He took over from immediate past chairman Ken Miles who was forced to cut his tenure short following the merger on 1 January between his Los Angeles-based firm, NSBN, and top 10 US accounting firm, CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA). CLA is a member of Nexia International, a rival global network of independent accounting and consulting firms.
In handing over the baton, Miles admitted that he was leaving with a heavy heart. “While the merger is a very positive development for our firm, our clients and our hard-working staff, we are also extremely sad to exit such a high calibre group of entrepreneurial professional firms.”
Farmer’s firm, Alliotts, was one of the firms that founded the Alliott Group in 1979, and for the past 20 years Farmer has been heavily involved in building it up from a small, informal group of firms into a more commercial organisation with 160 member firms and a presence in some 60 countries.
He has been on the worldwide board since 2012 and until Miles’ departure he was deputy chair.
Farmer specialises in advising inward investing businesses setting up in the UK.
Welcoming his appointment as chair, Alliott Group chief executive James Hickey said, “Colin brings unique personal and business attributes to the role of chairman that will help us to grow our geographic reach and the commercial value of the organisation.
“His deep understanding of the needs of the owner/managers of international companies based in the UK and internationally combined with the strong relationships he has built through the years with member firms across the world will contribute significantly to his impact as worldwide chairman. Colin’s energy and entrepreneurial spirit will be huge assets.”
Farmer believes that he is taking over at an exciting time, as Alliott Group demonstrates the foresight to take the required steps to meet the changing needs of clients.
“Alliott Group is a pioneer in its sector and is implementing a strategic plan which differentiates it from less nimble competitors that tend to follow rather than lead.
“This is resulting in greater return on investment for our member firms and the community of international businesses and high net worth individuals we serve on an individual and collective basis.”
Alliott Group also announced that its new deputy chair is Jamie Towers, a partner in Brisbane-based Hanrick Curran.