Ex-Chiltern chief aims to claim major tax stake with new firm

David Pert

Ambitious: David Pert

An independent tax firm set up by
former boss is aiming to grow to half the size of
& Young
’s tax business within five to ten years.

Alvarez &
, funded by its US counterpart and headed up by former Chiltern boss
David Pert, hopes to take on the space vacated by Chiltern when it joined audit
Stoy Hayward
, pitching itself as a tax firm independent of audit conflicts
of interest.

‘The overall vision is to be half the size of the smallest of the Big Four
within five to ten years,’ Pert said.
Ernst & Young, the smallest of the Big Four, has a tax practice with
revenues of £335m.

The firm currently only has 20 people, partners and directors operating in
the UK but is aiming for 30 by the end of the year, 80 after two years and 150
after three years.

The firm is thought to be on the point of recruiting several partners poached
from Big Four firms.

Pert launched the firm almost as soon as Chiltern was sold to BDO late last
year. Chiltern was a highly regarded as a tax consultancy, and turned over
around £20m annually, but had always insisted that its selling point was its
freedom from audit conflicts of interest.

As well as comprising several figures from the old firm, A&M has become
part of Taxand, the same tax consultancy network of which Chiltern was a part.
‘We’re competing against the Big Four from a tax perspective,’ Pert said.

No figures are as yet available on the new firm’s revenues, as it has not
reached its first year end.
Alvarez & Marsal Taxand services large multinationals and also lists private
equity houses and hedge funds as key markets.

Taxand was a tax network that emerged from the Andersen wreckage. Of its
partner base, 95% is derived from Big Four firms. It also provides services in
transaction advisory, financial due diligence and forensic accounting, among

Alvarez & Marsal is a US-based company and according to Pert, is founded
on the belief that ‘professional services can be delivered in a much more
efficient way if audit isn’t there.’

Pert said recruitment for the network was strong despite the current market.

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