Mazars adds Grant Thornton team to its office in Poole

14 November 2016

A team of around ten professionals from Grant Thornton based in the south coast of England have moved over to rival Mazars. The carve-out sees the team, under the direction of partner Stephen Mills, transfer from Grant Thornton's Southampton office to Mazars's Poole office.

While the majority of carve-outs between accounting and consulting firms tend to be hostile moves, the transfer between Grant Thornton and Mazars has been completed in good harmony. Grant Thornton's strategy in the region, served by its office in Southampton, sees it shift its focus on a different client base, and as a result it has decided to offload clients that are unaligned to its new approach. "The development is in the best interests for our firm's ongoing strategy while ensuring clients receive the best and most appropriate engagement", explains Louise Evans, Grant Thornton's Regional Managing Partner for the South.

The move sees Stephen Mills, an adviser with more than 15 years' experience as a partner, move to role of Managing Partner at Mazars' base in Poole. Mills returns to familiar terrain – he trained with Grant Thornton in Poole after joining the firm in 1992. He moved with the Grant Thornton team to Southampton in 2007 and became Managing Partner of the Southampton arm in December 2009. "I'm happy to be moving back to Poole where I began my career, and look forward to the many advantages that returning here brings for both myself, my team and clients", says Mills.

Mazars adds Grant Thornton team to its office in Poole

Mills brings along with him a client base and a team of at least eight members, adding significant capacity to Mazars's presence in Poole. Mazars' local team has been growing in recent years – to accommodate for the growth the accountancy and consultancy recently moved into new its new offices in Merck House (formally opened on 17 October). "It is a really exciting time as Mazars are continuing to invest and I am really pleased to be part of the south coast growth story", says Mills.

Mazars currently is the only top ten accounting services firm with an operation in Poole. Grant Thornton says it its Southampton office will remain operational.

Lesley Fox, a Partner at Mazars in Poole, says she is delighted with the addition, and further states, "It reaffirms our commitment and on-going investment in the area and are pleased to be welcoming someone of Stephen's high caliber."

Evans concludes by remarking that she, looking back, is pleased about the close working collaboration with Mazars, which has ensured a smooth transition of clients ‎and people to the local office in Poole. "We wish Stephen and the new team at Mazars the very best."


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”