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The Rise of the Celtic Phoenix

As the Celtic Tiger becomes but a distant memory, whispers are murmuring of a new beast which has gently clenched it’s grip around the nation’s economy.

Yes the European political environment, with Brexit at the forefront, provides uncertainty in terms of it’s unclear effect on the Emerald’s economic future. That being said, what is evidently clear, is a fruitful increase in employment over these past few years. A sure sign that the state, well the capital at least, has steadied itself since the seismic crash of 2008.

Corporate Ireland has dusted itself off and rustled it’s feathers in recent years, with M & A activity steadily increasing. While traditional domestic banks remain reluctant to invest in SME’s and understandably so, this has resulted in an increase in alternative funding methods from outfits such as private equity firms and corporate bank houses.

We have seen a shift from, Restructuring Advisory to M & A Advisory, within these Corporate Houses and Professional Services firms. This coupled with an increase in activity from the capitals Private Equity firms, is a sure sign that Ireland’s Corporate landscape is blossoming again or without getting too carried away, the Celtic Phoenix is rising from the ashes!

What’s Next?

So what does this upturn mean for Corporate Finance professionals or prospective Corporate Finance professionals?

In terms of prospective professionals or graduates, it appears to be a perfect time to enter the sphere of Corporate Finance. For any enthusiastic and intelligent student, a clear pathway exists to lead you to the top. Get your top grades, followed by your IBI or Bank of Ireland graduate programme, and an excellent career ensues! If desired, coupled with hard work, an opportunity with the ‘sexy stuff’ will present itself, being a position in one of the capital’s Private Equity firms.

An alternative route would be a graduate programme in one of the Accountancy and Business Advisory practices, such as a Top4 or a Top10 practice, specialising in M & A advisory. Again, if desired, this experience will lead you to potential positions in Corporate Houses down the line or if deciding to remain in practice, provide you with an excellent career pathway.

For current professionals, we have noticed a peculiar situation. While it is great that these opportunities are out there, somewhat of a double edged sword has presented itself. We have candidates with excellent grades, Big4 qualified and quite frankly a dream for employers and us! Yet, their experience or training was at a time where transactions, such as M & A’s, were at a standstill. Now, we have employers looking for individuals with experience, that might not have been possible to achieve for these highly educated individuals. This has presented quite a frustrating situation for our candidates.

My advice: bide your time and sometimes a perceived step backwards might be what is required to achieve your long term goal i.e. get M & A experience under your belt and that will open the door to what you want.

Here at Azon, we have the tools and relationships with our clients, to put candidates in the best possible position to achieve their desired employment.


David Butler | Recruitment Consultant | Professional Services | Azon Recruitment Group

David is Azon’s recruiter for Professional Services.

Get in touch with him via dbutler@azon.ie, 01-6909-708 or reach out to him on LinkedIn.

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