PKF/Robsons merger: Firms join after fees fall

The merger of Robson Rhodes and Pannell Kerr Forster has been dubbed ‘inevitable’ given the falling performance of the two firms in recent years.

The move follows a similar link-up between Group A rivals BDO Stoy Hayward and Moores Rowland in January.

PKF filed less-than-impressive figures last November. Notching up a 2% hike in its fee income to #74.4m for the year to 30 April, it was behind the rest of Group A.

But, despite the figures and persistent industry rumours, managing partner Martin Goodchild ruled out merger as the way to improve the firm’s figures.

He said PKF hoped to grow organically by taking on quality staff.

Goodchild’s denial was echoed by Robson’s managing partner Chris Connor at the time of the Stoys/Moores link-up. ‘Robson Rhodes does not have any merger plans,’ he said emphatically.

Robsons has had its own share of poor results. Partner profits collapsed by more than 20% to #43m in 1997 alone.

Speaking this week, Baker Tilly chairman Clive Parritt said: ‘Putting together two firms will combine all their strengths – and weaknesses. Merging is a natural response if bankers and advisers are looking for turnover size. But can they deliver?’

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