Dow Schofield Watts Thames Valley surpasses £100M in deals – cementing its position in local corporate finance market

The Reading office of advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) has advised on transactions exceeding £100m in the past 12 months, further solidifying its position in the Thames Valley corporate finance and tax advisory market.

Steve and Carla Holmes
Steve and Carla Holmes

During the period, DSW’s Reading team were instrumental in guiding 22 deals to completion across sectors such as accountancy, fire & security, laundry, student services, and IT and cloud-managed services. This marks a substantial increase from the inaugural year, where 12 deals were advised on, highlighting the firm’s growing influence and expertise in the market.

With an average deal size of £5m, the team demonstrated their capability to advise on complex transactions across a broad spectrum of sectors and geographical areas of the UK.

DSW’s Reading office was established in 2021 by husband-and-wife duo Steve and Carla Holmes and is part of the national DSW Network, a challenger brand in the professional services sector. The firm offers a range of services, including financial and tax due diligence and tax advisory, and collaborates closely with DSW Debt Advisory’s Reading team, led by Gavin Harrison, to assist local businesses in raising debt funding.

As one of the UK’s top corporate finance advisers, Dow Schofield Watts distinguishes itself through its national team of over 100 professionals with experience from ‘big four’ accountancy firms or senior banking roles. This depth of expertise enables DSW to provide partner-led, detailed, and client-focused services.

Steve Holmes, reflecting on the Reading team’s last 12 months, said, “It’s been an incredibly strong year for our team, and that is in spite of the wider market conditions where caution is causing friction and lengthier completion periods. We take time to really understand the sectors our clients are operating in and their strategic rationale for acquisitions, and this helps to ensure we provide the right information to inform decision-making. Ensuring our work is always partner-led and that our clients have direct access to experienced practitioners is paying dividends. We pride ourselves on our innovative approach and our ability to deliver focused, industry-specific advice.”

DSW in Reading advised Churches Fire Security Limited on ten bolt-on acquisitions since 2022. Its M&A Director, Stephen Riley, said:  “DSW’s Thames Valley team have a deep understanding of our business and investment rationale and their work anticipates and gets to the core of our key focus areas. We truly value the level of access we receive to their experience and expertise and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to others  -especially if they are contemplating a similar buy-and-build strategy.”   

Carla Holmes, who leads the tax advisory service, commented on the strategic importance of Reading and the wider Thames Valley as a key hub of SME innovation and entrepreneurship. “Our goal is to provide high-quality tax advisory services to SMEs and their investors, and we are excited to continue growing our presence and establishing trusted relationships in the local market,” she said.

Read more about our Financial Due Diligence and Tax Advisory services by exploring our website.