The Team

We are a team of highly-qualified and experienced sale, merger and acquisition advisers and corporate consultants. We enjoy and are committed to working with clients to bring about change, either through our business consultancy or via our M&A lead advisory services.  Our team is comprised of professionals who have experience of the service sectors we focus on and have a deep understanding of the local markets and regions our clients operate in. This experience and knowledge, coupled with a desire to fully understand our clients business models and aspirations, has seen us assist in over 1000 successful sales, mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Keith Underwood
Managing Director UK

Keith' s main experience and strengths lie in strategic planning and financial/business development, both in the UK and in Asia. He has instigated and managed many mergers and acquisitions. He has implemented changes in business models, in both the consumer and professional service sectors, to initiate improved market positioning and profitability. 

With a wealth of experience, he has been a non-executive Director of a public company, run an international company with over 700 staff operating in ten countries, and sat on the Board of a number of international network groups in the service sector, to name but a few.

Tim Underwood

Tim Underwood: 
Managing Director Singapore

Tim joined the business 16 years ago, bringing with him a valuable background in UK Accountancy and Wealth Management. As well as working on a variety of accountancy M&A transactions in the UK, Tim also developed a leading market position for Foulger Underwood in the provision of M&A and consulting service to the trust, IFA, wealth management and Lloyds insurance broker markets. Tim relocated to Singapore in 2009 to establish Foulger Underwood's first Asian office and continues to offer M&A and advisory services to trust and corporate service providers, CPA firms and family offices.


Brian McKinstry
Director Hong Kong

Brian spent the first ten years of his career with KPMG before moving into CFO positions for regional groups in the services sector.  From 2002 to 2013 Brian was Group CFO of a major global trust and corporate services group headquartered in Hong Kong, under founder and private equity ownership, including seven years by the Carlyle Group. Brian's experience includes a strong background in the buy-and-sell arm of mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, valuation, integration planning, project management and corporate structuring.  Brian joined Foulger Underwood in 2014 to establish the Hong Kong office and strengthen the group’s overall capabilities in Asia.


Julia Whistler:

Julia joined the team in 2010 to manage client assignments and to co-ordinate retained client mandates. She leads our research team and overseas search assignments and focused sector campaigns. She also manages our marketing, promotion and advertising and has responsibility for the development of all UK and European marketing. With a background working at            T-Mobile and WHSmith, she brings a wealth of marketing, advertising, search and selection and project management experience to the team.


Philip Shohet:
Senior Consultant

Phil joins us following the merger of Foulger Underwood and KATO Consultancy.

His sales, mergers, acquisitions and consultancy work have been far-ranging, with assignments for a wide variety and size of accountancy firms. He has co-authored a number of publications and articles for the professional press and is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars.

Phil became the first Commercial Director of the ICAEW. He established the Interfirm Comparison Scheme for members that led to the formation of the Practice Advisory Service. With a wealth of company experience, he qualified with Binder Hamlyn, later moving on to Andersen Consulting and joining 3i, where he was involved in financing, mergers and acquisitions and business evaluation.

Finalimage 2017.jpg

Derek Smith: 
Senior Consultant

Formerly, the Managing Partner of Mazars Neville Russell, Derek has considerable experience in dealing with professional service businesses. He has hands-on practice management experience and is recognised as an able implementer of change.  He has held senior leadership and managerial roles within leading UK accountancy practices and international networks. He has advised numerous professional firms across a broad range of issues: managerial, leadership, sales, mergers and acquisitions and IT. He leads our mentor and senior level training programmes. He is a non-executive of several practices and is an accomplished and entertaining speaker.


Jackie Hyland:
Customer Relationship Manager

Jackie joined us in 2001 and is primarily responsible for client relationship liaison. Amongst many other things, Jackie profiles opportunities, coordinates client meetings, manages the progress of assignments and monitors all post-meeting feedback. Jackie also manages and maintains a high standard of administration across the team and business, to ensure confidentiality is maintained throughout the process of bringing parties together.


Jenny Pensom:
Head of Research

Jenny joined us in 2012 to manage, develop and coordinate regional and assignment research. Jenny has responsibility for the enrichment and maintenance of our database, keeping it up-to-date with the latest information. Jenny has a strong background in relationship-building, within a sales environment, and also handles initial client contact.

…appreciate the communication, knowledge and practical approach.
— Carpenter Box