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Former Deloitte boss challenges Big Four

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11th Aug 2016
Freelance journalist
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John Connolly, the former head of Deloitte in the UK, is working with a private equity firm to build an accounting business to rival the Big Four accounting firms

The former head of Deloitte in the UK is planning takeover deals to create a rival to the Big Four accounting firms.

Connolly, who now chairs two FTSE-100 companies and has several directorships, is working with a private equity firm, HgCapital..

Filings at Companies House show that Connolly and Hg have established Cogital Group, which will be used to create a new professional services organisation.

Sources told Sky News that Blick Rothenberg, a London firm of chartered accountants, in which Hg invested last month, will become part of Cogital Group.

Connolly, who is to become chairman of the new venture is said to believe that it’s possible to challenge the big four accounting firms: PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG.

Blick Rothenberg has 24 partners and more than 200 staff. It provides accounting, audit and tax services.

When it announced the deal last month, Blick Rothenberg said that Hq’s investment would help it grow. “[Blick Rothenberg] demonstrates many of the business model characteristics that HgCapital looks for, including strong client loyalty, high levels of recurring revenue, and high cash flow generation.”

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Since leaving Deloitte in 2011, Mr‎ Connolly has become chairman of Amec Foster Wheeler, the oilfield services group, and G4S, the private security provider, Sky News reported.

Sky News said that HgCapital declined to comment on the plan for Cogital Group, while Mr Connolly could not be reached for comment.

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