BDO and PKF agree to merge as they eye more mid-cap clients

Marion Dakers
PARTNERS at BDO and PKF yesterday approved a deal to merge the UK operations of the two firms, giving the enlarged group extra firepower to compete in the mid-tier accountancy and advisory markets.

The new firm, operating under the BDO brand, has 3,500 people working across the country, with revenues close to £400m a year. The two companies’ global arms will remain separate.

The tie-up gives the group a presence in 19 UK locations, and it boasts mid-market sector experts in most industries.

“This is transformational, for our two firms but also the broader market,” said BDO managing partner Simon Michaels yesterday. “We’re delighted that two firms with similar cultures and a focus on client service will combine to create an even stronger entity next year.”

In the latest Morningstar rankings, Grant Thornton was the biggest auditor of Aim-listed clients with 165 mandates, followed by BDO with 130. PKF came eighth with 32.

The new group still lags behind the Big Four – PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte – and is awaiting a Competition Commission report on these firms’ dominance of the statutory audit market, which is expected in the new year.