'Top ten' aim for new PKF UK network

by Kevin Reed

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18 Dec 2013

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Jeremy Bowler

CREATING a ‘top ten' PKF-branded amalgam of UK practices is a key target for the international network.

Cooper Parry chairman Jeremy Bowler (pictured), speaking to Accountancy Age after the Midlands firm joined the PKF International network, said that rebuilding a strong UK network of PKF-branded firms was a priority. His firm is the third in Britain to join the network, alongside PKF Littlejohn and Johnston Carmichael, following the previous PKF firm merging with BDO.

"We're aiming to be heavily involved in rebuilding the UK network, to create a ‘top ten firm'," says Bowler.

"One of the attractions is the two firms we admire greatly, the three of us working together. We haven't joined to be subservient, we want to be instrumental in driving it forward."

Another challenge Cooper Parry faces is making itself known within the £2.6bn, 125-country network, with Bowler and staff set to spend time in the US to meet other member firms.

Bowler is wary that the changes do not adversely impact on what he describes as Cooper Parry's "distinction" as a high quality independent firm. "Managing [this] will be quite a challenge."

Joining PKF was effectively a three-month process, explains Bowler, with a "very rigorous" three-day due diligence undertaken by the network. Cooper Parry was increasingly in demand from clients to support them internationally, and the firm's links with PrimeGlobal failed to provide it with a global brand.

"Where we've been challenged on our depth, we hope [the PKF brand] will help us."

The move towards ‘PKF Cooper Parry' will take place in the new year, and Bowler sees it as "a not significant" rebrand cost, of circa £20,000.

"It's a fantastic opportunity with a great global brand. It says something about our ambitions."

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