Mid-tier accounting and advisory network UHY Haines Norton has confirmed they are to merge with the Sothertons network across Australia and become UHY Haines Norton Australian and New Zealand network, with rebranding set for July 1.

UHY Haines Norton chairman, Michael Coughtrey, said the Sothertons firms across Australia had a very strong synergy with the UHY Haines Norton network and together it will strengthen their national and international offerings.

“It’s very positive that we have been able to expand our network through the Sothertons member firms, all of whom have outstanding reputations and long-standing history within the profession in Australia.”

“Most mid-tier accounting networks are finding it difficult to attract new members who can underpin the expertise of the wider group while aligning with the core values of our member firms. We have found an ideal match with the Sothertons firms.”

“It’s testimony to the strength of our UHY Haines Norton brand and our UHY International network that we’ve attracted such outstanding new member firms.”

The newly strengthened network spans Australia and New Zealand with 13 offices, 42 partners and over 250 staff. AFR rankings place UHY Haines Norton in Australia at No. 22 and at No. 16 in New Zealand (according to the NZ Sunday-Star Times).

Chairman of the Sothertons network, Steve Marsten, said that on behalf of their member firms, he had been exploring opportunities to either expand their network or to merge with a like-minded network for a couple of years.

“We were looking for a network that complemented our offerings and added value to our existing member firms in a number of areas, including personalised client service and outstanding technical expertise and advisory.”

“We became affiliated members of UHY Haines Norton last year and are now moving to full membership with rebranding our firms from 1 July 2018. This provides a complete footprint across Australia for the merged networks.”

“Our clients will benefit from the knowledge and resources of the UHY Haines Norton firms, as well as having access to international offices in the countries where our clients operate.”

Mr Coughtrey said that he was looking forward to the newly merged UHY Haines Norton network and benefiting from the depth of experience and specialisations that the Sothertons firms will add.

Managing Director of UHY Haines Norton (Auckland) Ltd, Grant Brownlee, said that forming network relationships with people you can trust in Australia is of value to clients doing business across the Tasman. “Since the Sothertons firms in Australia became affiliate members last year I have had the pleasure of getting to know their Managing Partners personally and feel very comfortable that their firms and ours share common values and quality standards. They are a welcome addition to the UHY Haines Norton network.”