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Deloitte announces intent to acquire data and digital transformation specialists Etain, creating Northern Ireland’s largest AI and data practice

09 February 2022

Deloitte has today announced an agreement that will, on completion, see one of the UK and Ireland’s leading data and digital transformation specialists, Etain, join Deloitte’s Consulting practice.

This acquisition will double the size of Deloitte’s AI and data solutions practice in Belfast, creating Northern Ireland’s largest AI and data practice. This will enable the firm to devise, deliver and run ever-more ambitious data and digital transformation programmes across the UK.

Founded in 1999, with offices in Belfast, Etain has around 70 employees, including data engineers, cloud developers and technical solution architects who deliver data and digital applications as well as bespoke software solutions.

The business has completed over 400 digital transformation projects for a wide range of organisations across both the private and public sector.

Anne-Marie Malley, managing partner for Consulting at Deloitte, said: “From advancing healthcare discoveries to transforming well-worn legal processes, AI and data solutions are allowing businesses to break incredible boundaries. 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.”

Peter Shields, director of Etain, added: “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. 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.”

The announcement underlines Deloitte’s 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.

Deloitte’s regional technology hubs act as beacons for data and digital innovation across the UK, with its Belfast Technology Studio playing a leading role in the development of AI, data solutions and analytics.

Danny McConnell, lead Consulting partner for Deloitte in Northern Ireland, concluded: “Belfast 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.”

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.


Notes to editors:

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit

About Etain

Etain Limited was formed in 1999 by Directors Martin Goss and Peter Shields with the objective of providing high-quality, cost-effective bespoke software solutions.

Etain is independently owned and currently employs around 70 staff who are mostly located in its Belfast offices.

For more information, please visit

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