Kiwi consolidator struggles to take flight

Succession planning if often spoken of as the great threat to UK accountancy
but it seems colleagues in New Zeland are going through identical problems.

An article in the country’s financial newspaper the National Business
(NBR) reveals a would-be consolidator who has spent two years
searching for small firms willing to sell up with no success.

Stephen Nicholas, chief executive of Openside Chartered Accountants, in
Wellington, said they had received little or no interest despite being in touch
with several firms.

Nicholas is quoted saying: “Accountants are very good at dishing out advice
on how to grow and exit a business, but are not so good at taking it.”

He adds: “Many seem to be operating almost as sole traders rather than
thinking about how to build a business for sale.”

Nicholas said he believes consolidation in the New Zealand market is ”
absolutely crucial” because it was increase the access for small businesses to
expert advice.

The article said that partners in small firms tend to be over 60 and ”
usually work until their physical, mental or financial health deteriorates
rather than sell in advance.”

Here in the UK things have been slightly different. RSM Tenon, the UK’s
biggest consolidator, will list on the main board of the London Stock Exchange
later this month.

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Find the full NBR article

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