UK - Drivas Jonas, the oldest real estate advisory firm in the UK, has become the first to join forces with one of the ‘big four' accountancy firms.

The organisation will merge with Deloitte to create a real estate group trading under the name Drivas Jonas Deloitte.

The news follows the merger of FirstService Real Estate Advisors and Colliers International earlier this month, to become the world's third-largest property services firm.

"The real estate advisory market was valued at around £2bn (€2.26bn) 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," claimed
John Connolly, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte.

Nick Shepherd, managing partner of Drivers Jonas, will become managing partner of the new entity and will join the Deloitte Executive.

"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," said Shepherd.

"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," he added.

The transaction is expected to complete in March 2010.