Grant Thornton UK LLP has announced a flurry of new hew hires and promotions in its North West corporate finance team; recruiting three new up-and-coming young dealmakers, while recognising and celebrating the rapid development of three of its existing team.
Alex Parry joins the team as an assistant manager from a Big Four firm, where she spent more than five years after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a first-class honours degree in accountancy.
A second external hire is Humza Khan; an experienced mid-market deal originator with particular expertise in private equity and M&A activity. He has an MBA in Corporate Finance, Venture Capital & Private Equity from Alliance Manchester Business School.
Also joining the North West corporate finance team is manager Rachael Taplin who is shifting her focus within the firm. She started at Grant Thornton in 2018 and has been working in audit, where she has risen quickly through the ranks with two promotions in successive years.
In line with its commitment to retaining and developing the best and brightest talent, Grant Thornton has promoted three current members of the deals team, who have all been instrumental in maintaining its market-leading position in the North West over recent years.
Rising star Cariad Mudford has been promoted to associate director. Working between the firm’s Manchester and Leeds office over the last eight years since joining from university, she has played a key role in several high-profile deals. These include the sale of Apple Aviation to US private equity backed STS Aviation Group; Manchester-headquartered home care provider, The Human Support Groups’ sale to City & County; and the acquisition of independent vehicle reconditioning and storage specialists, Smart Fleet Solutions, by Cazoo, the rapidly-growing tech unicorn which is disrupting online car sales.
Meanwhile, Alex Hirst and Amy Huddleston have both been promoted to manager. Alex joined Grant Thornton as a graduate in 2015 and worked in audit for the firm in the Midlands until 2018, when he moved into the North West CF advisory team.
Amy has been with the firm since graduating from the University of Nottingham with first-class honours in economics and philosophy in 2016. She has worked in Grant Thornton’s Manchester office since then, completing placements in transactional services, restructuring, and M&A; before joining the deals team permanently last September
The new hires take the team’s headcount to 10 and also see it become one of the most gender-diverse M&A advisory line-ups in the North West market, at 40 per cent female.
Pete Terry, partner and head of corporate finance for Grant Thornton in the North West, said: “As we head into the summer months, activity in the North West deals market is undoubtedly hotting up, particularly in the mid-market. There is a wall of private equity capital looking for a home, and a raft of businesses ready to kick on to the next phase of their growth trajectory, as we enter what we all hope are the final months of COVID-19 restrictions.
“Our deals team is entering a new era itself to meet this demand, as we bring in fresh new faces and invest in the development of our established talent. Since taking the reins in 2017, I’ve been privileged to mentor, and learn from, the next generation of North West dealmakers. It’s particularly gratifying that we’ve been able to recognise and recruit dynamic, ambitious female corporate finance professionals, who I have no doubt can be our team’s leaders in the future. Despite positive strides to effect change, M&A still has too few women in senior roles. That needs to change, as both our anecdotal experience, and peer-reviewed empirical evidence, prove beyond doubt the marked benefits of diversity in dealmaking.”