Awards 2007: Large Firm of the Year

AA Awards

Sponsored by Towry Law

Winner: Smith & Williamson

The group of firms just outside the global players work in one of the most
competitive parts of the accountancy market, but it was Smith & Williamson
that grabbed our judges’ attention to win our Large Firm of the Year Award.

Success came thick and fast for the firm in 2007, with a number of key
developments. Revenues grew in the year to April 2007 by 11.5%, the firm
extended its national presence with ten new UK offices, and it was formally
recognised for its expertise in private client work.

The firm’s unique position as the only accountancy firm with its own private
bank and investment management house was a key factor in differentiating its
work in the eyes of the judges.

There, too, development had taken place. Funds under management had grown
substantially by almost £1bn. With 52% of revenues stemming from personal
finance and wealth management, Smith & Williamson had demonstrated how
tapping a niche market could help maintain its position as one of the ten
biggest firms in the country.

The firm also went through a major restructuring to bring together two London
offices at Moorgate. The move immediately improved attendance levels at internal
events and has raised the firm’s profile, which had helped in attracting new

Other notable changes include the merger with Soloman Hare, which has led to
the creation of a new investment management business in Bristol. Away from
personal finance, successes have included acting as nominated adviser for Green
Dragon, the largest Chinese company to be admitted to AIM. The listing raised
£25m after the firm marketed the listing to 175 institutions through road shows
in the UK, US, continental Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.

The judges said: ‘This a firm that has made great efforts to equip itself for
the future. It has focused itself on key markets and exploited them with great
success. Smith & Williamson is a great example of how a firm can make itself
stand out through innovation and a clear approach to its business.’

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