Cogital subsidiary Blick Rothenberg snaps up Rees Pollock

Accounting consolidator CogitalGroup and its London division, Blick Rothenberg, has acquired Rees Pollock accountants 

Rees Pollock is a private partnership accounting and business advisory firm with nine partners focusing on owner managed businesses specialising in businesses regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Its main client base is smaller corporate clients, institutions and partnerships, including fully listed and AIM-regulated organisations.

The firm is structured as a partnership and has 65 staff with total fee income of £9.4m reported in its latest transparency report for year end March 2018.

As yet, there are no plans to rebrand Rees Pollock, although the standard CogitalGroup approach is to add a strapline to the website of the acquired brand, 'a CogitalGroup company'.

On the Rees Pollock website it states that ‘outside of the Big Four, we’re the leading UK auditors for hedge fund managers’, and has over 200 hedge fund clients. The firm reported fee income of £4.7m from statutory audits and directly related services for non-public interest entities in 2017-18.

Nilesh Shah, CEO of Blick Rothenberg said: ‘We are delighted to have acquired Rees Pollock. They have an outstanding reputation in their field and are a perfect fit for us.’

Simon Rees, senior partner of Rees Pollock said: ‘We are extremely pleased to be joining Blick Rothenberg. We both share a common culture and take pride in the services we provide to our clients. The Blick Rothenberg team and the wider CogitalGroup, with their investment in technology, will broaden the range of services we can offer to our clients both in the UK and internationally.’

The latest acquisition is part of an ambitious expansion plan to grow the CogitalGroup into a top 10 accounting firm in the UK, challenging major mid-tier players. The last reported fee income for year end 2018, was £117.5m, putting the group in 12th slot in the annual Accountancy Daily Top 75 Firms 2019 survey. 

This follows two acquisitions for Blick Rothenberg in 2018 - Westleton Drake Ltd in July 2018 and Hazlems Fentons LLP in November 2018. Blick Rothenberg reported fee income of £23.2m for year end June 2018, prior to reporting the impact of the new acquisitions. It also said that ‘as part of its growth strategy, [it] will also seek to acquire additional complementary businesses’.

John Connolly, executive chairman of CogitalGroup, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues into our group. Rees Pollock’s team and client base complements Blick Rothenberg’s depth of experience in tax and international business.

‘This acquisition is part of Cogital’s growth strategy and is another step forward in our plans to build a technology driven international business services group strengthening our presence in the entrepreneurial business sector.’

Sara White

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