TOP 20 firm Menzies has unleashed a new zeal to focus on a more tightly targeted drive to expand its advisory services in 2016 and beyond.
The move was announced by the £32m network of eight accountancy practices peppered across Surrey, Hampshire and London after conducting an extensive customer feedback campaign.
The results mean will now concentrate on SMEs between 20 and 500 staff and up to £30m as well as High Net Worth business owners and managers.
It also aims to strengthen the 45 partner outfit’s reputation for consultancy by “shifting the emphasis of the firm away from simply offering compliance services such as audit and tax, to working more closely with its clients in a strategic advisory role”.
And by focusing on fewer sectors, “consultants will be able to adopt a sector-led approach, with specialist teams of advisors”, the firm posits. This will lead to “stronger client relationships and a better understanding of their business need”, the firm believes, while continuing to offer its ‘core services’ of accounting, tax and audit.
The new consultancy offering will cover ‘markets and customers’; ‘strategic and financial’; ‘people’; ‘operational and systems’, and international. The consultancy team also aims to “develop strategic partnerships with preferred suppliers to provide essential services to clients, such as IT, on a project-managed basis”.
Julie Adams, managing partner at Menzies, said the firm had proactively sought out the views of the marketplace “to see how we are perceived and to see what it and our clients want – and we’ve listened.”
“We’re perceived as efficient, reliable and professional – but all accountants are looking for a differentiator and we want to be perceived as a bit more strategic, commercial and modern.
“So were shifting emphasis from compliance services such as audit and tax and looking at more strategic advisory services because that’s what clients want. An audit’s an audit – so we’re going to be more being consultancy and advisory-led – a repositioning if you like.”
Such a move is a deeply “positive thing” insists Adams, because “we’ve listened and reacted to what our customers said”.
Part of that drive includes a number of strategic hires, such as a new director of outsourcing and a new private client head.
“There is tremendous expertise within Menzies,” said Adams. “Our new consultancy and sector-led business strategy and rebrand will enable us to tap into that expertise and deliver a rounded service to our clients, helping them maximize the potential of their businesses.”
Andrew Howson joins the firm from EY, bringing experience in advising private equity and corporate clients across multiple sectors in the UK and Europe
Dennis Layton takes up the position on April 1 and will contribute to the firm’s goal of becoming the leading global professional services organisation by 2020
Richard Cartwright becomes the new head, taking over from incumbent head of office David Lemon
Brian Burke, business development director, has moved within the firm to 'develop Quantuma’s networks with Sussex professional firms'