Grant Thornton eyes growth in North Scotland with Aberdeen office

02 November 2016

Grant Thornton is expanding into Aberdeen. The move will see it focus on developing a team in the Granite City as a springboard to supporting clients in the wider North East of Scotland. The first major hire has already been made, with the addition of financial services expert Ian Knott.

Accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton is active in more than 130 countries globally, generating revenues in excess of $4.6 billion with around 42,000 people in its ranks. As part of its UK strategy, the firm recently expanded its footprint into Aberdeen. The move into the Scottish city, dubbed the Granite City for its Victorian architectural use of the material, is to provide the professional services firm with a springboard into growth opportunities within the North-East of Scotland.

The expansion sees the firm open its doors within the heart of the city’s financial district along Queen’s Road. Rob Caven, Partner at Grant Thornton and Head of Advisory in Scotland, says that the firm is “delighted” to be taking its first steps in the North and is confident that both Grant Thornton and Aberdeen will have a sustainable, successful future. He comments, “The region has been hit hard by the oil and gas downturn and wider economic and political uncertainty, but its rich mix of industry reflects the resilience that drives the Granite City. By focusing on stimulating new ideas and tapping in to the potential of the North-East, we believe there will continue to be significant opportunities to create an even more vibrant economy.”

Grant Thornton eyes growth in North Scotland with Aberdeen office

A key first hire, the firm reports, has already been made with financial services expert Ian Knott, who has been appointed a Corporate Finance partner. Knott has worked in Aberdeen since 2007, most recently for investment banking services firm Simmons & Company International, where he was a Vice President at the firm’s Aberdeen operation. Previously, from 2007 until 2013, he worked as an Associate Director of Corporate Finance at KPMG. Earlier roles include advisory positions in the Corporate Finance and Advisory arms of PwC, where he started his career in 1998. Knott holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Durham University.

Commenting on the appointment, Caven says, “It’s great having Ian Knott on board to help drive forward this new practice. We’re delighted to welcome such a knowledgeable, experienced corporate finance advisor to the team."

Reflecting on Grant Thornton's ambition in the North of Scotland, Caven adds: "Our objective is long term growth throughout Scotland, and we believe the north of Scotland will play a key role in helping to deliver that success.”

Grant Thornton's UK organisation books revenues of £521 million (FY15). Global revenues stand at more than $4.7 billion.


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US consulting firm Slalom opens Manchester office

25 April 2019

American tech consultancy Slalom has announced plans to open a Manchester office in which it will employ 200 staff by 2025. The firm opened a London office in 2014, and also recently launched its operations in Canada.

Slalom Consulting is one of the largest management and technology consultancies in North America, with some 4,000 consultants, and revenues of more than $550 million. Founded in Seattle in 2001, the advisory firm spent its initial 13 years of business focusing on domestic expansion. While many fast-growing firms in Europe seek to expand across borders to open up new markets, Slalom’s positioning in the world’s largest and most mature consulting market meant that by the start of 2014, the firm had grown its revenues to around $480 million with offices solely in the US.

At that point, however, the firm decided the time was finally right to go global, and in the Summer of 2014 the consultancy opened an office in London. Run by Alex Qatsha – formerly a consultant at Unisys, Accenture and Deloitte – the London operation has since enjoyed a growing track record across the UK and European clients and industries. Through its London office, Slalom has established a reputation in the UK for successfully delivering impactful projects to private and public sector clients across numerous industries.

US consulting firm Slalom opens Manchester office

In the following four years, Slalom has grown into more new markets, including Canada – where it opened an office in Toronto – and launched a new software and tech 'building' offering. Amid growing demand in the UK, the consultancy has turned its attentions back to British shores once more. The UK represents the world’s second largest individual market for consulting services, and with the Northern Powerhouse project seeing business boom in the North-West in particular, Slalom has opted to launch a new Manchester office. 

While the move to a fast-growing region is understandable, it comes after venture capital funding fell by 30% in the North West in 2018. The haul was worth £122.2 million, down from £173.4 million in 2017, while the North as a whole saw the same 30% venture capital drop. Despite that, Slalom hopes its second UK location at Peter House, in the heart of Manchester’s innovation and academic district, will allow it to tap into the city’s deep talent pool, while investing in the development of its existing team members to strengthen its UK reputation. The company plans to employ 200 people in Manchester by 2025.

Dave Williams, UK Country Managing Director, said, “Manchester is a city of digital enterprise with a wide range of strengths across industries including manufacturing, healthcare, utilities and consumer services – which perfectly complements Slalom’s breadth of expertise. We’re looking forward to collaborating with clients to shape their internal capabilities, building a team and making an impact on the local community.”

Paul Squire, Managing Director – who will move from the London office to head up operations in Manchester –  added, “I’m excited about working with our clients in the North West of England, helping them to deliver people-centric change, bring strategic solutions to life, and ultimately, to love their future.”

Tim Newns, Chief Executive of Manchester’s inward investment agency, MIDAS, meanwhile stated, “Greater Manchester is a hotbed for collaboration and innovation, making it the ideal location for pioneering businesses like Slalom... Establishing operations within one of Europe’s largest digital and technology clusters will provide the consultancy firm with ample opportunities to join forces with the rapidly increasing number of world-leading brands that are choosing Manchester.”