Accounting giant Big Four Deloitte is planning to acquire Belfast-based software developer Etain, in a vote of confidence in the City of Belfast that will see the firm create the world’s largest AI practice and data from Northern Ireland.
The deal will double the size of Deloitte’s Belfast AI and data practice, and see firm Big Four onboard all 70 Etain employees.
In an email to City AM, a Deloitte spokesperson confirmed that Etain’s team would be relocating to Deloitte’s technology center based on the Gasworks development.
Deloitte first leased the entire 9,300 square foot gasworks development in 2014, as part of its Belfast expansion.
At the time, Deloitte said Northern Ireland was a ‘hotbed of talent’ as it considered making its Belfast offices its largest UK offices outside London. Deloitte currently employs over 1,000 people in Northern Ireland’s capital.
Founded in Belfast in 1999 as an IT consultancy, Etain now has offices in London and Dublin. The company has supplied data management systems to clients such as Horse Racing Ireland and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.
The deal comes as Deloitte continues to invest in regional technology hubs across the UK, in cities including Bristol, Reading and Edinburgh.
Belfast is increasingly seen as a professional services hub, after accountancy giant PwC created 771 jobs in the Northern Irish capital last year as part of £40m investment plans. pounds in the city.
Anne-Marie Malley, consulting managing partner at Deloitte, said that by doubling the size of its AI and data practice, Deloitte will be able to “increase the scale and sophistication of projects” of projects. that he delivers.
Danny McConnell, Lead Consulting Partner for Deloitte in Northern Ireland, concluded: “Belfast has established itself as a vibrant center of innovation, with a strong reputation for business, technology and new software development in particular.
“We continue to invest in the rejuvenation of the city, which is one of the fastest growing technology capitals in Europe.”
“The growth of our Belfast technology studio with the acquisition of Etain, upon completion, will strengthen the culture, capabilities and creativity of this team and ensure that we are working with the best talent within the growing technology community. growth of the city.