SWAT Acquires London Training Company

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SWAT has acquired London-based Pentagon Training Ltd as part of a strategic growth initiative. SWAT, which provides accounting training, consultancy and technical support to 120 member firms and over 4,000 clients nationwide, already has offices in Cardiff, Hull, Huntingdon and Plymouth. With the acquisition of Pentagon, it will gain a central London base and will be able to offer recruitment services.

This strategic move combines two long established and well known training brands which share a member-based heritage. The combination widens choice in the industry by providing arguably the broadest range of quality, affordable and innovative training courses nationwide.

Following the acquisition, finalised earlier this week, all Pentagon staff will transfer to SWAT. In addition, Pentagon Managing Director Alan Bonham becomes an Executive Director of SWAT, with responsibility for training and development, while a partner from one of Pentagon's founder firms will be appointed to the SWAT board in a non-Executive capacity in due course. Both companies will continue to trade under their current names for the time being.

Commenting on the acquisition, SWAT Managing Director Mike Sturgess said:

'Our clients - and the market in general - need a holistic recruitment, training, compliance and consultancy service nationwide, whether sole practitioner or top ten practice. This combination enables us meet that requirement and offer it to a wider market than our current clients alone.

Professionals buy training consultancy in order to improve their skills and make sure they are up to date with compliance, which improves their efficiency and hence their profitability. We now offer a 'one-stop-shop' service - from recruitment of new trainees right through to practice management training and compliance - which is first class, affordable and genuinely bespoke. We believe it cannot be bettered by any other training provider in the UK.'

'Pentagon has a superb reputation for offering first rate recruitment services and specialist training at affordable prices. We are delighted to have joined forces with them, particularly as we feel a very strong cultural fit between our two companies,' he continued.

News of the acquisition follows hot on the heels of the news that SWAT has become the first training company in the UK to be accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to audit employers for achievement of ACCA Plus status under the new continuing professional development rules. Commenting on the accreditation, Stephen Heathcote, Director of Training & Development, ACCA said:

'ACCA Plus is all about demonstrating a commitment to employees' development needs on a regular and sustained basis. Organisations who proactively develop their employees not only build a reputation for being excellent employers - they are also helping to protect their long-term reputation through the development of highly effective staff.

'SWAT has become the first UK training company to achieve Plus status and is now helping us to audit applicants to the scheme, so that employers who want to demonstrate this commitment to excellence can be audited promptly and recognised for their success,' he continued.

Details of Pentagon's courses and recruitment services can be found at www.pentagon.co.uk

October 2005

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