In advance of their national conference, The Corporate Finance Network has released figures showing that their member firms are outstripping the general advisory market for growth in their corporate finance work.
The annual benchmarking report summarising data from the majority of the membership, is compiled by the network annually, so member firms can ensure their fee rates are sensible and they are maintaining their pipeline with suitable business development activities, when compared to their peer group of similar accountancy firms with this corporate finance expertise.
Whilst the number of reported completed deals was less than the previous year, the fees generated from these acquisitions, disposals and fundraising assignments was greater. On a like for like basis, 112 deals were completed in 2015/16 and only 87 in 2016/17, a decrease of 22%.
However, the fees increased from £1.28m to £1.76m, an average now of just over £20k per deal. These deals can vary from a £100k fundraising assignment to a £20m transaction. Chairman, Kirsty McGregor commented on the results: “The decrease in the appetite for growth deals is not surprising, given the uncertain nature of the economic climate for SMEs at the moment. Those companies that are engaging in corporate finance activities are clearly having to work harder to complete them, and our member firms are assisting with that process, hence the increase in their results.
“However, our national conference is focusing this time on the theme of exit planning for SMEs, as it is an ever-growing need due to the demographic of business owners in this country, and few firms have the expertise to offer practical solutions to make a difference and increase both the value and saleability of owner managed businesses. We are determined that our firms will help the SMEs in their community understand how to exit their business successfully, so that the companies don’t need to wind up when the founders wish, or need to retire. We are calling it a conference to “Save Jobs” and that does not overdramatise the situation in any way, given the country’s ageing business population and the fact that most businesses are not currently attractive enough to the few trade buyers that are willing to acquire."
The national conference is due to be held this week at Dunston Hall in Norwich and accountancy firms from across the UK will join their co-member firms to learn from experts and understand the latest thinking that will help them advise their SME clients, using the network’s vast array of unique, market-leading resources.