Deloitte buys Belfast data and digital company Etain

Deloitte has agreed to buy Belfast data and digital company Etain for an undisclosed sum.

The move will see Etain’s 70 employees join the professional services firm’s consulting practise, doubling the size of its AI and solutions division.

Etain was founded in 1999 by directors Martin Goss and Peter Shields as a software solutions provider and has grown to complete 400 digital transformation projects for a range of organisations.

“Since launching Etain more than two decades ago, the number of organisations turning to us to create bespoke solutions to solve their most pressing challenges has continued to grow,” Peter Shields, director of Etain, said. “Working as part of Deloitte will allow us to grow the scale of the projects that we undertake, bolstering our team’s skills in building intricate software solutions with rich data expertise and an extensive global network.”

Deloitte said the move is part of its commitment to invest in the growth of technology-focused hubs across the UK. In addition to Belfast, the firm has opened hubs in Bristol, Edinburgh and Reading over the past seven years to meet the growing demand for digital support.

“From advancing healthcare discoveries to transforming well-worn legal processes, AI and data solutions are allowing businesses to break incredible boundaries,” Jackie Henry, Deloitte Northern Ireland Office Senior Partner, said. “Doubling the size of Deloitte’s AI and data solutions practice in Belfast by adding Etain’s deep technical expertise will allow us to grow the scale and sophistication of the projects that we deliver.

“Ultimately, this will equip UK organisations with unrivalled expertise in AI and data, sparking new innovation and bolstering business resilience within fiercely competitive global market conditions.”

Deloitte’s Belfast practice employs more than 1,000 people. While currently based across two offices in Belfast’s city centre, including the Technology Studio, Deloitte will open a new office in the linen quarter in the Spring of 2023. Across the island of Ireland, Deloitte employs approximately 3,000 people.

Danny McConnell, lead Consulting partner for Deloitte in Northern Ireland, said the Belfast office has established itself as a dynamic hub for innovation, with a strong reputation for business, technology and new software development, in particular.

“We’re continuing to invest in the rejuvenation of the city, which is among the fastest growing technology capitals in Europe. Growing our Belfast Technology Studio with the acquisition of Etain, at completion, will enhance the culture, capability and creativity of this team and ensure that we are working with the very best talent within the city’s burgeoning technology community.”