Date15 Nov 2023
Continued investment in our UK Corporate Finance team has resulted in annualised deal values in excess of £1 billion, with a resilient M&A market and strength across several sectors driving business demand.
In June 2023, we announced the appointment of Lee Humble as new UK Head of Corporate Finance, as part of plans to evolve into a national UK structure.
As well as this, five new Corporate Finance Partners have been appointed in 2023, as we continue to deepen our specialism and offer a greater breadth and depth of advisory services to our SME clients.
In total this year, we have bolstered our Corporate Finance team with 30 promotions and new appointments and advised on more than 90 deals across all regions. Within that, we have advised on 11 transitions to Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs), including Tough Construction, the largest business in Scotland to transfer ownership to more than 500 staff.
We were recently named the fifth most active advisor nationally by Experian, and the number one ranked advisor on sales to EOTs. This year, we have expanded coverage into Ireland.
The Corporate Finance market has seen a significant shift over the past two years, with a greater focus on succession planning since the pandemic and an increase in private equity (PE) and foreign investment into British businesses.
Lee Humble said: “We pride ourselves on a deep understanding of the dynamics of successful entrepreneurial, owner-managed and family-owned businesses. Against a backdrop of sustained uncertainty macroeconomic turbulence, advice on succession, M&A and strategic planning is now an acute need of SMEs to successfully navigate a rapidly evolving environment.
“The M&A market has shown great resilience this year and we expect an increase in deals over the next 6-12 months, driven by a multitude of factors including the acceleration of business sales to beat increases in Capital Gains Tax; an influx in PE investment from the UK and abroad; and more activity across several sectors such as healthcare.”
We advised on five healthcare transactions in five months in the North East alone at the start of 2023, with PE-backed consolidators driving demand in healthcare and other sectors that can demonstrate recurring revenues and strong margins.
Conversely, the M&A market continues to benefit from distressed and insolvent M&A, with administrations continuing to tick upwards throughout 2023.
Setting out continued growth plans for the national Corporate Finance team and offering, Lee concluded: “We have ambitious plans to keep growing the team, in terms of people, volume, and deal value, in line with Azets’ five-year growth strategy and vision to become the advisor of choice for SMEs.
“Our plan is to grow the Corporate Finance business in line with Azets’ ambition to grow by 50% over the next five years. We will do this by continuing to invest in developing our colleagues at all levels and recruiting talented advisors who can create trusted partnerships and add real value to new and existing clients.”
Read more about our Corporate Finance services here.