Azets, the UK’s largest accounting firm and specialist business advisor to SMEs, today announces the acquisition of Tait Walker, one of the largest independent accountants and business advisors in the North East.

It marks the third UK acquisition in four months as Azets continues to deliver on its ambitious growth plans, with the £13m turnover firm advising around 4,000 clients.

Tait Walker was established in 1937 and has five offices across the North East and Cumbria – headquartered in Gosforth (Newcastle), with offices in Stockton (Tees Valley), Morpeth, Durham and Carlisle.

The acquisition takes Azets’ UK regional network to 84 offices and enhances the UK Top 10 accounting firm’s key service lines including Accounting, Audit and Assurance, Tax, Data Analytics, Corporate Finance, and Payroll services.

Tait Walker also provides a Wealth Management service, authorised to provide regulated activities by the FCA, which expands Azets’ UK Wealth Management service into the North for the first time, extending its successful business in the South.

Tait Walker clients will benefit from Azets’ current and future investment in technology, with digital platforms such as Azets CoZone being further developed to help deliver a technology enabled, advisory-rich service to help clients grow and provide them and our people with tools and information to enable real-time business and commercial advice.

Acquiring Tait Walker adds over 170 talented smart people in business support and client-facing roles to the Azets team, including 12 Partners.

Azets already has a strong presence across the North with eight offices in the North East, six offices in the North West and two in Yorkshire.

Chris Horne, Group CEO of Azets, which supports some 120,000 clients across its network of over 165 offices in the UK and Nordics, said:

“We’re excited to welcome Tait Walker to the Azets family; this firm has a reputation for high-quality people providing first class client service. The acquisition is another significant step on our growth journey to increase revenue by 50% in the next five years, following quickly on from our recent acquisitions of Garbutt + Elliott in Yorkshire and Inspire Accountants in Poole. Tait Walker is established among the leading accounting and business advisory firms in the North East, with a long heritage of excellence and a broad capability across accountancy and business advisory services.

“Azets offers trusted, business critical advice, compliance and outsourcing services to ambitious companies and business owners. Tait Walker Wealth Management is a logical and valuable add on as we work to provide our clients with more advice that will improve their businesses and their lives.”

Peter Gallanagh, Regional CEO for the North at Azets UK, added:

“We believe strongly in the local delivery of personalised client services, whilst giving businesses in the North East the opportunity to benefit from our breadth, depth, and experience as an SME focused international accounting, tax, audit, advisory and business services group. Tait Walker has a strong regional reputation for its personable approach and specialist expertise which, combined with Azets’ local and international reach, opens up a wealth of opportunities for our clients.”

Andrew Moorby, Managing Partner at Tait Walker, said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Tait Walker and our clients, and the acquisition demonstrates our commitment to the continued growth of our business, as we enter the next phase of our long and successful journey as part of the UK’s newest Top 10 accounting firm. Azets is a business which shares our clear focus on people and clients – it is the perfect fit both strategically and culturally.

“Tait Walker has a long-standing reputation for delivering service excellence to businesses across the North East. As part of Azets, existing and new SME clients will benefit from an even broader set of specialist expertise, as they continue to drive forward the UK’s economic recovery.”