TEN PROSPECTIVE UK firms are vying for the vacant membership of accounting network Morison International.
It marks the latest in a series of switches set in motion by Baker Tilly’s decision to join RSM following its acquisition of RSM Tenon last year, eschewing its eponymous network Baker Tilly International. MHA MacIntyre Hudson and other MHA firms, in turn, took the available spot at Baker Tilly International, leaving Morison without a UK firm.
“We’re looking for a firm – or firms – which are involved convincingly in international work, so most likely they’ll have a strong London presence,” the network’s chief executive Liza Robbins (pictured) told Accountancy Age. “So whether we go down the route of having a strong firm in London and other strong firms elsewhere is one option. A national firm with coverage all over is another option,” she said.
It’s understood the ten firms applying for the Morison vacancy are of varying sizes, with Robbins keen to re-establish the “good UK coverage” MacIntyre Hudson provided.
“I’m not surprised [by the level of interest], but the number of ten is great. We’re very open with them. We’re in discussions, and it’s extremely important to us that we establish representation in the UK, but we’re not in a rush to do so,” Robbins told Accountancy Age. “We’re a very stable network and we’ve not seen any financial impact from MHA MacIntyre Hudson leaving us, so we’re doing things in a calm and considered way.”
On MacIntyre Hudson’s move, Robbins said she was “not surprised” by the interest shown in the firm by Baker Tilly International.
“We have had and continue to have a good relationship [with MacIntyre Hudson]. We get on. When Baker Tilly International lost their UK representation, was it a surprise to us that they go after our firm of extremely high quality? Of course not. I think anyone in the market could have told you that.”
Robbins would not be drawn on a timeframe for announcing Morison’s next UK firm, but added a decision would be made “as soon as possible, as long as it’s right for both the firm and for us”.
“We’re not talking years. It’s something we’re actively working on,” she said.
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