Olswang’s global IT director Stuart Walters will leave the firm in the New Year to take on the newly-created role of chief information officer at accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP, the UK member firm of the BDO International network.
The hire, which follows the announcement at the start of October that Olswang will merge with CMS and Nabarro, is in line with BDO LLP’s core strategy to invest in talent and technology, which it credits for a double-digit 2015/16 growth in profits, up 22% to £80.3m. The firm also exceeded the £400m revenue mark for the first time.
Technological developments at BDO over the past financial year include the development of web-based data analytics tool BDO Advantage and its UK cloud accounting service BDO InTouch, which launched in 2015 and has expanded into Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The firm also recently announced a worldwide strategic alliance with Microsoft to accelerate its ongoing digital transformation.
Andy Butterworth, COO at BDO, said: “The pace of change in technology and digital innovation is changing the way organisations do business, and it’s no different for the accountancy profession.
“We are looking forward to Stuart joining the firm in January in the newly created role of CIO. He will take responsibility for our technology function, helping us develop our IT infrastructure and the digital technology that can shape – and in some areas transform – the way we advise our clients.”
Walters (pictured) joined Olswang in October 2014 from Taylor Wessing, where he was UK CIO. Olswang’s three-way merger is expected to complete in May, when the Olswang and Nabarro name will all but disappear, with the combined firm trading as CMS.
The merger, which will create a firm of over 1,000 partners and with global revenues in excess of €1.2bn, brings together remaining IT directors Richard Sharpe, who joined Nabarro in August 2016 from Cushman & Wakefield to replace Andrew Powell; and CMS Cameron McKenna’s head of IT Razvan Cretu, who has been at CMS since 2006, starting out as an IT manager.
Walters departure is the latest of a string of recent senior Olswang exits, which include head of telecommunications Purvi Parekh; former head of corporate, private equity and venture capital Stephen Rosen; former head of competition Howard Cartlidge; and private equity partner Duncan McDonald. Management departures last year include Nigel Rea, head of strategic development at Olswang, who took on the role of director of precedents, drafting and forms at LexisNexis.
Olswang declined to comment.