SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams combine with ClearSky and Parasol

A UK private equity firm that acquired contractor accountants Nixon Williams and SJD Accountancy says that the duo -- known as Arkarius -- will join forces with Optionis, home to brands such as umbrella company Parasol and limited company advisory ClearSky Contractor Accounting.  

The combined group, which will operate under the Optionis brand, will serve about 40,000 contractors, said the firm -- Sovereign Capital.

The firm also said that a number of offices across the UK will be created thanks to the tie-up, which a spokesperson chose not to describe as an "acquisition."

All that was said by the representative of Sovereign was that it "supported the funding to enable the groups to come together." In September 2014, the firm shot to prominence in the contractor market when it backed the simultaneous investments of SJD and Nixon.

Now, a statement on the firm's website adds that all of the affected businesses in the Arkarius-Optionis deal (there are two inside Arkarius and four inside Optionis -- which includes ClearSky Business and Brian Alfred), will continue to operate under their respective brands.

The six businesses are each said to be awaiting investment which they will use to support their existing operations and develop their offerings to contractors. 

These will come after changes at the top. Optionis founder Derek Kelly will become the combined group's chief executive while Arkarius chief executive Simon Curry is to head group operations for SJD & Nixon. He will also have responsibility for the integration plan. 

Meanwhile Jeremy Newman, the current chairman of Arkarius, will be appointed as chairman of the combined group. He has experience from the C-suite level of accountancy giant BDO.

Jeremy Morgan, a partner at Sovereign Capital said: “We are delighted to be bringing together these two market-leading groups which will enhance the growth opportunity of the underlying businesses in this highly fragmented market.

"This is a first-class management team with a strong track record in the market and we look forward to working with them as the enhanced group develops.”

Optionis' Mr Kelly added: "Bringing these two groups together will produce a player of exceptional scale and capability in the market ensuring that contractors and agencies experience an unparalleled level of service."

Jan 10, 2017