RSM boosts Technology and Management offering with new Manchester hub

28 February 2018

Consulting firm RSM has enhanced its offering in the North-West of England with the launch of a new Management Consulting hub based. The hub’s launch also sees the firm relocate Partner Neil Sharples from its London headquarters, as RSM looks to build on the team’s current growth.

Global mid-market professional services network RSM has 35 offices across the UK. The firm has witnessed its presence in the country expand significantly in recent years, specifically through the acquisition of Northern Irish counterpart RSM McClure Watters, as well as wider organic and inorganic growth.

The firm since recorded a solid year of growth in 2017, with revenues increasing by 9% to £319 million on the previous 12 month period. Growth was led by its Consulting, Human Resource and Legal Services, which saw revenue jump up by 46.6% to near the £16 million mark. Risk assurance, meanwhile saw an increase of 14.6%, to £25 million. Tax and advisory, the firm’s largest practice, saw a more modest increase of 8.6% to £138 million. Now, in a bid to maintain the firm’s meteoric rise, RSM has made significant investments in its Technology and Management wing in the UK.

RSM boosts Technology and Management offering with new Manchester hub

RSM’s national Technology and Management Consulting team currently consists of more than 100 people providing clients with advice on IT and Digital strategy, system selection and implementation, as well as complementary skills in finance consulting and business change. The firm is also a strategic partner of Oracle-NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics. Now, as it works to enhance that reputation for technological expertise, the audit, tax and consulting firm has established a new Technology and Management Consulting hub, based in its central Manchester office, as RSM seeks to build on the team’s current growth.

The move is part of RSM’s extension of its core services nationally and in particular to provide IT and Digital strategy, cloud ERP and management consulting services to the firm’s middle-market client base nationally. It also comes after RSM’s recent acquisition of 54-strong Crewe-based NetSuite specialist FHL which propelled RSM UK to become the largest provider of NetSuite services in Europe.

Speaking on the broader ambitions of RSM UK regarding its Technology and Management output, Jill Jones, Regional Managing Partner for the North-West region at RSM added, “The ambition set out by our Technology and Management Consulting colleagues mirrors that of our own plans for growth here in the North West. We’re delighted to welcome Neil into the fold and I look forward to working with him to expand and develop the team.”

Partner relocation

This expansion is further bolstered with the relocation of RSM Partner Neil Sharples, who arrives in the Mancunian locale from the firm’s London headquarters, with a remit to grow RSM’s Technology and Management Consulting capability throughout the North-West, helping clients to define and implement technology strategies to support their business growth.

Sharples has spent almost 11 years accumulatively with the firm, either side of a three-year spell as a Director at Nookwood, a management consultancy focused on change management. Before his first stint at RSM, which began in 2004, Sharples also worked as an Executive Business Analyst with Big Four firm EY, following three years with BAE Systems, joining as a Management Trainee in 1998.

Chris Knowles, Jill Jones and Neil Sharples

Chris Knowles, Lead Partner for Technology & Management Consulting at RSM said of Sharples’ appointment, “Neil’s experience of leading IT-driven business change means he is ideally placed to lead our expansion plans in the North. He will work closely with our new colleagues at FHL and will help to get the message out across the North of England that RSM can help clients in all sectors with their technology challenges.”

Neil Sharples meanwhile stated, “There are many thriving sectors in the North including manufacturing, software and services and I am very excited to take the message to them about RSM’s Technology & Management Consulting services and how we can help them to grow through better use of technology.  Many businesses in the region know they need to invest in IT and Digital technology but aren’t sure how to start.”

Global expansion

RSM has also been working to improve its technological management consulting footprint on a global basis, by way of M&A activity. Earlier in the year, the firm acquired SecureState, a US-based cybersecurity management consultancy focused on information security.

2018 theoretically presents a major opportunity for members of the consulting industry looking to enhance their position within the cybersecurity space. 2017 not only saw a huge spike in cyberattacks – such as the WannaCry hack which impacted computers used by the UK’s NHS, among others – but two major cybersecurity consultancies suffer from breaches as well. The world’s largest cybersecurity firm Deloitte suffered a major attack which could have lasted for several months, while Accenture, the sixth largest such firm, was found to have left a large cache of sensitive information without password protection on their cloud storage.

Since then, multiple firms have leveraged M&A activity to strengthen their arm in the space. Alongside RSM’s purchases, most recently this saw KPMG acquire cybersecurity business Cyberinc, adding 190 experts to its global workforce.


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