New partners for MHA, Crowe Clark Whitehill and Smith & Williamson

21 September 2017 5 min. read
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Accounting and consulting firms MHA Macintyre Hudson, Crowe Clark Whitehill and Smith & Williamson have each hired new partners, as the competing firms bid to strengthen their respective multifaceted offerings. Zoe Thomas joins Smith & Williamson from EY, Grant Anthony returns to Crowe Clark Whitehill having previously spent twelve years with the firm, while MHA’s new recruit Toby Stephenson joins from BDO.

Zoe Thomas has been appointed by Smith & Williamson as partner in their London office. Thomas, who specialises in advising property and construction businesses on tax and business issues, joins from Big Four consultancy EY, where she was a partner for nine years. Prior to that, she held a series of positions at rival firm Deloitte for a further decade.

The real estate sector is, at present, an innovative and fast moving area – with major booms occurring across the UK, particularly in London, where the falling value of the Pound has motivated major investment from foreign capital over the past year. Companies, within the sector, are  meanwhile engaging in original processes in order to outflank competitors amid the flurry of activity – with Smith & Williamson recently fending off merger attempts from rivals Rathbones and Tilney’s, to currently contemplate an independent stock market listing.

Thomas commented on her new role, “I really enjoy working with real estate businesses, particularly in relation to transactions and tax advisory. Real estate transactions can often become very complex, requiring numerous different experts and extensive professional management, so it is very encouraging that Smith & Williamson has such a depth and breadth of services to offer clients.”

Andrew Wilkes, head of business tax at Smith & Williamson, said, “Everyone at Smith & Williamson is delighted to welcome Zoe to our London office. Her expertise and knowledge, particularly of the real estate sector, will be a huge bonus to our organisation and our clients.”

Zoe Thomas - Toby Stephenson and Grant Anthony

Grant Anthony has meanwhile joined Crowe Clark and Whitehill, one of the world’s 20 largest consultancies, as a partner, joining its Business Solutions team in London. Anthony previously spent 12 years at Crowe Clark Whitehill, where he trained and qualified, before moving into the commercial interiors industry in 1997, going on to co-found and manage a successful business in the sector. Now, as he returns to where he began his career, Anthony brings over 20 years of experience in CFO/FD roles across a range of SMEs and international and venture capital backed businesses, as well as knowledge of a variety of sectors including recruitment, legal, technology and healthcare.

Commenting on his appointment, Anthony said, “I am excited to be joining Crowe’s Business Solutions team and look forward to using my knowledge and sector experience to help our clients grow and negotiate the business landscape. Given the wider economic and political environment, it is an exciting and challenging time for the UK’s SMEs, but by using the skills and experience of the team, we will work with our clients to turn these challenges into opportunities.”

David Mellor – who stepped down as chief executive of Crowe Clark Whitehill at the beginning of September, but remains in an advisory role to ensure Nigel Bostock’s smooth transition to the top job – said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Grant back to Crowe. In the 20 years he has worked in industry, Grant has gained a variety of specialist and highly-sought expertise. His experience will not only further strengthen our national Business Solutions team, but also support our clients and our continued growth.”

Toby Stephenson has, meanwhile, been appointed as a new partner at MHA MacIntyre HudsonWith over 550 staff in fourteen offices in London and the South East, as well as across East Anglia and the Midlands, MHA is one of the UK’s top 20 accounting and advisory groups. Stephenson joins from fellow global consultancy BDO, bringing with him 25 years of experience, as well as specialist knowledge of advising growing entrepreneurial and private equity backed companies, along with UK subsidiaries of international companies throughout various sectors.

As MHA’s new partner, Stephenson will take up residency with MHA’s Birmingham office, with the aim of helping the office to develop and grow its client base in the region. He commented on his new role, “With it’s strong roots in the owner managed entrepreneurial business sector, coupled with a strong international capability through it’s membership of Baker Tilly International, MHA MacIntyre Hudson was a natural choice of firms to join given my background and client base.”

Chris Barlow, head of the Birmingham office, added, “We are absolutely delighted that Toby has agreed to join us. He’s an exceptional individual, and exactly the right sort of talent that we need to push ourselves forward and continue the growth that we’ve seen over the past couple of years. Toby will bring a real sense of strength and depth to the team. I know that I, and the rest of the team are very much looking forward to getting to know and working with Toby”.