Wylie & Bisset hits acquisition trail and promotes from within as it targets SME sector


Wylie & Bisset, the leading Glasgow-based chartered accountants with a national reach, has hit the acquisition trail and made a trio of promotions to the management team of its corporate department as it gears up to target growth in the SME business sector.

The expanding firm has taken over fellow Glasgow CA practice McLellan Harris as the first step in a growth strategy combining a series of acquisitions with organic growth to enhance its activity in Scotland’s buoyant SME sector.

The launch of its ambitious growth strategy follows the unusual step taken by the firm to restructure itself with the creation of joint managing partner roles for Donald McKinnon and Ross McLauchlan.

Having spent the last 18 months focused on an internal restructure, the firm has now embarked on an acquisition hunt with the objective of securing significant expansion of the practice.

McLauchlan said: “The acquisition of McLellan Harris is part of a bigger picture insofar as we are actively considering other acquisition opportunities while looking to continue to grow the business organically.

“The deal, which does not involve any transfer of staff, came about through an informal meeting when Bob Harris, who happened to train me on tax when I undertook my CA training in the 1980s, mentioned his plans for retirement to our senior partner.”

McKinnon said the deal represents the first step on the ladder of where Wylie & Bisset plans to develop.

“It marks our commitment to build upon the success we have achieved to date,” he said.

“Wylie & Bisset’s core strength is its independence and we are now at the start of a phase whereby we see further growth in acquisitions and organic growth, supported by the strong numbers within the business that allow us to do that.”

That growth will be consolidated and facilitated by a series of promotions. The promotion of Catherine Livingstone to director with responsibility for supporting its growing owner managed businesses client base at the end of last year has now been followed by the promotion of three managers to its corporate department.

The three new managers are: Eilidh Templeton, Sandy Hogg and Rory McCall.

McLauchlan said: “These latest promotions represent the successful outcome of a marked change in our approach to staff training and development whereby members of staff displaying potential are put through a programme in advance of a planned promotion.

“That programme was initiated a year ago with significant investment in time and effort deployed in development that has enabled our three managers in the corporate department to hit the ground running and deliver an enhanced offering to our expanding SME client base.”

Wylie & Bisset has nearly doubled in size. It has 11 partners and 137 staff and plans to achieve further significant growth over the short to medium term.