Thursday May 4 2017

New North East accountancy hub

A new regional hub will be created in the North East by one of the UK's fastest growing accountancy practices.

New North East accountancy hub

A new regional hub will be created in the North East by one of the UK’s fastest growing accountancy practices.

The well-established Brennan Neil & Leonard in Seaton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne, has joined forces with the Baldwins Accountancy Group.

Staff from Baldwins’ current offices in Ponteland and the Fleming Business Centre in Jesmond along with its office in Gosforth, formerly GT Grant & Co which was acquired earlier this year, will now be based at Brennan Neil & Leonard’s offices in Blezard Business Park, Seaton Burn.

Thirty staff will be dealing with around 2,000 clients in a myriad of sectors from engineering to information technology at the regional hub which will trade as Baldwins.

This latest deal brings Baldwins’ total number of offices to 36 across the UK, employing nearly 1,000 staff with an annual turnover of circa £55m.

Brennan Neil & Leonard has been providing a wide range of accounting, business development and specialist tax services since it was set-up by Mike Brennan over 25 years ago, mainly for owner-managed businesses with turnovers up to £20 million in Tyneside and Mid Durham.

He said this acquisition was favourable for its clients, staff, directors and Baldwins.

“There is a saying which goes win-win but I think this is a win, win, win, win,” he said.

“It gives our clients access to extra services which can only benefit their businesses, and our staff win because they will have the opportunity to progress their careers in a much bigger organisation.

“Our directors will become part of another go-ahead practice and finally, it is a win for Baldwins who are gaining access to our specialist services including our work on complex grants which I don’t think anybody offers to such a high level apart from the big four accountancy firms.

“This is a great place to locate Baldwins’ regional hub to offer a wider range of advice and information in all accounting services.

“The acquisition has been seamless. It is a good move for all parties and the reaction from our clients has been positive.”

Mike, aged 68, is to retire in six months to move to London to help his daughter run her business while John Leonard and Jennifer Hall will remain as directors.

Dawn Walton, a director at Baldwins, will oversee the new regional hub and she is looking forward to further increasing the firm’s presence in the North East.

She said: “Baldwins made a decision at board level to increase its offices in all corners of the UK and that is particularly apparent in the North East.

“Brennan Neil & Leonard has forged an enviable reputation thanks to Mike, John, Jennifer and their team providing high quality advice and it is no surprise that most of their clients have come through recommendations.

“We are keen to build on their success and by bringing all the staff from four offices together to open a regional hub, we will be providing advice and guidance on the whole range of accounting services from one location.

“The fact that I actually trained with GT Grant means this is a home-coming for me as I grew up with the firm and it will be lovely to work with the team again.

“This is an exciting time to be part of Baldwins and underlines our ambitious plans to continue to grow – and, as this acquisition shows, there is no sign of that stopping!”

The deal was assisted by lawyers Wilkes on behalf of Baldwins and Square One Law on behalf of Brennan Neil & Leonard.

The launch of the new regional hub follows Baldwins’ expansion in to the region in 2016 after acquiring North East accountancy firms Rowlands and Evolution which was followed by the acquisition of SV Bye, GT Grant and CTC in Tees Valley, Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and County Durham this year.

"This is an exciting time to be part of Baldwins and underlines our ambitious plans to continue to grow and, as this acquisition shows, there is no sign of that stopping!"
Dawn Walton

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