Ayming UK agrees partnership with South African Cova Advisory

31 May 2017 Consultancy.uk

The UK arm of international consultancy Ayming has agreed a partnership with Cova Advisory, a South African consulting firm specialised in investment incentives. The move allows both players to deepen their expertise in incentives and grants advisory, as well as expand their geographic footprint for clients.

With offices in over fifteen countries, Ayming – formed from the merger between Alma Consulting Group and Lowendalmasaï – is one of the globe’s larger business performance consultancies. To date the firm had no on the ground presence in Africa, and in a bid to better serve clients operating on the continent, in particular in South Africa, the region’s largest and most Western economy, the UK arm of the consultancy has struck an association with Cova Advisory.

Established in 2012, Cova Advisory delivers incentive advisory services to clients – from large corporates to small businesses – who are looking to apply for government grants and incentives. The firm, which is 51% black-owned and can call itself an economic-empowered entity under South Africa’s new BEE codes, has a team of around 15 employees, across offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. 

“Our new between Ayming UK and Cova will offer a holistic approach for firms wanting to take a smart approach to their operations in both the UK and South Africa. This will enable them to maximise their benefits when they take investment decisions,” said Justin Arnesen, head of Ayming’s UK innovation practice. The scope of the agreement focuses mainly on the incentive advisory space – other services which Ayming offers, such as procurement, supply chain, working capital and operational efficiency consulting, are initially out of scope and may follow at a later stage.

Ayming UK agrees partnership with South African Cova Advisory

As part of the alliance, Cova will service Ayming’s clients in South Africa, while Ayming will provide cover for the UK, European and North American markets. The firm builds on a strong track record in the field – globally Ayming analyses over 15,000 R&D and innovation projects each year, while the UK R&D team has claimed more than £100 million of R&D tax benefits for its UK clients since launching. 

“Companies which operate in South Africa can tap into a range of tax and grant investment incentives,” said Arnesen, who has worked in South Africa and has a good understanding of the region’s investment landscape. “Meanwhile both the United Kingdom and the EU have incentives for companies investing in the UK.” 

Commenting on the partnership, Cova Advisory’s Duane Newman, who left Big Four firm Deloitte to co-launch the consultancy, stated “The objective of our association with Ayming is to ensure that clients operating in both the South African and UK markets are able to maximise the grants and tax incentives on offer in both jurisdictions.” 

Cova’s other co-founder, Tumelo Chipfupa, reflected that the deal is set to come to the benefit of the firm’s customer base: “Our experience in South Africa, combined with the expertise of Ayming, will achieve a value-add which will be good for both of our businesses. More importantly it will ensure added value for our clients as well.”

According to a recent report from Ayming UK, which is based at More London, a landmark development near Tower Bridge, inaccessible funding could stunt growth and innovation in the UK’s economy.

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