North West accountancy and advisory firm completes MBO

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Investment in its people will drive forward the ambitious growth plans, and the new structure will see Lucy Williams take the reins as managing partner

North West-based accountancy and advisory firm, JS, has completed a management buyout (MBO) from its previous owners. The deal sees the firm transition from its current partnership model to a new corporate structure to support with future growth plans. The senior individuals will still be known as partners.

JS has ambitious plans to grow over the next ten years. It aims to do that whilst remaining independent and owner-managed and continuing to focus on its core market of owner-managed SMEs.

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The firm’s people and clients are the heart of JS and the management team are determined to ensure that client experience remains excellent as the firm grows, but it is further strengthened by the wider team of specialists that will be available.

New partners Chris, Lucy, James, Steve, Emma and EmmaNew partners Chris, Lucy, James, Steve, Emma and Emma
New partners Chris, Lucy, James, Steve, Emma and Emma

With over 100 years of experience, JS has a long history of working with owner-managed businesses across the UK. The firm currently delivers several services including audit, accounts, tax advisory, compliance, management consultancy and digital finance transformation.

With a team of 90, the current JS management team comprises of Lucy Williams, Chris Moss, James Wood, and Steve Crompton. To continue delivering sustained growth across the firm, the management team has taken a majority stake in the business.

The firm has also made two new partner appointments, Emma Bowles to tax partner and Emma Birchall to accounts partner. Emma Bowles and Emma Birchall will both join the management team.

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Lucy Williams will take the helm as managing partner, having worked at the firm for over eight years, most recently as tax partner.

Lucy Williams, Steve Crompton, Chris Moss, James Wood, Emma Birchall and Emma BowlesLucy Williams, Steve Crompton, Chris Moss, James Wood, Emma Birchall and Emma Bowles
Lucy Williams, Steve Crompton, Chris Moss, James Wood, Emma Birchall and Emma Bowles

The new structure will supercharge the firm’s growth plans, while unlocking continued investment in its people.

JS’ previous managing partner, Diane Brennan, and senior partner, Peter Atkinson, will remain active partners in the firm and will continue to work closely with Lucy and the new management team going forward.

JS has been in the Jackson family for over 100 years and that isn’t changing, John and Helen Jackson, will remain committed and invested in the firm.

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Lucy Williams, managing partner at JS, said: “This move marks a bold and exciting next step in JS’s history. At our core we have always been focused on delivering best-in-class service to owner-managed businesses. This MBO will allow us to continue on that journey, while unlocking significant growth for the business.

“The pivot away from the traditional partnership structure will allow us to more effectively implement our ambitious 10-year strategy, while ensuring career progression and development remains at the heart of who we are.

“At a time when many accountancy firms are being acquired by larger counterparts or consolidators, we’re proud to maintain our independence as a firm. It’s an exciting time for JS and I look forward to working closely with the management team, alongside Diane, Peter and the Jackson family, to continue driving the firm forward over the coming years.”

Diane Brennan, managing partner at JS, added: “Over the last 20 years as managing partner, I have seen JS continue to grow and change, and this MBO is no different. We’ve built a firm that truly values its people and clients, putting JS in a strong position to continue delivering on this moving forward.

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“Having worked closely with Lucy and the current management team for a number of years, I’m excited to be working alongside them in this next chapter, continuing to deliver exceptional service to our outstanding clients. I can’t wait to see how JS continues to evolve and grow over the coming years and wish the team the very best of luck.”

John Jackson, senior partner at JS, added: “JS has been in the Jackson family for over 100 years, and we are very happy that will continue with our investment in the new firm. We have every faith that the current management team can continue to grow the business, building on the work Diane and Peter have done, and we look forward to being part of that journey.”

Ian Riggs, Philip Congdon, Daniel McDonagh and Matt Boyer at Hill Dickinson provided legal advice to the buyside and Charlotte Lees at Bermans advised Diane and Peter.

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