BDO and Moore Stephens exchange contracts

The mid-tier firms have formally exchanged contracts, confirming a merger that will create a business with an estimated UK revenue of £590m, overtaking Grant Thornton to become the fifth-largest firm in the country

With 5,000 staff across the UK and a projected fee income of £590m, the merged firm will move into the number five position in the UK, displacing Grant Thornton. In 2018, BDO announced UK revenues of £468m, an 8.5% rise on the £427m it earned in 2017. Moore Stephens’ revenue rise by 13% in 2018, to £137.5m.

The business will operate under the BDO brand, with it being confirmed in November 2018 that a senior management team from Moore Stephens, including Simon Gallagher, managing partner and Jon Randall, chief operating officer, will join the BDO leadership structure as members of the board.

The combined firm will also remain in BDO’s global network, which operates in 162 countries and announced revenue growth of 10% earlier this month resulting in a combined fee income of $9bn (£7.09bn).

It will be headed by Paul Eagland, managing partner of BDO since October 2016, who said: ‘Our shared ambition is to create a fully-integrated firm which leads in serving what we call the UK “economic engine” - the country’s entrepreneurially-spirited businesses.

‘As a combined firm, we also create a stronger challenger at the top-end of the audit market by offering greater scalability; however our continued focus on quality will preside above all else.’

The merger only involves the London, Birmingham, Reading, Bristol and Watford offices of Moore Stephens. Simon Gallagher, managing partner of the firm, said: ‘I am immensely proud of Moore Stephens, which has delivered double digit growth for several consecutive years.

‘Joining forces with BDO will allow us to continue this growth trajectory, enabling us to deliver the ever-increasing range and depth of solutions requested by clients.’

Report by James Bunney

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