Deloitte acquires property firm Drivers Jonas

Business advisory firm Deloitte aims to create a new model in the real estate advisory market with the addition of Drivers Jonas, the UK’s oldest property advisory firm.

The deal will create a business group of around 700 partners and professionals, including 650 Drivers Jonas partners and employees who will be joining Deloitte, significantly extending the firm’s capability in this market.

Nick Shepherd, managing partner of Drivers Jonas will become managing partner of the Real Estate Group which will trade as Drivers Jonas Deloitte and he will join the Deloitte Executive.

The combined Real Estate Group, with annual revenues in excess of £110m, will deliver real estate advisory and transaction expertise to the firm’s clients in all markets and industries.  It will also form a critical part of Deloitte’s wider £200m Real Estate industry team, which specialises in providing professional services to real estate clients.

John Connolly, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte, said: “The real estate advisory market was valued at around £2bn in 2009.  We see a clear opportunity to combine the skills of our specialists in tax, corporate finance, business consulting and our real estate strategy team with the Drivers Jonas team, which has an outstanding reputation for providing the highest quality independent advice in this market

“This is a very exciting transaction, which will truly differentiate us in this sector. Together Deloitte and Drivers Jonas will offer an unrivalled breadth and depth of services and expertise.   Drivers Jonas is notable for the scale and strength of its transaction and advisory services and the quality and independence of its real estate research, making it the obvious choice to significantly extend Deloitte’s real estate offer to our clients.

“The combination of Drivers Jonas’s high calibre people and position in the market with the considerable expertise and breadth we already provide in this field, will give clients access to a compelling, independent, real estate proposition.  Deloitte and Drivers Jonas have worked alongside each other over many years.  We have the highest regard for the culture, integrity and professionalism of their people and I believe the combination will provide significant opportunity for all the staff in the newly established business as we capitalise on the prospects created by this exciting new model.  I look forward to working together as one firm in the future.”

Nick Shepherd, managing partner of Drivers Jonas, said: ”The merger of our partnership with Deloitte provides our real estate teams with a fantastic platform from which to build our advisory business and further develop our service offering in the capital markets.

“The wider Deloitte business gives unparalleled access to international investors, property companies, sovereign wealth funds and high net worth individuals, who play such a key role in the operation of the capital markets.  We see huge opportunity in combining Deloitte’s real estate skills and wider business expertise with our full range of property and construction services.  No competitor will be able to provide an integrated offer combining real estate knowledge, tax, finance and structuring advice in this way to UK and international investors and occupiers.

“With real estate capability as comprehensive as any in the market place, and exceptional insight into the wider business needs of clients, Drivers Jonas Deloitte will be fundamentally different from any other property business.  I’m excited to be leading such a talented team in creating a new approach to the real estate market with the immediate goal to double the size of our business in three years.”

Gary Cardin, head of Drivers Jonas Birmingham, said: “It is very rare to be part of a business which challenges itself and drives its agenda forward with vision and purpose. This merger is an exciting opportunity for both Deloitte and Drivers Jonas and provides the best platform to develop our businesses. I’m equally sure that our clients will recognise our forward thinking and the benefits that will accrue. I look forward to forging our business through Drivers Jonas Deloitte where both firms have a long standing mutual respect. I am hugely excited by the proposition and look forward to working with Richard Edwards and the real estate team at Deloitte to maximise a wide range of existing and new business opportunities.”

Richard Edwards, Midlands practice senior partner at Deloitte, said: “Drivers Jonas has established a significant presence in Birmingham and a reputation as one of the leading property advisory and consultancy firms in the region. The business will complement Deloitte’s real estate practice in Birmingham, which, like Drivers Jonas, has a market leading reputation, and will enhance Deloitte’s real estate services offering.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Gary Cardin for a number of years and I really look forward to working with him and his team more closely in the future.”

John Connolly concluded: “Deloitte has a history of rapid growth through innovative moves in the market. This is a significant step in our ambition to be uniquely positioned as a provider of the broadest range of high value advisory services to support our clients.  The Drivers Jonas teams in France and Germany will complement the presence already established in a number of countries across Europe.”

The transaction, which is expected to complete in March 2010, follows the announcement earlier this month that Deloitte is to acquire ReportSource, the leading business performance and information management consultancy.



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