KPMG UK has acquired European equity markets advisory firm Makinson Cowell.

Makinson Cowell helps the boards of UK and European companies build relationships with institutional equity investors.

KPMG UK chairman Simon Collins said the acquisition is relatively small for the firm, but a very "important transaction".

"First, Makinson Cowell’s insights into the market views of the shareholder community will help provide independent and objective equity advice linking the boardroom and investors, which can only be to the benefit of all those involved in the capital markets.

Furthermore, at a time when companies are increasingly looking to ensure advice is independent from the underlying sources of finance, the combination of KPMG’s debt advisory business with the equity services provided by Makinson Cowell will create a market leading independent capital advisory business."

Makinson Cowell is to keep its brand, which is not usually the case with Big Four acquisitions.

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Makinson Cowell partner and co-founder Bob Cowell said the move will "underwrite the independent model which has characterised our business from the outset and preserve our brand for the future".

"With KPMG’s support, client base and global platform, we will be able to meet the growing demand from current and prospective clients and expand our geographical footprint and service offering," Cowell said.

The acquisition is still subject to regulatory consent.

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