HLB hunts for UK partner

The network is understood to be looking for a mid-tier partner of the same calibre as the former number 11 firm, but one that doesn’t already belong to an international network.

Peter Frost, president of HLB International, told Accountancy Age: ‘We are discussing a replacement at this very moment. We have more than one possibility.

‘We have several firms who have contacted us and we are in the process of deciding who is going to join us.’

The realignment of the international network follows the merger of Baker Tilly and HLB Kidsons in the UK to produce the country’s eighth-biggest firm worth £150m of fee income a year.

The Kidsons’ replacement for the international network will be discussed at a board meeting in early February but the firm will not officially join HLB International until April, when the UK merger comes into effect.

In 2002, the company will look to further develop its multinational business.

‘We see tremendous opportunities for expanding our international client-base,’ said Frost.

Although its member firms do not share profits, the network, created in the 1960s, is not looking for further cohesion as it believes it is already a close-knit operation.

Frost said: ‘We don’t see the necessity,’ adding that the branding was working.

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