EY is to acquire the personal tax services business of Frank Hirth, a specialist accountancy practice providing UK and US personal tax services, in a bid to build up its profile in the private client business market
The Big Four firm’s move follows on from the January announcement that top 20 player Moore Kingston Smith, the London firm of the Moore UK network, has acquired Frank Hirth’s audit and accounting business.
Under the terms of the EY deal, around 200 employees, and over 5,000 clients, of Frank Hirth, which was founded in 1975, will form part of the acquired business. The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions and, if satisfied, is likely to complete in the first half of 2021.
EY currently has around 350 private tax professionals across the UK.
EY says the potential acquisition will drive forward the firm’s ambition to be a leading provider of private tax services, and to provide clients with high quality service, insights and experience as they face the increasing complexity of UK and US tax issues.
Jeff Soar, managing partner, tax and law, UK & Ireland, EY, said : ‘The potential acquisition of the business of Frank Hirth represents a significant investment and is a bold statement of intent, aiming to position EY as a leading organisation in providing private client tax services in the UK.
‘It demonstrates the EY ambition, commitment, and dedication to exceeding EY clients’ expectations across the UK and the world.
‘While the acquisition is subject to closing conditions, we look forward to the prospect of welcoming Frank Hirth’s team and clients to the EY organisation at what is an exciting period of ambitious growth and development.’
Alison Kay, managing partner for client services, UK & Ireland, EY, said the acquisition would bring additional competencies to the business rapidly.
‘Frank Hirth has international reach, with a strong reputation in the UK and the US, and will build on the EY position as one of the most widely connected professional services organisations around the world. The potential acquisition is part of the wider growth strategy in the UK and Ireland for the next three to four years,’ she said.
Robyn Limmer, Frank Hirth managing director, said: ‘This is a great chance for us to come together, to propel our collective US and UK private client business to a new level, whilst maintaining and enhancing the exceptional client service we are known for.’