Xeinadin – my world-first accountancy firm merger
As Founder of Xeinadin, I’m delighted to see my first Overnight Multiple Merger (OMM) listed as a Top 18 accountancy firm in the Accountancy Age UK league tables.
This is a new entrant to a highly competitive market, demonstrating monstrous growth – a growth which can take other large accountancy groups 50 -100 years to attain.
However, the achievement in reality is so much more: it came about through a simultaneous merger of 122 independent accountancy firms. Which was a world first.
It was dubbed a ‘corporate miracle’ to acquire 122 independent accountancy firms in record time and merge them all ‘overnight’ into one group. Accountants are conservative by nature, highly cautious as one would expect. Yet, as Founder, my proposed strategy and business case were so solid, that they very quickly became not just converts to the cause – but advocates. Bringing in other, highly reputable firms who, in rapid succession, wholly believed in my vision and determination to build a game-changing accountancy practice. At heart, therefore, Xeinadin was built on a shared vision – pioneered by me, and enthusiastically taken up by each and every firm who joined. All of whom were identified, headhunted, selected and interviewed by me personally, according to their profit, location, jurisdiction and specialisms. I planned to cross-fertilise these specialisms internally to drive more revenue streams within the group. I built Xeinadin with zero debt, moved all 122 firms into 122 new companies with new balance sheets, attaining sign-off from various institutes to pass Xeinadin as a chartered accountancy practice. There were over 200 equity directors. I scaled and leveraged my work to acquire all 122 accountancy practices, and then best prepare them to enter simultaneously, on the stroke of midnight on 1st June 2019. This is something the world thought was impossible.
It was an enormous task, and I felt the weight of responsibility as never before. I put the executive board together personally, including the appointment of the CEO and 200 Equity Directors. This entailed working tirelessly for 256 days (all the working days in the year) to make the ‘impossible’ happen. I held over 750 meetings in this time, regularly working over 20 hours a day, running on my enthusiasm and determination to achieve a world record, despite my tiredness. Of such great personal importance was the project, I named the company after my two oldest children, Zein and Nadine.
This miracle was achieved with blanket NDAs, for this was an ‘underground movement’, built with maximum discretion. Never before had such a mass, simultaneous merger been executed, bursting on the scene out of nowhere, with a visionary business strategy not foreseen by anyone else. I used to organise secret monthly meetings to prepare the group and protect the IP and strategy, and thus the value, of the model which was taking shape. No mean feat when you consider that, originally, I had amassed 178 accountancy practices who were all set to join Xeinadin. The consolidation entry number sadly reduced by 50 because entrepreneur tax relief rules changed in October 2018, making it prohibitively expensive, in some cases, for larger accountancy firms to sell shares. Many leading independent London accountancy practices had to leave the planned consolidation for this reason alone. Had it not been for that, Xeinadin could have become a Top 8 accountancy firm, overnight.
But there’s another reason why the ‘miracle’ is greater than it looks: the league table published above features only UK income for the past 12 months or so. However, Xeinadin was consolidated lawfully in June 2019 and includes significant revenues from the Irish contingent. This actually places Xeinadin much higher, in the Top 11, with a turnover of £125m on consolidation. This information is held by Companies House.
Nonetheless, this is a proud moment for me and my small team – comprising just two administrators and a graphic designer working in Crowthorne, Berkshire. Among them was our first named Director, Bob Stebbings, who trusted my vision from day one. Together we turned my idea into a reality, filling a blank sheet of paper with the roadmap for consolidation. His diligence and expertise regarding accounting and administrative tasks is second to none, so he was the perfect ally as we executed the model for the first time. We took Xeinadin to a lawful consolidation, and the intellectual property of the entire model was owned at the start by the founding family. Xeinadin came from nowhere and was built in a completely unconventional manner. What took competing firms decades took us just 256 working days.
And the beauty of the model is that, now we are in possession of all the secrets regarding this unique M&A strategy, it’s fully replicable by us. After so much intense work, and huge learnings, we’re in the enviable position of being able to create further OMMs. In fact, I have since stepped down from Xeinadin in order to work on several other ‘industry disruptors’ including two exciting models planned for 2022: Alitam, the ‘Pharmacy of the Future’ – a consolidation of over 140 pharmacies; and Merios, a consolidation which will dramatically improve the care home offering for our precious elderly generation. The miracles have only just begun. Alitam Group, a world-first pharmacy overnight multiple merger, is next.