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Today’s news in brief – 29/2/2024


Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) has appointed Jack Keoghan as corporate finance executive in its North West team. Formerly with Deloitte, Keoghan brings six years of audit experience across retail, finance, and hospitality sectors. His ACA qualification and language skills in Spanish and Portuguese complement DSW’s business model. Keoghan aims to work closely with domestic and international clients, facilitating growth and exit strategies. Callum Sellar, DSW Corporate Finance Director, anticipates Keoghan’s contribution to the team’s expansion, particularly within the Pandea Global network.

BKL, a chartered accountants and business adviser, has announced Neill Ryder as its new chief financial officer. Ryder brings over two decades of finance experience, including 15 years as CFO at Away Resorts, leading multisite growth through mergers, acquisitions, and private equity investment. Ryder collaborates with BKL’s senior leadership team to contribute to dynamic and accelerating growth. BKL specialises in serving entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, families, and owner-managed businesses across various sectors.

Evelyn Partners Active Managed Portfolio Service (MPS) has initiated a new position in Baillie Gifford Emerging Markets Leading Companies in its highest-risk model. This move, part of a rebalance, aligns with potential improved market outlook in Asia and Emerging Markets. Despite being underweight in these regions, the Active MPS team cautiously positions for a change in fortunes. The portfolio, led by James Burns, focuses on technology and financial themes. Equity exposure adjustments were marginal in the latest rebalance, emphasising the retention of an overweight position in equities.

BDO’s Manufacturing Deals Review has reported a 10% decline in UK manufacturing M&A activity in 2023 due to economic challenges. Despite 706 completed deals, down from 793 in 2022, the second half of 2023 showed a rebound with over 400 deals. Engineering services led deal volumes, representing 28%, followed by the food and drink sector at 14%. BDO and Make UK’s research indicates over a quarter of UK manufacturers plan acquisitions in the next two years, rising to 38% over three to five years. Sustainability and digital transformation remain crucial deal aspects.

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