BDO Eaton Square to tap surge in Brexit business

By Pádraig Hoare

The growth of firms looking to new markets in Europe after Brexit was a major factor in two Irish firms consultancy merging with the creation of 100 jobs in the next three years, the new company has said.

Tax and advisory firm BDO Ireland has launched a new business following a merger of its existing management consulting business with fellow Irish firm Eaton Square, which was established in 2012 by Aidan McHugh and David O’Connor.

The new business, to be known as BDO Eaton Square, will create up to 100 management consultant jobs in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, and is targeting 30% yearly growth in three years and €20m in annual revenues, it said.

Managing partner of BDO Ireland, Michael Costello said there was a growing demand from businesses looking to prepare for the customs union post-Brexit as well as eyeing new markets in continental Europe.

Despite looking to new markets, a BDO Ireland survey of 350 Irish businesses earlier this month found two-thirds of them have not reviewed their current business relationships to identify suppliers that might be negatively impacted by Brexit.

The survey also found only a quarter of businesses believe they are more prepared for Brexit than their suppliers and customers.

“There has not been too much customs union expertise out there. The Brexit vote was not anticipated but it has changed the landscape for many businesses, whether they are multinationals or SMEs. There is a deficit for SMEs in strategic planning and bodies like Enterprise Ireland would say more expertise in the area is needed,” Mr Costello said.

He said BDO Ireland’s reach into Europe was “very strong”, while Eaton Square was already working with organisations which have developed new market entry strategies.

“Eaton Square has quite a lot of expertise in Europe, but BDO itself is a Europe-led network. That was part of the attraction for Eaton Square, the fact that BDO had that footprint in Europe,” said Mr Costello.

Following the merger, BDO Eaton Square will have 45 consultants, rising to 145 in three years.

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