KPMG buys investor relations specialist Makinson Cowell

Apr 23, 2013
<p>Acquisition moves business advisory firm into strategic communications</p>

KPMG has snapped up one of the UK’s best-known investor relations firms, Makinson Cowell, whose client list includes market caps ranging from £200 mn ($305 mn) to more than £100 bn.

Although details of the purchase are yet to be confirmed, Simon Collins, UK chairman of KPMG, says in a company press release that the deal ‘is a relatively small acquisition for the firm.’ But he adds that ‘it is an important transaction for KPMG.’

With more than two decades’ experience specializing in European firms – and specifically the FTSE 100 – Makinson Cowell will bring its insight into the market views of the shareholder community, says Collins. ‘Furthermore, at a time when companies are increasingly looking to ensure advice is independent from the underlying sources of finance, the combination of KPMG’s debt advisory business with the equity services provided by Makinson Cowell will create a market-leading independent capital advisory business [creating a] unique offering in our marketplace.’

Tom Franks, global head of KPMG’s corporate finance arm, will chair the new capital advisory group, while equity and debt will continue to be led by Howard Coates, Neill Thomas and Makinson Cowell partner and co-founder Bob Cowell.

The acquisition builds on what KPMG calls its ‘strategy of building a highly respected, independent financial advisory business’, while Makinson Cowell will benefit from additional resources and a wider geographical reach.

‘For our clients, this move will underwrite the independent model that has characterized our business from the outset and preserve our brand for the future,’ says Cowell in the release. ‘With KPMG’s support, client base and global platform, we will be able to meet the growing demand from current and prospective clients and expand our geographical footprint and service offering.’

Completion of the acquisition is now subject to regulatory consent.

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