RSM Robson Rhodes ditches Heer’s ambitious £200m goal

RSM Robson Rhodes ditches Heer’s ambitious £200m goal

RSM Robson Rhodes has to scrap plans to become a £200m firm by 2007 and may have to ask partners for additional finance in order to continue growing

The firm, whose revenues total £85m, has been forced to back track on its
ambitious growth plans, set out by former managing partner Sukhbinder Heer,
after difficulties in developing consultancy revenues.

David Maxwell, who replaced Heer as the firm’s managing partner, admitted
that it was considering asking for finance from partners and that the £200m
revenue target was now out of reach. ‘We are discussing the possibility of
asking partners for funds to invest in future growth. Our focus is on building
depth in key sectors rather than achieving £200m revenues. Quality is our
priority. We want to develop people rather than numbers,’ he told
Accountancy Age.

Maxwell’s comments mark a u-turn by the firm after Heer’s bold plans to grow
revenues. He denied, however, that missing this target was the reason Heer
stepped down as managing partner in May.

‘That is nothing more than a rumour, and unrelated to the reasons for
Sukhbinder’s departure,’ he said.

The dropping of the £200m target has led some to suggest that the firm will
find it more difficult to compete with larger firms as it lacks the capacity to
service bigger companies.

Maxwell denied these claims, and said that apart from consultancy, Robson
Rhodes had shown strong growth in financial services, corporate finance and
government work.

Robson Rhodes scored a key victory this week when it was announced that it
had won the audit of the Financial Services Authority.

The move by the FSA was regarded as an attempt to set an example to companies
that the mid-tier could compete on the same level as the Big Four. The FSA was
previously audited by Deloitte.

Mid-tier firms were also boosted last week by the prospect of hard-hitting
reports on Big Four firms by a more transparent Professional Oversight Board.

Though the FRC has indicated that it favours secret reports, it has opened a
consultation that could see reports become public, a move the mid-tier have
backed.

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