One of the UK’s leading independent advisory firms is expanding its presence in the South of England with the launch of a new office in Reading.

The new office, based in the Arena Business Centre in Winnersh, follows the arrival of local advisers Steve and Carla Holmes, who have joined the firm to launch a new business unit offering due diligence and tax services. A husband and wife team, they each have over 20 years’ experience in advising fast growing entrepreneurial businesses and their owners regarding acquisitions, re-financing their business and/or sale of their investment interests in their business.

Steve, who joins from BDO, previously worked with Haines Watts, EY and Grant Thornton, as well as spending time in industry with GKN Aerospace and GE Capital. Carla, a Chartered Tax Advisor, spent the early part of her career with Haines Watts as a senior manager in technical tax. For the past ten years she has run her own accountancy and tax advisory practice. The office will also provide a base for Gavin Harrison, who joined recently to lead the DSW Debt Advisory service in the region which helps businesses to raise debt funding.

Dow Schofield Watts, which mainly employs professionals from ‘big four’ accountancy firms, is known as a ‘challenger brand’ within the sector. It currently has almost 80 professionals in London, Leeds, the North West and Aberdeen and was recently ranked as one of the top 15 most active corporate finance advisers in the UK.

Steve says: “Dow Schofield Watts is a highly respected firm which aims to make high-quality advisory services more accessible to small and medium-sized companies. We look forward to providing a hands-on service to businesses and the advisory community within the Thames Valley region and working closely with the wider tax and due diligence teams within Dow Schofield Watts.”

Nicole Burstow, Finance Director at Dow Schofield Watts, added: “The Thames Valley has a thriving business community with a wealth of fast growing, innovative companies. The launch of the Reading office will provide additional choice to local businesses and support our growth as a challenger firm. We look forward to building our presence in the area as we welcome new advisers on board.”