Business advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts is embarking on a new phase of growth as it looks to add services and mulls further office openings.

DSW, founded in October 2002 by former KPMG colleagues James Dow, Jon Schofield and Mark Watts, currently offers corporate finance, management and financial due diligence, business broking and forensic services.

Mr Dow said tax, corporate recovery, interim management and actuarial capabilities are among those under consideration as part of its expansion plans.

The firm, which is based at Daresbury, near Warrington, established a presence in Leeds earlier this year and is now eyeing branches in Birmingham and Bristol.

Mr Dow said: “Our clear intention in this expansion is to open new niche service lines delivered by high-quality professionals that are demanded by corporate clients. We are moving to becoming an all-round adviser to our clients.”

DSW was established as a corporate finance boutique advising mid-market businesses, and has adopted a franchise model to add services over the years. It now has 28 staff and generates annual fee income of more than £5m.

“We intend rolling out franchises using people from Big Four accountancy firms who think they can run their own businesses in their niche areas,” said Mr Dow. “We offer teams of professionals an opportunity to create their own business under the DSW umbrella.

“High-quality entrepreneurial professionals will add value to our existing corporate relationships, and will have the back-office hassles associated with running a business taken away, so they can focus on winning and delivering added-value services.”

DSW also has its own private equity arm, PHD Equity Partners, which was launched in autumn 2008.

The fund has so far raised £4.5m from individual entrepreneurs and has invested about 60 per cent in a variety of companies.

Mr Dow said the next phase will see it launch a debt finance fund, which is seeking to raise £3.5m and be up and running later this year.

“Debt finance is increasingly difficult to come by but we are seeing a number of attractive companies, providing opportunities for funding,” he added.

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