- A national, multi-office accountancy practice
- Head office in Central London.
Our client was seeking to acquire a smaller practice. This was to enhance their presence in a particular geographical location, to increase their fee level and to create additional value for their clients as a whole. This was very important to them. They also hoped their own services would be of value to an acquired smaller practice. Our client was therefore seeking accountancy practices within a specific geographical area with some wealth management services, but not adequately committed. As a combined entity, these services would promote a stronger and more viable proposition to all clients.
Our client was hoping to add real value to the acquired practice on a number of levels, with the ideal acquisition size up to £3 million. The sought-after practice had to be at the right stage of development and one where our client could add immediate value through improved management, IT and processes.
- Our client’s presence in the specified region was too small and organic growth was not delivering sufficient fees to match their strategic plan.
- The practice was also finding it difficult to identify an acquisition that would be suitable both culturally and developmentally.
- As our client was part of a prominent network in the UK, the acquired practice needed aspirations of wanting to be part of a network, also an attribute which is not so easy to find.
After conducting a research assignment and face-to-face vetting, Foulger Underwood introduced the acquirer to a practice with two offices that fitted the search brief and negotiations began. However, one partner from an office decided to leave and the deal had to be re-negotiated to satisfy all parties.
Following this, the brief changed again as the remaining sole partner, in that same office, subsequently decided he did not wish to be managed and office acquired. Arrangements were made for this office to continue independently under the existing brand.
Negotiations then continued with the remaining larger part of the practice. A younger partner was present, who would potentially join the national practice team, where a greater mix of young and experienced partners existed.
The Foulger Underwood team was present throughout the highly involved negotiation process, from resolving issues and re-strategizing with both accountancy practices. Foulger Underwood had to ensure a realistic and pragmatic approach was maintained throughout the whole acquisition to ensure the outcome was successful for all.
The whole process was seamless, considering the issues involved, and the remaining practice was successfully acquired by our client. In merging together the portfolio of both, especially the wealth management services, a stronger and more attractive portfolio evolved.
- Our client achieved an enhanced client portfolio and presence within the geographical area.
- Our client succeeded in acquiring fees, in a number of sectors, in which they were not previously servicing.
- There was a marked improvement in the acquired practice; this was as a result of the numerous additional services our client was able to offer, and increased partner skill-set to draw from.
- Improvement in management style and leadership was implemented and still exists.
- Succession planning has improved, notably for the younger partner of the acquired firm. This has also has helped our client with overall partner succession planning.
- Improved profitability within the acquired practice, which in turn has enhanced the value of the acquisition for our client.