PracticeAuditRobson Rhodes loses trio to rival

Robson Rhodes loses trio to rival

Robson Rhodes has vowed to bounce back from the loss of three of its most respected financial services partners, who defected en masse to join rival firm, Chiltern.

Link: RSM Robson Rhodes announces profit of £14m

The three partners, ðRaymond O’Neill, David Butler and Julian Korek have joined Chiltern to establish a joint-venture investment management advisory firm.

The new practice will, in the most part, ‘provide a full range of services to the client base’ of hedge fund managers including advisory, assurance, taxation, corporate finance, business consulting, corporate recovery and forensic services.

They have set the ambitious target of growing the business, mainly through acquisition, to 250 professional staff and a turnover of £25m within three years.

The new business will be located in London, Dublin, the Cayman Islands, and the Channel Islands, but as many as 150 of the positions are expected to be in the UK.

Butler said he expects the new firm to compete heavily with Robson Rhodes, and the Big Four accounting firms, in particular Ernst & Young.

A Robson Rhodes statement said that, while the three partners made a ‘strong contribution’ to the development of its financial team, it was still committed to the cause.

Despite this, the firm could not confirm whether it would be replacing the three partners.

‘We will continue to bring people in if we feel that the individual joining the firm can strengthen the team and provide value to our clients,’ the firm said in a statement.

The financial services division at Robson Rhodes is its largest sector team consisting of eight partners, reduced from 11 following the departures, and a 200-strong team.

‘Our commitment to the financial services industry remains strong, and it will continue to be a fundamental element of RSM Robson Rhodes’ business and financial strategy,’ the firm said in the statement.

John Willmott, chairman of Chiltern, said that the creation of the joint venture represented a ‘huge opportunity’ that would contribute significantly to the development of the firm.

‘We recognise the potential of this market and, while we have already made some successful inroads into it on our own, this step will accelerate our growth dramatically,’ said Willmott.

While separation from Robson Rhodes was amicable, Butler said that the three former partners felt that the division ‘should be developed in a certain way’.

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