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August 19, 2019

Nexia UK member firm in merger talks

By Joe Pickard

Nexia UK member firm Smith & Williamson is in ‘exclusive’ talks with investment firm Tilney over a possible merger of the two businesses.

A spokesperson for Tilney confirmed reports that the businesses are currently discussing a possible merger.

Smith & Williamson is Nexia’s largest member firm in the UK. According to IAB UK Country Survey 2018, the firm reported a fee income of £272.1m ($330m) making it the 8th largest member firm of an accountancy network for the year. Nexia UK’s total fee income for the year was £370.6m.

A Tilney spokesperson said: “A merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson would create a market-leading, integrated UK wealth management and professional services group with over £45bn of assets under management.

“These discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty that a transaction will proceed. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”

A spokesperson for Smith & Williamson said: “The Board of Smith & Williamson confirms that it has received an approach and is in exclusive discussions about a combination of its business with Tilney Group. The respective Boards believe that a merger of Smith & Williamson and Tilney has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the clients, employees, partners and shareholders of both businesses and create a market-leading, integrated, UK wealth management and professional services firm. Discussions remain ongoing and at this stage there is no certainty that a transaction will proceed. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

Towards the end of last year, Smith & Williamson merged with Dublin-based accountancy firm LHM Casey McGarth.

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