Consultancy firms battle for customers

3 May 2002

Consultancy firms battle for customers

TWO major consultancy firms will be fighting for customer share in the south and west following the acquisition of the Andersons South and West Partnership by Aubourn, which is 85% owned by FPDSavills.

Aubourn had five business consultancy offices before the deal, though many farmers will know it better as a supplier of independent agronomy advice on 130,000 acres.

By adding offices in Salisbury and Hereford, managing director Philip Wynn says the firm is now a national business. "By joining forces, we will be able to field a countrywide team of consultants who can take our business forward and provide advice on all matters affecting the rural sector."

Stephen Hollis, who was a managing partner at Andersons for nine years, will join the board of Aubourn with overall responsibility for the firms consultancy business.

The move was facilitated by Andersons decision last year to split its company into four autonomous businesses, which bought in services from the holding company Andersons, the farm business consultants.

Mike Greetham, senior partner at the Andersons Centre, says: "The team in the south and west decided to make the move. There is no ill feeling involved."

But Andersons has moved quickly to maintain a presence in the region. "We already have a man working in Wales to pick up the Hereford side of the business. And we are talking with a view to acquiring elsewhere," says Mr Greetham. &#42

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