Accountancy firm Anderson Anderson & Brown bags major investment to fuel growth

Scottish accountancy and business services group Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has secured a “significant” investment from a private equity firm to fast-track growth and fund acquisition deals.

The Aberdeen-headquartered group has struck the deal with August Equity as it looks to build market share across the Central Belt and further grow in the English market.

AAB said it is looking to take on new staff and accelerate its investment in technology, while the funding will also provide firepower for it to pursue merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities across the UK as it looks to become a key regional player.

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This year has already seen AAB acquire Glasgow-based accountancy firm Hardie Caldwell and Edinburgh-based Purpose HR.

Graeme Allan (left), chief executive at AAB and David Lonsdale, partner at August Equity. Picture: contributed.Graeme Allan (left), chief executive at AAB and David Lonsdale, partner at August Equity. Picture: contributed.
Graeme Allan (left), chief executive at AAB and David Lonsdale, partner at August Equity. Picture: contributed.
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Graeme Allan, chief executive at AAB, said the deal comes as the group sees many other opportunities to invest to fast-track growth.

“August Equity’s investment will be instrumental in helping us build a high-quality regional business services group across the UK. They are also a great cultural fit and are as excited about our partnership and the future as we are.

“As we grow, we will remain committed to investing and developing our people and of course clients will benefit as we expand our portfolio of tech-enabled services for the [small and medium-sized enterprise] and enterprise markets.”

Mr Allen also said the firm was actively seeking M&A opportunities “with a particular focus on partnering with firms who adopt a similar ethos to us”.

He added: “This model will establish a wide equity ownership whilst maintaining the opportunity for real partner progression for the future leadership of the group.”

David Lonsdale, partner at London-based August Equity, which specialises in backing service firms, said: “We are delighted to be investing in AAB and we are excited to be working with Graeme and the team. We look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of AAB and build a leading tech-enabled, business critical services group which is highly differentiated in the market.”

AAB currently employs around 350 at its Scottish bases and also has a London office that focuses on services such as payroll and virtual finance.


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When AAB announced its tie-up with Glasgow-based Hardie Caldwell in May, it said it had ambitions to deliver £50 million in total group revenue by 2025.

The three Hardie Caldwell partners, Angus McCuaig, Douglas Emery and Pauline McGarry, all became AAB partners as a result of the merger. Mr McCuaig, who was managing partner of Hardie Caldwell, assumed the role of AAB’s managing partner in Glasgow.

That deal was followed in July by AAB acquiring a majority stake in Edinburgh-based Purpose HR, which provides advice and support to early-stage and high-growth, investor-backed businesses. AAB said Purpose was a strategic fit with the group’s high-growth areas including payroll and virtual finance.

In August this year AAB took on a bumper cohort of 30 trainees, the second consecutive year that it has recruited such a number. They will be based at the Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices.

It also recently announced six appointments to its virtual finance function that provides outsourced business services to clients.

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