Alvarez & Marsal, the New York-based international management consulting firm, is considering establishing an Irish corporate and restructuring practice, according to sources.
It comes as this segment of the Irish professional services market is set to undergo its biggest shake-up in decades, after it emerged last week that five top corporate restructuring partners at KPMG Ireland and Deloitte Ireland have handed in their notice and plan to join forces to set up an Irish operation of UK-based debt restructuring boutique Interpath Advisory.
Sources said that Alvarez & Marsal, whose European restructuring practice is led by Richard Fleming and UK insolvency business is headed by Mark Fermin, have held exploratory talks in recent times with players in the Irish market. A spokeswoman for Alvarez & Marsal declined to comment.
Former Irish banker Tom McAleese has been head of Alvarez & Marsal’s Irish practice for more than a decade, focusing on European banking sector restructuring in the wake of the financial crisis.
Alvarez & Marsal, best known for leading the restructuring of Arthur Anderson and Lehman Brothers after they imploded, was set up almost four decades ago by corporate workout specialists Tony Alvarez and Bryan Marsal.
The two men own the ultra-exclusive Hogs Head golf resort in Waterville, Co Kerry, having invested a reported figure of almost €75 million in the venture, developed out of their purchase of properties, including the former Waterville Lake hotel and Skellig Bay golf club, in 2014.
The resort, which carries the motto ‘Built by Friends, for Friends for Fun’ on its website, is a favourite playground of wealthy US golfers.
News of Alvarez & Marsal's deliberations over developing an Irish restructuring and insolvency team come after KPMG Ireland staff were told last Friday that corporate restructuring partners Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson will resign with effect from the end of April 2023.
The two men are joining forces with Deloitte restructuring partners Ken Fennell, Mark Degnan and James Anderson, who have also handed in their notice, to set up Interpath Advisory Ireland.
There have also been discussions about a potential deal whereby Deloitte Ireland’s restructuring division, which has about 60 staff, could ultimately move to Interpath Advisory Ireland, sources said last week.
Interpath Advisory was established in May last year as KPMG in the UK sold its corporate restructuring business, including 22 partners and 528 staff, to private-equity firm HIG Capital.
The sale of Interpath allowed the restructuring business to continue to win work from the Big Four firm’s audit clients as it removed the risk of conflicts of interests at a time of heightened regulatory oversight of the sector.
Last year also saw Deloitte UK's restructuring services unit, comprising 250 staff, including 27 partners, being acquired by US public relations and advisory firm Teneo.