PracticeAccounting FirmsFair winds blowing for Morton

Fair winds blowing for Morton

Last week Accountancy Age revealed the link between rival accountancy consolidators Tenon and Vantis.

To recap, Southwind is the family investment vehicle of Systems Union non-executive chairman Bob Morton, a former partner at Morton Thornton, one of the four founding firms in Vantis. And last week it bought a large slice of Tenon.

Now Morton protests that he wields no influence at Southwind, nevertheless the link is significant.

Firstly it shines the spotlight very much on Vantis, which has had little publicity compared to Tenon and Numerica, the only other listed UK consolidator.

And secondly – and perhaps more significantly – Morton could well end up on the Tenon board if past experience is anything to go by.

Morton is chairman of seven listed companies. And in each he either owns a significant number of shares himself, or Southwind owns a chunk.

So could Morton end up on the Tenon board? Don’t bet against it. Could he end up chairing the company? He says this week, emphatically not.

But could a merger between Vantis and Tenon happen eventually? Southwind bought still more Tenon shares last week, taking its total shareholding to over 17%. So Watch this space.

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