PwC Australia has completed the acquisition of Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, with the combination aiming to create a distinctive offering in the market.
PwC Australia’s financial advisory managing partner, Pete Calleja said Greenwoods is very highly regarded in the market for its M&A, infrastructure, real estate, financial services and high-net-wealth capabilities and its partners and their teams will bolster PwC Australia’s broader financial advisory business comprised of deals, integrated infrastructure, legal, PwC private and tax.
The acquisition will build on PwC Australia’s existing market leadership with an expanded suite of capabilities for clients.
PwC Australia’s tax leader, Chris Morris said this is a significant investment in PwC Australia’s tax business and offers a unique opportunity to cement the firm’s status as the number one provider of integrated tax solutions across a suite of disciplines.
“The tax environment for businesses both globally and domestically is increasingly complex and the combination of Greenwoods with PwC Australia’s market leading tax practice will ensure we can help our clients respond to these challenges including major reforms of the international tax system and increasingly complex compliance obligations,” Mr Morris commented.
Managing partner of Greenwoods, Manuel Makas said one of the key drivers for joining PwC Australia was the opportunity to be part of an extensive international network of firms and broaden the suite of services they can provide to their clients.
“Globalisation and technology are increasingly relevant to business, and joining with PwC Australia will enable us to offer our clients a broader range of services. We believe our combined offering will be truly differentiated in the market and our clients and our teams will benefit,” Mr Makas said.
The 15 partners joining PwC Australia from Greenwoods are in addition to the internal partner admissions that occur each year, according to Mr Morris. PwC Australia’s tax practice is set to achieve record admissions to the partnership in the 2021/22 financial year.
“The war for talent is hotter than ever before. That’s why we’re pleased to be bringing in 15 deeply technical and experienced partners and around 50 highly-talented staff to enable our business to continue to meet market demand and provide market-leading tax advice,” Mr Morris added.
Herbert Smith Freehills, executive partner Australia, Andrew Pike, said the firm valued its alliance with the Greenwoods partnership and wished them well for the future.
The firm is currently working to create its own leading tax practice that is optimal for clients’ needs and builds on existing strength in stamp duty and tax disputes.
“We are energised by this prospect given the advantages our clients see in having an integrated tax capability within the firm, and we are already in discussions with a number of tax law experts interested in joining the firm,” Mr Pike said.
“As well as strengthening our own capability, we will also continue to work with external tax advisory specialists when there is a client need, as we have always done. That may include the Greenwoods partners joining PwC.”
Tony Zhang is a journalist at Accountants Daily, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the accounting sector.
Since joining the Momentum Media team in 2020, Tony has written for a range of its publications including Lawyers Weekly, Adviser Innovation, ifa and SMSF Adviser. He has been full-time on Accountants Daily since September 2021.