Ernst & Young and Duke Energy have signed an agreement under which EY will provide the public utility company with managed tax services, and 46 members of Duke’s tax team will receive job offers to join EY’s tax practice.

The agreement is the first of its kind for a public utility company, although back in April EY announced a similar deal with the insurance company American International Group (see Ernst & Young teams with AIG on tax and tech). Last year, another Big Four firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, announced a deal with General Electric to hire more than 600 of GE’s tax professionals and acquire GE’s tax technologies (see PwC to hire GE tax team).

In the latest deal, which EY announced Monday, 46 of Duke Energy’s tax employees will be joining EY, effective Aug. 31, 2018.

“This agreement with Duke Energy is a prime example of how forward-thinking companies are innovating to reimagine their tax function in the face of technological disruption and a constantly changing legislative and regulatory environment,” said EY global chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Duke Energy's tax professionals to the EY team as we utilize our pioneering tax platform to help identify new strategic opportunities and manage risks.”

The deal will enable Duke to use EY’s managed tax services and technology. “We are excited to collaborate with EY, offering meaningful development and career growth tracks for employees and gaining efficiencies that will lead to savings for our customers,” said Stephen De May, senior vice president of tax and treasurer at the Charlotte, N.C.-based energy provider. “Our industry, like many others, is rapidly transforming. With this transition, we will have access to advanced digital capabilities and long-standing tax experience to improve planning and risk identification in today's evolving business landscape.”

EY chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger
EY chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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