and entrepreneurs of whatever size think with a global mindset.”

Ernst & Young Ireland markets leader Mike McKerr added: “The recurring theme from our people, who are the partners of the future, is that this is a ‘no-brainer’ which offers them a career within an organisation that promises diversity, mobility and opportunity. Similarly, our clients, wherever they work around the world, expect consistency and quality. We at Ernst & Young will be ideally placed to create a competitive advantage and exceed these expectations.”

KPMG Ireland is the only other Big Four all-Ireland practice and has operated with that structure since 1974.

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