Opulus Financial and Wylie & Bisset join forces

Opulus Financial and Wylie & Bisset join forces

Mathew Garstang and Donald McKinnon

Opulus Financial (Opulus) has partnered with Wylie & Bisset, to expand its offering throughout Scotland.

SME Capital, the institution founded to provide bespoke funding for established SMEs, has provided a £10 million growth capital facility to support further expansion plans of the enlarged group.

Working together, Opulus, a joint venture formed between founder Matthew Garstang and investment and advisory partnership N4 Partners to provide a range of financial and operational solutions to help SMEs grow, and Wylie & Bisset will continue building a highly skilled, multi-disciplinary team and enable further expansion across Scotland and beyond.

Wylie & Bisset has a rich heritage dating back to its establishment in 1787 and has subsequently grown as an independent accountancy practice in Scotland, with offices in Glasgow, Oban and Manchester.

Wylie & Bisset managing partner Donald McKinnon will continue in his role and will join the operating board at Opulus.

Mr Garstang, CEO at Opulus, said: “Our joining of forces with such a long-established practice with dedicated staff and an established client base represents a wonderful opportunity for both Opulus and Wylie & Bisset.

“Donald and his team have worked exceptionally hard to grow the practice over recent years, investing heavily in organic growth, together with succession planning for senior staff and a newly launched training academy.

“This is unquestionably a major step forward for the business and will instantly form an integral part of our group, significantly helping us to expand our unique CFO solutions offering far and wide.”

Mr McKinnon, managing partner at Wylie & Bisset, added: “What we are creating together with Opulus is a ‘hub and spoke’ model whereby, as full-service accountants and business advisers, we will operate as a ‘hub’ to provide a range of service lines and support to a network of regional ‘spoke’ accountancy practices within the wider Opulus group for the benefit of our clients.

“We remain fully committed to the expansion of our business and, by working alongside Opulus, can see opportunities for economies of scale to be realised through Wylie & Bisset adding value to the Opulus group structure.

“Indeed, while our origins date back to 1787, we have operated under our current name of Wylie & Bisset for some 95 years and, together with Opulus, look forward to celebrating our centenary.”

SME Capital co-head of origination and head of portfolio investment, Kenny Hughes, said: “Since we first met with Matthew and the teams at Opulus and N4 Partners, we immediately recognised the opportunity they had in front of them to strategically expand its unique hub and spoke offering and take a big next step forward through this key addition of Wylie & Bisset.

“We have been impressed throughout with their growth plans and are delighted we are able to support Matthew and the team and look forward to working closely with them going forward.

“This will be the largest transaction SME Capital has completed to date and builds on our commitment to continue support for growing businesses in Scotland and across the whole of the UK.”

The development follows smaller acquisitions by Opulus of Glasgow-headquartered Nicolson Accountancy, John Kerr & Co in Saltcoats, Alexander Marshall in Motherwell and Craig Cleland in East Kilbride.

By joining forces, Wylie & Bisset will quadruple the Opulus workforce from 40 to some 160 employees, while Wylie & Bisset’s turnover will result in combined revenues under Opulus of circa £11m.

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