The judges awarded BDO first place for the management of post-merger integration and the maintenance of momentum following the firm’s 2013 merger with PKF. Some 18 months after merger, the firm was able to report an impressive set of results across a range of indicators including significant organic and merger related growth in turnover, operating profit and margins.
The judges were impressed that the firm had enunciated ten demanding and measurable goals (known as the Power of Ten) to help the firm achieve its three year plan of the leading mid-market firm and to meet a demanding revenue growth target. The strategic goals were non-financial and covered measurable improvements in quality, client service, brand, sector expertise, and market segment pre-eminence in chosen areas. All the goals required careful and consistent implementation and could only be achieved through excellent management. It was impressive to note that the firm had produced compelling evidence of milestones and management successes achieved throughout the project so far.
Successes include a well-designed communication programme for partners and staff that has resulted in markedly improved employee satisfaction scores, as well as the maintenance of the firm’s position as number one for client satisfaction amongst its peers according to independent market research. All in all, the firm’s financial results and other achievements bear testament to a well-managed firm with profits up 42% to £78 million.
From left: Marcus Brigstocke, Mark Sherfield (BDO) and Indy Siriwardana (Santander)
The judges awarded second place to Foot Anstey for the way the management team (under the leadership of Managing Partner John Westwell) has implemented this West Country law firm’s strategy to reposition itself away from high volume low cost instructions to focus on specialist high quality work and nice areas of expertise. The firm has attacked its strategy in three ways. The first of these is the development of the firm’s service portfolio to exclude areas such as childcare and criminal work and to focus on areas usually associated with city firms such as procurement and Islamic Finance. Second has been the execution of a strategy to acquire senior talent from leading firms and third has been the opening of the firm’s Bristol Office whichhas grown to around 100 people in four years from a standing start. The firm’s repositioning helped achieve a marked improvement in the profile of clients who now include national names; this improvement is evidenced by a 43% rise in the number of clients spending over £100,000 per year with the firm. Revenue growth has enable the firm to be amongst the 20 fastest growing firms in the industry and to be given the status of One to Watch by Best Companies.