Property consultancy merger creates 'regional powerhouse'

Leading property specialist Vail Williams has merged with South coast competitor, Hughes Ellard, to become one of the largest property advisers in the region.


The deal will see Hughes Ellard's four directors - Gary Jeffries, Carl Walker, Russell Mogridge and Nik Cox - become equity partners in Vail Williams and all other members of the 25-strong team will take up equivalent roles in Vail Williams' Southampton or Portsmouth offices.

The move will result in a combined team of over 50 based in the Solent, which will continue to deliver unrivalled service to clients across the South coast. In total, the Vail Williams national team will now number more than 160 across eight offices.


Both businesses have strong full-service offerings that complement each other, with Hughes Ellard bringing greater expertise in the Solent transactional market and Vail Williams bringing greater strength in consultancy.

The timing of the merger is a perfect way to start Vail Williams' new financial year, which sees the company in a strong position as it enters the final year of an ambitious three-year growth plan instigated by Managing Partner, Matthew Samuel-Camps.


Hughes Ellard brings an additional £3m in turnover to Vail Williams, which will further boost Vail Williams' target to generate additional turnover of 33% over the three-year period to £17m.


Samuel-Camps said: "Our clients can be assured that in the constantly evolving property market, Vail Williams continues to grow and develop the services and expertise we offer.


"By bringing together Vail Williams and Hughes Ellard, we have created a bigger, stronger, more resilient team with a compelling collaborative culture that will continue to deliver a fully comprehensive service, across all areas of property consultancy, to clients on the South coast and beyond.


"Our shared values, focus on exceptional client service, investment in staff development, the creation of a positive working environment and commitment to CSR, means both companies are already perfectly aligned for the transition into one regional property powerhouse."


As part of Vail Williams' wider strategy to extend and maximise the service capability in the regions where it operates, it previously acquired business rates specialists Bisset Moffatt Hill in 2016 and the general rating division of Ruddle Merz in 2017.


Mike Greenwood, Vail Williams' Regional Managing Partner for the Solent, who worked at Hughes Ellard earlier in his career, is delighted to be able to strengthen the team with a new group of experts he knows will fit in well to the Vail Williams philosophy and culture.


He said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to combine our two businesses, giving us the ability to service our clients more effectively and to continue our growth plans through the final year of our business plan and into the future. The team at Hughes Ellard are market leaders and we have a strong set of shared values. It will be a privilege to work with them again."


Gary Jeffries, Managing Director of Hughes Ellard, said: "It is great news for Hughes Ellard to be joining forces with such an established and successful former 'rival'. We look forward to building on that success with our new colleagues and partners."

The merger will strengthen Vail Williams' already robust service offering to clients in the flourishing Solent and South coast area, providing a true regional property adviser which will continue to deliver first class expertise in all areas and client service that is second to none.


Vail Williams is recognised as one of the Best Places to Work in Property by Property Week (2017), and holder of the Silver accreditation from Investors in People. For more information about Vail Williams LLP, please visit www.vailwilliams.com


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