O’Connell steps into the role for the national group of global accountancy association DFK International, in preparation for taking over as chairman from Peter Winter when his four-year term ends in October 2021.
The association said both their roles within DFK UK and Ireland “demonstrate the impact and value of recent recruits to DFK UK and Ireland, and represent an ongoing commitment to drive the group further forward”.
O’Connell has been a board member of DFK UK and Ireland since 2018, with Shaw Gibbs, which is headquartered in Oxford, having joined in 2016.
He said: “I am excited by my appointment as deputy chairman of DFK UK & Ireland and I am looking forward to the challenge it presents.
“We have a very strong UK and Ireland network and Peter Winter has done a tremendous job over the last three years as chairman in terms of bringing the group together and making it more relevant for our businesses.”
He added: “My primary focus will be on the continual evolution of the group by continuing to provide an environment for members to openly talk about business so we can learn from each other, and promoting members to the wider international association.”
The organisation currently has 16 member firms operating from 25 offices throughout the UK and Ireland, with over 140 partners and more than 900 staff.
During his time as chairman, Winter has focused on encouraging greater engagement to strengthen the group and add value of membership.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome Peter as deputy chairman. He is a great asset to DFK UK and Ireland and I look forward to working with him in my final year as chairman.
“As chairman, my remit has been to get more members engaged and for them to get more value from their membership as I firmly believe that the more you put in, the more you get out. As my successor, Peter will work with the board to implement our strategic plan and move forward with our vision for DFK UK and Ireland.”