Deloitte & Touche is set to become the first UK accountancy firm to float one of its businesses after it announced it will list CSL, its outsourcing arm, in spring next year. The news came as the firm published its year-end results this week showing a sharp increase in fee income to #796m, reflecting a growth rate of 21.8% – higher than any Big Five growth rate shown in last week’s Accountancy Age Top 50 league table. Deloittes also overtakes rival Ernst & Young and moves into a new position as the UK’s third largest firm, using the latest published fee income figures, although E&Y publishes more comparable results this November. Partners at Deloittes decided to float CSL so it would be able to fund growth and make acquisitions. Analysts value the business at around #200m. The firm will not retain a stake in the company. John Connolly, UK senior partner and chief executive officer, said: ‘CSL has grown to become one of the major firms in its field in the UK. The first step will be the transfer of ownership of the business from the firm to the partners and management of CSL.’ John Devaney, chairman of Ocean Group and formerly CEO of Eastern Electricity, will head the group as non-executive chairman. CSL chief executive Brian Reece has appointed Glenn Timms, former head of corporate finance at Guinness, as chief operating officer. Commenting on the firm’s results, Connolly said: ‘We have had a very successful period, with many clients retaining Deloittes as auditors, tax advisors and consultants.’ Despite a clear trend in Big Five firms to move away from audit work, Deloittes’ audit practice experienced a growth rate of 21%. It scored its biggest coup against competitors when it gained the audit contract for the Royal Bank of Scotland. www.deloitte.co.uk.
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