Alastair Mac Donald, Managing Partner, talks about MKO’s rebrand to EisnerAmper Ireland
As MKO joins EisnerAmper Global and rebrands to EisnerAmper Ireland, the firm has a client roll that includes some of the world’s leading financial services and trading companies in addition to state bodies in Ireland.
As the team prepared for the changeover, Alastair Mac Donald, Managing Partner, sat down in the boardroom of their Dublin office with Colin Murphy, columnist with the Sunday Business Post, to talk about why he is willing to change to the EisnerAmper brand, and where he thinks the firm is heading.
Colin: Let’s get the basics right first. What is happening to MKO?
Alastair: We’re joining with a leading US accountancy firm, EisnerAmper LLP, to form a new global network called EisnerAmper Global. As founding members of that network, we’ve decided to change our name to EisnerAmper Ireland from today.
Colin: Is this a merger or acquisition, or simply a partnership?
Alastair: None of the above. We remain an independent Irish firm owned by our partners. Along with EisnerAmper LLP and Cayman we founded EisnerAmper Global. Through our membership of EisnerAmper Global we will work together to share work and intelligence to facilitate international trade.
So we have the same service and ethos – but now with global connectivity.
Colin: Who are EisnerAmper LLP in the US?
Alastair: EisnerAmper are one of the US’s leading accounting firms, with over 1300 professionals and 200 partners. They are based in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Grand Cayman. They focus on two areas that are key to us: international trade and financial services. Their collegiate culture and values are very close to our own. Through working with them on joint projects in recent years, we have come to see them as a natural fit with our firm and our clients.
Colin: There’s clearly some risk involved – you are giving up your own brand, and joining with a much larger firm. So why take on this headache?
Alastair: We don’t consider this is a headache at all! While it’s been hard work it’s both exciting and invigorating.
The bigger question is: why do this at all? As part of our commitment to continually develop our expertise and offering to our niche markets, we realised that to be “best in class”, we need to be globally best in class. As a growing Irish firm already playing a key role in bringing international financial services and trade to Ireland, we realised that we needed global perspective and relevance. So as a firm that has always been committed to innovation in professional services, we see this as a logical and important next step in our journey.
Colin: That makes sense, but why the name change?
Alastair: While we remain an independent Irish firm owned by our partners, it makes sense for us to work with our international colleagues under a single brand to clearly position our global offering to our clients and financial services markets.
Initial client feedback suggests that EisnerAmper is one of those names you won’t forget because it’s hard to remember – that’s been an unforeseen benefit!
Colin: How does this position you with the Big Four – how do you compete?
Alastair: We are executing a strategy we call “global niche” – offering specialist services to niche markets in the key global hubs. For example, in Ireland we primarily focus upon financial services, international trade and government work. Increasingly, conflicts of interest and the evolving regulatory environment mean that clients need an alternative auditor or an additional advisor. Upcoming EU audit reform is bringing this to the fore. So competition is always there but, just as often, our peers and markets will see us as complementary.
Colin: How will this affect your existing clients?
Alastair: On a practical level, not at all. The same team will be available in the same way at the same place. Our personal touch and responsiveness won’t be changing.
On a more fundamental level, this will allow us to deepen and broaden our expertise, whether bringing that back to the Irish market, or helping Irish clients expand into international markets. We already bring international trade and financial services to Ireland, so this will enhance our international presence and help us attract new clients to Ireland, along with bringing first-hand experience of global best practice in regulation and related areas.
For Irish clients trading internationally, or hoping to, EisnerAmper Global’s offices give us boots on the ground in the key hubs, allowing us provide local insight and create relationships there for our clients.
Colin: How has the rest of the firm reacted to the move?
Alastair: We operate an “open architecture” approach to the execution of firm plans, so the team at all levels has been engaged for more than two years. So firm buy-in has been exceptional and, to my mind, is a reflection of our collegiate culture.
We invest a lot in our trainees: they work hard and we give them a lot of support and a lot of opportunity. With six staff just back from three months seconded to EisnerAmper Global’s New York and San Fran offices, technical and development opportunities are only going to grow.
Colin Murphy is a columnist with the Sunday Business Post (http://www.businesspost.ie/) and a writer of a current affairs documentaries.Latest News →
US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards
Members of the MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) International Business team gathered with the creative minds behind some of Ireland’s greatest innovations for the inaugural US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards on Friday, May 15 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin. The Awards, jointly presented by the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland and Royal Irish Academy, recognise excellence in research innovation that has taken place on the island of Ireland as a result of US foreign direct investment.
Amongst the 700 strong audience were leaders of many of the US companies in Ireland, representatives from academia and innovation stakeholders. In addition to hearing from the Presidents of the American Chamber (Eamonn Sinnott) and Royal Irish Academy (Mary E. Daly) attendees were also addressed by US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley and Damien English TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.
MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) is an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland. For more information on MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business service offering to US companies wishing to establish or expand their operations in Ireland, please visit our website.
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MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) attends the RSA Conference in San Francisco
Cormac Doyle, Head of Tax, travelled to San Francisco recently, where he attended an event arranged by the IDA and Bank of Ireland as part of the RSA Conference in the city (http://emergebizactivities.idaireland.com/irish-night-rsa-2015). Cormac was in the US to visit existing clients, prospective clients, and contacts in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. EisnerAmper Ireland’s clients are spread throughout the Bay area in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Milpitas.
As part of MKO’s (EisnerAmper Ireland’s) continued affiliation with EisnerAmper LLP, Cormac also visited the San Francisco office of EisnerAmper LLP and met with a number of partners and contacts.
EisnerAmper LLP is a leading full-service advisory and accounting firm, and is among the largest in the United States. Recognised internationally as one of the premier firms providing advisory, audit, and tax services to financial services entities and portfolio companies, EisnerAmper LLP serves more than 1,000 hedge funds, private equity funds and other fund entities.
EisnerAmper Ireland’s Tax Department provides a wide range of tax solutions to the international trade and financial services markets, including US tax reporting, corporate tax services, employment and personal tax services, and VAT services. For more information, please click here.Latest News →
Ireland, Gateway to Europe 2015
Frank Keane, Partner and Head of International Business at MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), along with members of MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team travelled to the US last week as part of the Ireland, Gateway to Europe 2015 initiative to share their expertise and promote Ireland as a location to do business. Co-founded by MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), Gateway to Europe is Ireland’s largest private industry-led FDI initiative to assist US based founders, CFOs, CTOs and VCs considering using Ireland as a base to internationalise.
Now in its fourth year, the initiative comprises a mission of 25 business leaders who organise and host events throughout the year, culminating in an annual trip to the US to meet with local businesses that are looking to expand in Europe and to provide information to US corporates on the practicalities of doing business in and from Ireland and Europe. This year, events took place in Chicago and Atlanta on April 12-17. Hundreds of “C” level executives attended the events over the week.
The trade mission commenced on Monday 13th April with a full day itinerary on campus in Notre Dame University with a series of conferences with leading US academics, business schools and it’s world renowned business alumni, and a keynote speech delivered by former President of Ireland, Dr Mary McAleese.
Tuesday, 14th April and Thursday, 16th April saw hundreds of attendees gather at Willis Tower, Chicago, and World Trade Center, Atlanta for a breakfast symposium and investment evening respectively. Invited guests from some of the most innovative and growth focused companies operating in the MidWest heard case studies and stories of why their peers use Ireland as a base and they had the opportunity to meet the specialist Irish service providers who have the local intelligence to assist them.
On Wednesday, 15th April, a Lunch and Learn event in the iconic ‘1871’ technology start up hub gave the perfect opportunity for start-ups and high growth businesses to learn about the benefits of scaling EMEA operations using Ireland as a base.
To learn more about services MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) provide to companies using Ireland as a base for their European operations, visit our International Business page.Latest News →
Launch of Asia Trade Forum 2015 Programme
On Wednesday 1 April 2015 members of MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business Team attended the launch of the Asia Trade Forum (ATF) 2015 Programme of Activities by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan T.D., The purpose of the programme is to promote and increase the levels of trade between Irish businesses and Asia and with a spirit of collaboration, to promote stronger links amongst government and business in the region.
The morning offered an opportunity to meet people from across all sectors to interact and exchange information on best practice and market insight.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan T.D. highlighted the importance of improving relationships with Asia via ministerial visits, and that India, China and Japan are the key focus of the Government in the next few years.
To learn more about the services MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team can offer to Asian businesses expanding their operations in Europe, click here.Latest News →
Enterprise Ireland St Patrick’s Day luncheon in San Francisco
Roisin Cahill, Assistant Manager on MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team was delighted to attend a St Patrick’s Day luncheon held in San Francisco on Wednesday March 11, hosted by Enterprise Ireland and the Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States, Philip Grant.
MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) is a client of Enterprise Ireland and our International Business team works closely with the trade bodies, Irish and international law firms, and government bodies such as Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, to assist companies with the execution of their international expansion plans.
To learn more about the services MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team can offer, click here.Latest News →
MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) participates at the official launch of Ireland, Gateway to Europe 2015
Members of MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) presented at the official launch of Ireland, Gateway to Europe 2015, which was held on Wednesday, 4 March at the Dean Hotel, Dublin. Co-founded by MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), Gateway to Europe is Ireland’s largest private industry-led FDI initiative to assist US based founders, CFOs, CTOs and VCs considering using Ireland as a base to internationalise.
Now in its fourth year, the initiative comprises a mission of 25 business leaders who organise and host events throughout the year, culminating in an annual trip to the US to meet with local businesses that are looking to expand in Europe and to provide information to US corporates on the practicalities of doing business in and from Ireland and Europe. This year, events are scheduled in Chicago and Atlanta on April 12-17. Hundreds of “C” level attendees are expected. Over 750 people attended the US events in 2014.
Frank Keane, Partner and Head of International Business at MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), along with members of MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team will be travelling to the US to share their expertise and promote Ireland as a location to do business.Latest News →
Diarmaid O’Keeffe addresses CUMA Conference
Diarmaid O’Keeffe, Partner and Head of Financial Services at MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), was a guest speaker at the Credit Union Managers Association (“CUMA”) Spring Conference, which took place on Tuesday 3 March in Athlone. CUMA provides professional development training and assistance to its members and engages with a wide range of stakeholders and industry bodies in its pursuit of excellence in professional standards in credit union management.
Diarmaid addressed an audience comprising Credit Union Managers and representatives from the professional services and banking sectors. Diarmaid shared learnings from MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) significant experience and expertise of undertaking loan book reviews upon credit unions throughout Ireland.
For further information, please contact Diarmaid O’Keeffe.
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IDA GoGlobal MeetUp – San Francisco
Members of MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team attended IDA Ireland’s GoGlobal MeetUp in San Francisco on Thursday 19th February hosted by Nitro in downtown San Francisco.
Deirdre Moran, IDA Ireland, hosted an interactive conversation on how fast growing companies who suddenly find themselves with customers all around the world support and build this customer base. Panellists from New Relic, Nitro and Survey Monkey, together with IDA Ireland, discussed the challenges of expanding internationally and how they managed and succeeded in expanding their teams to Ireland and across Europe. The attendees heard about how these great companies went about their global expansion, with the conversation covering practical topics including:
- When did they realise they needed a European presence to build and support customers there?
- What factors played into the decision to open an office?
- How did you decide where to locate it?
- Was it easy to find staff to support customers across many European countries?
- What was the most challenging part of the process?
- What advice would they give companies who are look at making these decisions now?
MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business team work closely with IDA Ireland to assist fast growing tech companies across the IP, software development, E-commerce and B2B space setting up their international operations in Ireland. To learn more about the services we offer, click here or call +353 1 2933 400.Latest News →
Frank Keane addresses FAE students at the FAE Careers evening at Chartered Accountants Ireland
Frank Keane, Partner and Head of International Business at MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), addressed FAE students at the FAE Careers evening organised by Chartered Accountants Ireland on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.
Frank gave an overview of his career and experience as a Partner in MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland). During his presentation, Frank highlighted the advantages of a career in accountancy, providing his audience with practical examples from his experience and describing the different areas and roles an accountant might hold over the course of his/her career. Frank also gave an overview of which services MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) can offer to clients and which markets the Firm focuses on.
To find out more about what MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) can offer, please visit this link.Latest News →
MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) leads trade mission to India
Frank Keane and Cormac Doyle, Partners at MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland), travelled to India on a trade mission from the 8thuntil the 13th February. The purpose of the trade mission was to meet existing clients, to attend major conferences (such as Nasscom, Bio Bangalore and Plast India) and to run trade investment workshops. Frank and Cormac were accompanied by Robert MacGiolla Phadraig (Sigmar Recruitment), Derek Collins (Bank of Ireland) and Brian Harrison (HiTech Health Ltd).
Frank and Cormac, together with the other delegates, organised events in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai. These events were to assist in creating awareness of what Ireland offers Indian businesses and to provide information on executing “Europe” plans, in conjunction with IDA Ireland. As part of MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) continued affiliation with EisnerAmper LLP, Vicky Shah, manager of Eisner Amper India, also attended the event in Mumbai. The event in Pune included a formal briefing to c. 80 members of the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce (http://www.mcciapune.com/).
To find out more about the services and expertise that MKO’s (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) International Business Team can offer in assisting Asian businesses establishing operations in Europe, please visit this page.Latest News →
MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) meet with Hedge Fund & Private Equity industry in New York
Ray Kelly, Funds Partner, and Cormac Doyle, Partner and Head of the Tax Department, travelled to New York to meet with Hedge Fund and Private Equity clients and industry contacts. Ray and Cormac also met with the MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland) team that is currently seconded to EisnerAmper LLP’s fund audit department.
EisnerAmper LLP is a leading full-service advisory and accounting firm, and is among the largest in the United States. Recognised internationally as one of the premier firms providing advisory, audit, and tax services to financial services entities and portfolio companies, EisnerAmper LLP serves more than 1,000 hedge funds, private equity funds and other fund entities. Ray and Cormac also attended the EisnerAmper LLP bespoke specialist Hedge Fund & Private Equity Taxation training as part of MKO (now EisnerAmper Ireland’s) continued affiliation with EisnerAmper LLP.
MKO’s Tax Department provides a wide range of tax solutions to the international trade and financial services markets, including US tax reporting, corporate tax services, employment and personal tax services, and VAT services. For more information, please click here.Latest News →