PracticeConsultingGreatorex facing job uncertainty

Greatorex facing job uncertainty

The collapse of the proposed merger between HLB Kidsons and Grant Thornton will undoubtedly bring preserve to bear on Ray Greatorex, the national managing partner at Kidsons.

Appointed in May last year from the firm’s Horsham office, his job was ostensibly to take Kidsons through a successful merger. With the £230m Grant Thornton deal now in ruins, after months of haggling, insiders have cast real doubt over his job.

‘There is considerable uncertainty,’ said a source close to the firm.

Kidsons has so far given its backing to Greatorex who was at a meeting of the firm’s national executive committee on Monday at Gatwick, the outcome of which is as yet unknown.

Kidsons partners are beginning to talk about possible successors including John Hollindale at the firm’s Bristol office, Peter Sills in Chester and Glenn Start at the Chelmsford Office, but no clear leader has emerged.

It was at the end of January that Accountancy Age first reported that the merger was in serious trouble when a third delay to talks was revealed.

At that stage it became clear that Grant Thornton may not have wanted to take on many of Kidson’s regional offices where they were duplicating by their own branches.

Indeed it seemed so many of the Kidson offices were to be cut out of the deal that it would be impossible to get 75% of the firm’s partners needed to ratify.

Other observers have pointed to the strategic error of going public with the deal far too early.

Phil Shohet of accounting consultancy Kato said: ‘This should never have gone into the public arena. This is a cardinal rule that if you are in discussions keep the talks confidential.’

Talk has also centred around the possibility that other firms were circling the wreckage ready to pick at whatever was left over. Speculation centred on the Edinburgh office but it is now understood Ipswich and Tunbridge Wells have considered talks with alternative partners.

The question hanging over Kidsons is whether the firm has a strategy going forward without being part of a merger. Its options are to look for organic growth or to seek another merger partner.

Links

Grant Thornton merger collapses

Fresh obstacles threaten GT merger

Grant Thornton faces merger crisis

GT and Kidsons wrangle over merger

Mid-tier merger vote set for January

Kidsons set to merge with Grant Thornton

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