Soaring demand sees Grant Thornton grow Thames Valley due diligence team


Leading business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP has announced significant growth in its Thames Valley Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) team following a remarkable period of deals activity in the region.

Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley TAS team, which performs due diligence tasks and gives related transaction advice during the acquisition, disposal, refinance or IPO of a business, more than doubled in size during the first quarter of the year.

The team, which is led by partner John Panteli, consisted of just four members for most of 2021. Since January, the team has grown from four to nine people, with the latest additions being assistant managers Flaviour Nkole, Laurence Henry, Oksana Zyryanova and Jaspal Badesha as well as Associate Director Stuart Halliday, who have all joined the team this year.

This growth will build on the team’s existing strong set of skills and ensure that it has the capacity to meet the needs of a thriving regional market and business community during a time of exceptionally high deal activity.

2021 proved to be a very active deals environment in the Thames Valley area. This saw Grant Thornton’s regional Transaction Advisory team work on over 30 deals including: eight acquisitions by the independent builders’ merchants Grant & Stone; software company Cubica Technology Limited’s sale to Chemring PLC; WestBridge’s investment in the Reading based Smart Capital Technology and the acquisition of Jojo Maman Bebe by Next Plc and Davidson Kempner Capital.


John Panteli, partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP and head of Transaction Advisory Services across the South region, said: “There have been a record number of deals in the past 18 months and this volume of activity shows little signs of abating. This has placed a lot of emphasis on getting deals completed quickly and effectively, which in turn has exerted significant pressure on the due diligence market. We have therefore invested in the Thames Valley team as a response to the increasing demand for high quality and effective due diligence services.

“The growth of our Thames Valley transaction advice team means we’re one of the most resourced teams active in the local market and therefore uniquely well placed to provide the support that businesses need. By combining local market knowledge with extensive expertise in every aspect of the deals process, including advising on equity events and acquisition strategies, our team is able to tailor its approach to match the exceptional and pioneering nature of the region’s companies.”


Jim Rogers, practice leader for Grant Thornton in the Thames Valley, said: “It’s been exciting to see the Transaction Advisory Services team develop over recent months in order to assist the area’s buoyant and dynamic deals market. The number of highly talented people that have chosen to make Grant Thornton their home is testament to the flexible, agile and inclusive working environment that has been cultivated.

“Thanks to this flexibility, three of the new team members were internal transfers of people that wanted to refocus their careers and one of the appointments was welcomed just prior to the start of their maternity leave.”


Peter Jennings, corporate finance partner at Grant Thornton, said: “The Thames Valley is a hotbed of entrepreneurial and technology-focused businesses, which is helping the region become the UK’s fastest-growing economy outside of London.

“This energy is mirrored in the strength of our local Deals team, with over 20 people in the Thames Valley’s TAS and Corporate Finance Advisory teams combined. This group encapsulates a wide-range of skills and sector expertise and is supported by transaction tax specialists, all of which is highly beneficial for the local business and deals community.”

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