Accounting and consulting firm MNP will add about 80 Deloitte employees and five partners to its operations in the National Capital Region in a new deal between two of the country’s largest professional services organizations.
The move will see staff from Deloitte’s offices in Ottawa, Kanata, Gatineau and Hawkesbury join MNP’s local office as part of the Calgary-based firm’s wider plan to buy a portion of Deloitte’s Canadian business.
About 25 of the employees are from Deloitte’s Ottawa and Kanata offices, boosting MNP’s headcount in the city to 185. Roughly 15 employees will come from Gatineau, where MNP did not previously have a presence, while another 40 employees are based in Hawkesbury, where Deloitte operates the community’s largest professional services office.
Mike Dimitriou, MNP’s regional managing partner for eastern Ontario, said most of the employees it’s gaining from Deloitte focus on tax, accounting and auditing services for small and medium-sized businesses – MNP’s core business.
“For us, it’s about talent,” he said. “We’re picking up a lot of great people.”
Dan Doré, Deloitte’s market leader for the National Capital Region, said the sale is part of the professional service giant’s strategic plan to “double down” on areas where it feels it can bring the most value to its clients – including consulting, financial advisory, M&A, big data analytics, cybersecurity and supply-chain management services for larger companies.
Deloitte is currently the National Capital Region’s largest professional services firm, with about 590 employees and 70 partners.
Doré noted that MNP’s “very acute focus” on offering tax and accounting services to the lower to mid-sized market segments made it the ideal partner for such a deal.
“This was truly a winning proposition,” he said.
Geneviève Provost, Deloitte's managing partner for Quebec and the National Capital Region, said the firm began looking at shedding some of its operations about 15 months ago.
“We’ve been adding a lot of services during recent years to our portfolio of offerings, and this is definitely something that we want to continue doing,” she said. “When you want to do that, you need to make some strategic choices.”
The deal continues a trend of growth through acquisitions for MNP’s Ottawa office, which has pulled the trigger on five M&A deals since it opened six years ago. Dimitriou said more deals are likely to come, but he stressed the firm has no intention of abandoning its traditional target market and competing head to head for larger customers with giants like Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young and PwC.
“We are a mid-market firm and we intend to stay mid-market,” he said. “Just because our headcount might grow to something approaching what the others have doesn’t change who we are.”
Overall, MNP says it will gain about 900 Deloitte employees, 70 partners and senior leaders and 25 offices across the country in the deal. The companies did not disclose the financial details of their arrangement, which is set to go forward on March 1 but must still be approved by regulators.
– With files from the Canadian Press