Posted: 02 / 03 / 2018

Sedulo have announced expansion plans with the acquisition of Leeds accountancy firm Bartfields.

Introducing the existing Manchester team to the fellow northern city will instantly double the firm to 100 members of staff across all accountancy specialisms including Tax, Corporate Finance, Debt Funding and Wealth Management.

Founded in 1927 by brothers Isaac and Sam Bartfield, the advisory firm has been a staple of the Leeds professional services scene since inception, surviving through the ‘Roaring 20’s’ and World War II. Fast-forward to the present day, and under the stewardship of Gavin Bell, Raymond Davidson and David Miller the firm boasts around 35 staff and 1,100 clients with revenues in excess of £2m.

The acquisition brings another new dimension to the Sedulo offering, with the introduction of Bartfields’ growing Forensic Accounting department, alongside the already extensive portfolio of tax and accountancy clients.

The completed lease signing will see the company return to the centre of Leeds at the prestigious St. Pauls House on Park Square, following recent years being spent on the outskirts of Headingley.

In a similar style to Sedulo’s Manchester-based Regency Club office, recognised by the likes of the BBC as one of the UK’s best working spaces, the new Leeds-based premises are set for a big transformation. A bar area to rival that of its Manchester counterpart will be within the new venue, this time paying homage to the 1920’s with a Great Gatsby theme.

The new space will also double up as both an event space for seminars, socials and more, as well as an area for both team member’s and clients to enjoy perks including complimentary drinks, breakfast and afternoon teas.

The space will also pay respect to Bartfields’ 90 year history, with meeting suites set to be named after the founders Isaac and Sam Bartfield, as well as entrepreneurs including Bill Gates, John Cadbury (incorporating a themed chocolate room) and Fred Perry – bringing sports to St. Paul‘s House arena with table tennis in a nod to the 1970’s tennis tournaments practised by Bartfields partners.

Leeds is the natural location for the company to expand in to, with the city set to add to the success of the Manchester founding-base due to the like-mindedness of both cities. Just as Manchester has evolved in the past 20 years, Leeds is a city very much on the up, and was seen by the Sedulo leadership team as the obvious next step of a plan to become the ‘go-to place’ for corporates and individuals across the North West and North East. And with the Leeds plans barely finished, they are already eyeing up Liverpool as the next target on the map.

All Bartfields partners and staff are set to stay on at the firm but will be joined by new team members who have already been recruited. Integrating the old with the new is a key theme in the expansion and doing so with the staff will provide a greater starting point to build and allow the team to bring the highest level of expertise to our clients.

Paul Cheetham, Managing Director at Sedulo, says:

“The shareholder team here are delighted to announce this acquisition, Sedulo’s progression into Leeds and the long term securing of a leasehold at St Paul’s House which is a stunning building.

“We have been looking out for the right acquisition in Leeds for a couple of years and we are positive that Bartfields is it. The heritage is important to us and it’s important we pay respect to that and the staff that have served Bartfields, many for over 35 years. Our relationship with the current partners and management team has set off like a house on fire and that was vital to us.

“To make sure we have solid foundations for the clients to move forward whilst surrounding the current team, and existing clients, with holistic services that were not within the Bartfields offering. That is why during the completion process it was important to recruit all the other positions across the additional services so that on completion the new look Bartfields was established immediately.”

In a statement issued jointly by Bartfields Directors Gavin Bell, Raymond Davidson and David Miller, they said:

“Bartfield’s are absolutely delighted to be teaming up with Sedulo. This will bring together two firms, one with a 90-year history and one which is highly innovative, both with the same core values of excellent client service and integrity, to create an exciting alternative to other accounting firms.

“It will enable us to provide additional specialist services, such as corporate finance, specialised tax planning, personal financial planning and consulting capabilities, to respond to the increasingly complex demands of growing businesses. This is great news for our team and clients, and significant detailed planning has already taken place to ensure a smooth transition for clients. We are all very excited about the future.”