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News

The final quarter...

Monday, 16 September 2013

So, we’ve entered the final quarter of this year following a whirlwind summer of activity in our principal market: Corporate Recovery and Insolvency. We have seen a noticeable spike in the contentious market within accountancy firms, and there has been a big push for Directors and Partners with potential followings.  Firms are prepping for when the market picks up, aligning themselves well to have a greater market share. It is also worth noting that the American boutique restructuring firms have recruited a lot in the last 6 months at all ends of the spectrum – perhaps leveraging off the uncertainty of a number of UK based accountancy firms being bought and sold, leading to disenchanted staff.

Considering that the Baker Tilly acquisition of RSM Tenon is completed and well known in the market post the recent partner vote, the commentary is now coming in with a mixture of thoughts. On one angle it could be bad for market confidence in accountancy practices, and on the other it could equally reduce the amount of business we do as there is one less client in an already specialist/niche area. Only time will tell how fruitful this merger will be on a wider macro level for the industry.  One thought in favour is the argument that there might even be too many firms in this arena fighting for a piece of the pie. Take the legal market, which could use a bit of consolidation and a reduction of lawyers trying to take a bite of this action. Quality over quantity could be best.

Another of our specialist areas Employment tax continues to grow. The Big 4 firms are recruiting at all levels, and we have successfully filled senior appointments in the top 20 accountancy firms.

Broad based reward remains a buzz word in the market and a number of in house roles have kept us on our toes lately. Our key client relationships with the Big 4 have led to recommendations to FTSE100 companies, and we are solely appointed to identify the Reward & Incentives talent for them. Share Schemes lawyers and accountants however seem to be in less demand.

The Indirect Tax piece is exceptionally top heavy at the moment with a number of Directors changing the scenery for the Financial Services practices. The move in Japan to regulate VAT towards percentages closer to the EU market could mean some big retainers for the largest VAT practices but something tells us it might be the smaller outfits taking a bite out of this international work.

Keep an eye on this space. With senior activity, junior activity follows… and volume on the junior scale is always greater. So… we may have a manic year end after all.

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