The deal, which is effective from today, will strengthen CBW’s business advisory team and the combined unit will be called CBW Blackstone Franks. The wider group will retain the name CBW.
All ten members of Blackstone will remain in their roles, bringing CBW’s total to 16 partners and consultants, with over 100 staff. The move includes Blackstone Franks partner and former chairman of the ICAEW technical tax committee Robert Mass.
Peter Winter, managing partner at CBW, said, “We are all about providing a firm that delivers the sort of expertise you would normally expect to find in a very large firm, but combined with a strong partnership ethos and hands-on partner involvement.
“We have known the team at Blackstone Franks for many years and look forward to working with them in the same partnership.”
Subhash V Thakrar, joint senior partner at Blackstone Franks said, “I’ve kept on eye on the work CBW has done and have always been interested in the business. They have a great range of experts and mid-market clients which will strongly complement our international and high-net worth client-base.”
It is the second merger by CBW in the last 18 months, following a merger with outsourced accounting firm Direct Control to create a new service, CBW Dynamic Accounting.
The sector has seen a notable increase in the number of mergers recently. PKF Littlejohn formally launches today as the new UK member of PKF International, and last month PKF and mid-tier rival BDO merged. Earlier this month RSM International announced the merger of its China arm with Crowe Horwath China to create Ruihua China CPAs.
On the smaller end of the scale, wealth manager Bellpenny has continued a rapid expansion drive with the acquisitions of the IFA arms of Price Bailey, Foot Davson and County Partnership.