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.