Practice news: Baldwins acquires Rice & Co

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A round-up of the latest news, appointments, executive moves and acquisitions from the world of practice in July 2017.

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Baldwins acquires Rice & Co

24 July - Baldwins has added Cannock-based firm Rice & Co to its accountancy group.

Rice & Co will trade as Baldwins, and all 15 staff members will continue to work within the firm. Baldwins has added a number of firms to its portfolio, which has helped boost the group’s annual turnover to £70m and increase staff levels to 1250 people.  

Kevin Preece, a director at Rice & Co, said: “Joining forces with Baldwins is a game-changer for us and our clients as we can now offer a one-stop-shop of advisory services beyond the likes of audit, payroll and tax returns.”

Chris Blue from Baldwins will join Preece, Steve Dale and Chris Stonier as directors at the Cannock firm.

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Smith & Williamson welcomes new partner

27 July - Smith & Williamson has welcomed former Deloitte partner Tom Shave to the firm.

During his time at the Big Four firm, Shave focussed on fintech businesses and their tax and business services. He joined Deloitte in 2009, moving up the ranks from senior manager, then director in 2012, and becoming a partner in 2016.

Commenting on his appointment, Shave said: “I am delighted to join the talented group of individuals at Smith & Williamson, where the focus on servicing the entirety of a private client and their business interests is the cornerstone of the culture.”

Andrew Wilkes, head of business tax at Smith & Williamson, said Shave’s appointment would bolster the firm’s financial services and markets group offering.

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RSM appoints new audit partner

19 July - RSM has appointed Kevin Harris as an audit partner at its Leicester practice.

Harris qualified as an accountant with RSM Bentley Jennison in 1994 before joining Cooper Parry the following year. Within six years, Harris became partner managed the development of firm’s Leicester office from 2001 until the office merged in 2015.

Commenting on the appointment, Ben Lawrance, RSM’s Leicester office managing partner, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Kevin to the team. Kevin is a highly accomplished business adviser, he is very well connected and respected in the Leicester professional services market, and he will be a huge asset to RSM’s small and middle market clients.

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Deloitte opens new Cambridge office 

13 July - Deloitte has opened the doors to its new office at One Station Square, Cambridge.  

Deloitte has taken 19,300 sq ft at the brand new One Station Square building, accommodating 250 of the firm’s people based in Cambridge. Paul Schofield, Deloitte Cambridge office senior partner, noted that the new office marks a significant investment in the firm’s East Anglian operations.

Nick Owen, chairman of Deloitte North West Europe, added: “Flexible working, commuting and mobility of staff are all very important to us. A great deal of attention has been given to the well-being of our people in designing our new office. Therefore the open, bright spaces and the use of modern materials enables clients and Deloitte’s people to work collaboratively.”

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Grant Thornton appoints new independent non-executive

13 July - Imogen Joss has taken the Grant Thornton’s vacated independent non-executive (INE) director role following the retirement of Caroline Goodall.

“Over the last few years the firm has made some truly ground breaking changes, it’s this innovation and dynamism that has attracted me to the firm and I’m excited to join Grant Thornton and be a part of the next phase of evolution for the firm,” Joss said.

Ed Warner, independent chair of the firm’s governance body The Partnership Oversight Board, has thanked the outgoing Goodall for the “huge contribution” she has made over her seven year tenure. Upon stepping down, Goodall said:  “I am hugely proud to have been one of the first INEs to work with the firm’s leadership as part of their progressive approach to governance in the sector.”

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RSM expands Leeds’ private client team

11 July RSM added Chris Etherington as a private client tax partner in is Leeds office.

Etherington brings almost twelve years’ experience working for PwC to his new role, when he served as a member of PwC’s private client and private business team in Leeds. In this position, Etherington specialised in providing tax advice to individuals and family owned businesses across the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Etherington said: ‘As a leading middle market adviser, RSM was a natural fit for me. The firm acts for a range of high net worth individuals and entrepreneurial businesses where effective tax planning can make a huge impact.”

This news follows RSM’s recent appointment of private client specialist Liz Rogers in March.

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From trainee to partner

6 July - Graham Gillespie who joined Glasgow-based Wylie & Bisset as a trainee in 2002 has been promoted to partner.  

Gillespie specialises in internal audit work. In his new role, Gillespie will to build on the firm’s strong internal audit client base in the education, charities and social housing sectors. But he is not the only one to receive a promotion, Catherine Livingstone was promoted to senior manager, and Laura Fagan was appointed to head of general practitioner services

Commenting on his rise from ascension, Gillespie said: “The promotion shows that with hard work and talent, there is a clear pathway from trainee to partner, and I hope to act as a role model to others who have ambition to progress.”

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Mazars appoints Jonathan Fox as non-executive advisor 

5 July - Mazars has announced Jonathan Fox as the firm’s new non-executive advisor.

Fox will join the firm at the start of September and will be responsible for the firm’s 2020 vision and strategy. Recently Fox served as the managing partner for Saffrey Champness for five years, where he developed and delivered the firm’s business plan.

Fox added: “I feel privileged to be joining the team at Mazars at such a pivotal time of change in the market.  Mazars has already impressed me as a truly global firm and I look forward to assisting this ambitious team with its transformational priorities as it enters the next stage of sustainable business growth”.

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PwC promotes 31 new equity partners

3 July - As of 1 July, PwC has promoted 31 new equity partners in addition to the 21 new equity partners recruited externally.

Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, said: “These partner promotions reflect our continued investment across the UK for the long-term success of our clients, our business and the wider economy.

“We remain focussed on maintaining a diverse and inclusive partnership that represents a broad range of skills, backgrounds and experience, and reflects our clients’ changing needs.”

27% of the new partners are female, and 40% of PwC’s 134 new director promotions are women.

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Baldwins expands into Oxfordshire

3 JulyBaldwins has added Oxfordshire-based Morgan Cameron to its group.

Baldwins is set to roll out Morgan Cameron’s probate services nationally across its accountancy group. The Oxfordshire firm and its 17 staff will remain in its Witney home and continue to trade as Morgan Cameron.

Margaret Thornton, tax and strategy director at Morgan Cameron, said: “This is a great opportunity for Baldwins’ clients. We have spent time designing systems and processes to carry out probate work more efficiently, using the best modern software to speed up the work. It is about re-inventing the way probate is offered.”

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JW Hinks announces three senior promotions

27 JuneEdgbaston-based JW Hinks LLP has promoted three employees to associates.

Neal Aston, managing partner at JW Hinks, said: “These promotions are well earned and I am pleased to congratulate them all on their new roles. The experience these three individuals possess will help guide our business and position us for continued long-term success.”

The three new associates are:

  • James Cruse – joined the firm as a trainee in 2003 and worked up to audit senior in 2007 and then became audit manager in 2012.
  • Kirsty Jackson – She also joined in 2003 and works as the firm’s client service manager.
  • Hamid Bukhari – Bukhari joined JW Hinks in 2016, and looks after a portfolio of healthcare clients

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Essex Rayner marks 50 anniversary with community events

28 June –London and St Albans based-firm Rayner Essex has celebrated its 50th year by organised a number of thank you events for stakeholders and clients, with the money raised being donated to worthy causes.  

The firm has since relocated from its London Strand birthplace to its current home in Tavistock Square. The practice now has over 70 staff spread across two offices.

Commenting on the anniversary Rayner Essex Partner Tim Sansom said: “Our anniversary year sees us in great shape. We have grown steadily and consistently in recent years and have welcomed some highly capable individuals to our team,” said: Tim Sansom, Rayner Essex partner.  

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