Prime Financial has bought an initial 10 per cent stake in the MPR Group, with a further 10 per cent to change hands in 18 months.
Speaking to AccountantsDaily, Prime Financial managing director and chief executive officer Simon Madder said the deal is the first of its kind that Prime has made in four years, but also the first in a concerted push to buy into more firms nationally.
“At the moment we are talking to over 60 different firms nationally, in various stages of development,” said Mr Madder.
Prime previously bought into a number of accounting firms but made the conscious decision four years ago to take a break, review their strategy and perfect their business model before progressing, said Mr Madder.
“As part of that review, we have seen there is a real need for someone to fulfil a position where they are not coming in to try and take control of the accounting firm.”
“In terms of Prime, we are just trying to empower the board and the leadership of firms to go about executing a more ambitious business plan.”
Mr Madder also highlighted the part-ownership model as a solution to the industry’s burgeoning succession issues.
“With ageing demographics of existing owners of accounting firms, we are able to structure solutions where it’s more about supporting and growing the firm rather than trying to take it over or control it,” he said.
Prime currently holds an equitable stake in 10 accounting firms.
The Group also has a long history of forming joint venture partnerships with accounting firms to assist them in offering wealth management to their clients – currently Prime is involved in 30 joint ventures nationally.
Under the wealth management JV model, Prime creates a new business, branded in the accounting firm’s name and owned equally by each party. Prime then provides support in running the wealth arm.