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Bright start for Sumer with £100m milestone

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With mid-market accountancy firm Sumer’s turnover hitting £100m after the first year, chief executive Warren Mead spoke to AccountingWEB about the company’s expansion plans and about always wanting to be an entrepreneur.

20th Feb 2024
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Mid-market accountancy practice Sumer is looking to fill the gaps in its regional coverage, its chief executive has told AccountingWEB, with the firm looking to build on turnover hitting the £100m milestone.

Sumer has more than 40 offices and 1,000 colleagues, having launched in early 2023. It was backed by significant funding from Penta Capital and BlackRock, and has since grown through both targeted acquisitions and organic growth.

The firm’s strategy is to form regional hubs throughout the UK, focused exclusively on the small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) market. So far, this has seen it take majority stakes in Monahans, RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, RT Marke & Co, Jerroms, Simmons Gainsford, Carpenter Box, Cowgills and EQ Accountants.

Journey so far

Chief executive Warren Mead spoke to AccountingWEB about the practice’s journey so far.

“If you think about smaller, medium-sized businesses, owner-managed businesses and entrepreneurs, they’ve had a really, really tough time over the past 10 years,” he said. “The combination of Brexit, supply-chain issues and Covid, rising interest rates, cost-of-living crisis regulations – whatever political affiliations you have – there’s been a lot of political and economic uncertainty, and it’s made it really hard for that sector to drive economic growth and prosperity.

“So really, the original idea of Sumer was how do I help that group of people? How do I help them prosper?”

In the practices in which Sumer is taking majority stakes, he noted that they have “challenges of their own”.

“Many have got succession issues and challenges attracting and retaining the best talent. They’re finding it tricky to cope with the pace of change and regulation and compliance, and the cost of technology and investment in technology is really challenging as well.

“So it felt like actually, there was a brilliant opportunity.”

Becoming an entrepreneur

Mead said he had “always wanted to be an entrepreneur” and be “part of something that was really fast moving”.

“As many people do when they hit their 40s, they take a leap – it’s the time when most people become entrepreneurs, actually. So I took the leap and I’m absolutely loving it. I don’t feel like I’m going to work.”

Hitting the £100m revenue mark is a major achievement for the practice and Mead said it was “always the plan”.

“It felt like the market opportunity was there and felt like with my team, we had the potential to reach that market opportunity, but you never know until it’s done.”

Replies (2)

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By FactChecker
20th Feb 2024 22:35

Initially sounded impressive, almost too much so, but then I re-read and wondered:

* launched in early 2023 (backed by significant funding from Penta Capital and BlackRock)
* has since grown through both targeted acquisitions and organic growth
* now has more than 40 offices and 1,000 colleagues with turnover hitting the £100m milestone

How much of that turnover (presumably not yet audited) forecast is a straight summing of those from acquired businesses? What is the basis of the claimed organic growth? Indeed what, if any, %age of Sumer is 'original' staff / clients / offices?

Good luck to Warren Mead as a person, but he obviously knows that his investors typically have a fairly short horizon for exiting ... so does he have a vision beyond then or will he be joining them?

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By James Aughterson
21st Feb 2024 10:39

Indeed. Organic growth in under 12 months? This reads as if the business's PR guff has just been printed word-for-word.

It's not a new idea - Tenon, etc etc - tried and failed several times in the last 25 years.

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