Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB)’s ambitions to expand its accountancy and business support activities across Scotland’s three largest cities have taken a major step forward, following its takeover of Glasgow-based Hardie Caldwell.
Hardie Caldwell is being rebranded under the AAB name, “with immediate effect”.
Aberdeen-headquartered AAB said the two firms turned over £30 million between them in their last trading year and the aim now was to grow revenue to £50m by 2025.
This is an extremely important milestone for the group.”
Graeme Allan, AAB chief executive
Hardie Caldwell employed 40 people whose addition to the AAB team takes the total workforce at the enlarged group to more than 330, with in excess of 250 of these based in Aberdeen.
The Glasgow firm’s three partners – Angus McCuaig, Douglas Emery and Pauline McGarry – have all become partners of AAB as a result of the merger.
Mr McCuaig was managing partner of Hardie Caldwell, and is now in the same role for AAB’s Glasgow operation. He is also on the enlarged group’s board.
Financial details of the deal, which has not resulted in any job losses and is on the contrary expected to lead to further recruitment later this year, are not being disclosed.
Deal cements link going back three decades
AAB – based at the Prime Four business park in Kingswells – said the move was an acceleration of its plans to become a leading Scottish regional player across the country’s three biggest cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
The two firms will “seamlessly join together”, having worked together as part of the UK-wide Accelerate association of accountancy practices for the past 30 years, the group added.
Clients of both businesses are expected to benefit from more resources and better services, particularly across the central belt of Scotland – where AAB now has an 80-plus team across offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. There is also an office in London.
AAB chief executive Graeme Allan said: “This is a fantastic development for both businesses, with a shared vision of providing an awesome client experience and supporting our clients’ diverse needs across sectors and geographies.
“The merger provides AAB with a greater geographical footprint, and gives us a key presence in Glasgow which will help us realise our growth strategy to 2025 and beyond. This is an extremely important milestone for the group.”
Mr McCuaig added, “We have a long history of working in partnership with AAB and look forward to moving this on to the next level through the merger of the two firms.
“We are hugely excited by the opportunities this creates for both our staff and clients as we embark on exciting growth plans to create a much larger AAB business in Glasgow and across the wider central belt.”
Accountancy firm now in its 31st year
AAB was founded in 1990 by retired senior partner Mike Brown and two former Ernst & Young colleagues, Bobby Anderson and Sheena Anderson.
The firm started out with a workforce of just five people and had turnover of about £600,000 in its first year.
It has seen enormous expansion in the past 31 years, with its latest acquisition giving it more than 330 employees and turnover of around £30m.
AAB now boasts 21 partners, and provides audit and accounting, tax, payroll and human resources, outsourcing and advisory services to clients operating throughout the world.