Martin Shanahan to take leadership role at Grant Thornton

Outgoing IDA CEO to head up Grant Thornton Ireland’s Industry and FDI activities in a key strategic move to drive ambitious growth plans in Ireland and internationally.

IDA Ireland CEO is to take up a leadership role at financial advisory firm Grant Thornton Ireland.

Shanahan takes up the role after eight successful years at the helm of the Irish State’s inward investment agency.

“I look forward to being part of this entrepreneurial team, to help realise Grant Thornton’s ambition to be the international advisor of choice for FDI”

“Martin is a highly experienced, senior leader who brings huge value to Grant Thornton,” said Grant Thornton Ireland managing partner Michael McAteer. “He has led two Government agencies at CEO level and has been integrally involved in both the development and execution of industrial policy for Ireland. Martin also has significant international experience, operating at the most senior levels of business.

“His career path to date demonstrates his versatility and proven delivery as a leader, and also shows why his skills, capabilities and experience are a strong and complementary fit for Grant Thornton as Head of Industry and FDI, and our vision to transform professional services. This appointment is a clear statement of our intent to go beyond and strive to provide the best possible advice to our clients.”

Job creation engine

Shanahan presided over one of the most significant accelerations in job creation in the history of the Irish State. Prior to that he worked with Forfás, the Government’s enterprise advisory board

For its mid-year results for 2022, IDA Ireland reported that investments were up 9% on 2021 and 10% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The results showed that despite significant global economic headwinds, FDI continues to prove resilient in Ireland.

155 investments were won, with associated employment potential of over 18,000 jobs. 73 were new name investments. 73 of the 155 investments won went to regional locations.

“Grant Thornton is a dynamic, inclusive and client-focused professional services firm with global reach, and I am excited to take on this opportunity to help drive its ambitious growth and expansion plans,” Shanahan commented. “The scale, breadth and depth of Grant Thornton’s operations in Ireland and abroad are hugely impressive and a real success story.

“I look forward to being part of this entrepreneurial team, to help realise Grant Thornton’s ambition to be the international advisor of choice for FDI and the first port of call for companies coming to and operating in Ireland.

“Professional services are changing, and I look forward to working with colleagues across the firm to ensure that Grant Thornton leads that change and leverages its immense capability for the benefit of our clients.”

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.