Sal Firai, CPA

Grant Thornton
Curriculum Vitae

Sal is a Partner and Central Region Leader for Grant Thornton’s Transaction Advisory Practice. Sal brings over 20 years of experience assisting corporate and strategic buyers on transactions. He provides transaction assistance in the areas of buy-side and sell-side due diligence and also has extensive transaction integration experience. Sal has led and executed over 100 financial due diligence assignments and has been involved in over 150 transactions in some capacity. He has experiencing serving large multinational clients and has worked with some of the largest private equity firms in the world. His practice focuses across a broad range of industries including energy, technology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, manufacturing and service companies.

Professional Experience

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, he was a Partner in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services Practice in Dallas for 13 years. He was formerly a part of Ernst & Young’s Transaction Support practice where he led transaction support assignments for leading strategic and private equity buyers and sellers. Prior to Ernst & Young, he was a senior accountant for a diversified real estate services company and prior to that a certified internal auditor with Bank of America.


As a transactions professional, Sal’s highlights include:

Participated and/or led over 100 transactions in a variety of industries including energy, chemicals, technology, airline, manufacturing, print media, broadcasting, hospitality and retail sectors. Participated in some capacity in over 150 transactions. Recently led a multi-year assignment for a large private equity in its bid of a Canadian company whose parent was one of the largest companies in Iceland – led the buy-side due diligence of both entities including an IFRS to US GAAP conversion and merger integration project. Served as the E&Y’s Southwest Area sell-side advisory leader and participated in two of the largest divestiture projects in the US. Participated in one of the largest leveraged buyouts in the technology sector (2006) for an Office of the Chairman private equity client. Serves as the transaction co-leader to one of the top five private equity firms in the US. Recently led one of the largest buyouts executed in 2009.

Education and Credentials

Bachelor of Business Administration – Economics and Finance
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Certified Public Accountant,
Certified Bank Auditor

Professional Affiliations and Selected Speaking Engagements

Active Sponsor, Education is Freedom (founder Jim Keyes, CEO Blockbuster)
Past Board Member, Dallas Chapter, Dallas Affordable Housing Authority
Past Member, Host Committee Member of the North Texas Superbowl XLV Committee
Planning Committee Member – UT M&A Forum
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Active Speaker at conferences, workshops and other symposia including the recent Accounting Society of Women CPAs Forum on "IPO Trends in Current Market Environment" and recently Sirius’ Accounting and Derivatives Workshop.

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