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Mid-tier Analysis 2014


The Mid-Tier firms on the East Coast acquired far more of their new Partners externally and from a variety of fields. While attracting from rival Mid-Tier firms was the dominant source, new Partners acquired from the Big 4, Boutique Firms and Commerce & Industry. Interestingly the number of new Partners was evenly spread between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Further turbulence was experienced across the Mid-Tier market in 2014, resulting in an increased number of new partners, the majority coming by way of lateral hire (63%). As previously mentioned it was interesting to see the variety of backgrounds new Partners came from, as well as an increased number of new Partners moving from Big 4 firms.

Below are details of Partners hired laterally by the Mid-Tier firms on the East Coast:


  • Tax Partner Neil Billyard joined the Sydney Practice from KPMG’s Corporate Tax practice

  • Forensics Partner Andrew Morgan joined the firms Melbourne practice from boutique firm Stopline

  • Indirect Tax Partner Lisa Rafter joined the firms Brisbane practice from a rival Big 4 firm

Crowe Horwath


  • Business Services Partner Steve Fornasaro joined from Pitcher Partners

  • Internal Audit Partner Robin Rajadhyaksha joined from EY


  • Audit Partner David Munday joined from EY


  • Corporate Finance Partner Stuart Price joined from REAA Group

  • Corporate Finance Partner John Dowell joined from Snowball Group

  •  Corporate Finance Partner Nina Forbes joined from boutique firm Whittaker McNaught

  • Internal Audit Partner Robyn Cooper joined from KPMG where she was a Director

  • Tax Partner Dominic Moon joined from law firm Cleary Hoare Solicitors

Grant Thornton

  • Indirect Tax Partner Sukvinder Heyer joined the firms Melbourne practice from KPMG where she was a Director

  • Management Consulting Partner Nick Bailey joined the firms Sydney practice from Talent Inteligence

Moore Stephens


  • Business Services Partner Raelene Berryman transferred from Moore Stephens Western Sydney office


  • Tax Partner Clive Bird joined from Grant Thornton

  • Tax Partner Andy Briggs joined from Crowe Horwath

  • Tax Partner Samantha Morris joined from Crowe Horwath

  • Internal Audit Partner Craig Geddes joined from boutique firm Oakton

  • Cyber Risk Partner Jean-Marie Abi-Ghanem joined from Deloitte

  • Corporate Finance Partner Tony Schiavello joined from KPMG where he was a Director


  • Audit Partner Steven Coates joined from BDO

  • Vanessa De Waal joined from Crowe Horwath



  • Corporate Finance Partner Brent Goldman joined from Hall Chadwick

  • Audit Partner Martin Olde joined from Crowe Horwath

Pitcher Partners

  • Tax Partner Paul Glover joined from EY’s Corporate Tax practice

William Buck


  • Corporate Finance Partner Mark Calvetti joined from Crowe Horwath

  • Insolvency Partner Brendan Copeland joined from FTI

  • Business Services Partner Adam Field joined from being the CFO of Reed Group

New Partners were spread quite evenly across the traditional Mid-Tier services of Tax, Audit, Business Services. In a growing trend across Mid-Tier firms as they look to expand and differentiate themselves, Advisory Services of Corporate Finance, Management Consulting and Forensics were areas of heavy investmnet in the mid-tier with 25% of new Partner numbers. Interestingly, of these new Advisory Partners, 77% were hired laterally. This highlights that the capacity and skill doesn’t exist within the Mid-Tier firms, and they are having to target talent within the Big 4 and boutique firms that have established skills and relationships in this niche areas.

Mid-Tier firms have also looked at acquisitions to increase size and revenue. In a common theme across the Mid-Tier firms a lot of these acquisitions have been adding to existing practice disciplines, rather than attracting boutique firms to add new service lines. Below is a summary of acquisitions over the 2014 Financial Year:

  • William Buck acquired 5 Partner Melbourne firm Bell Partners

  • Pitcher Partners acquired 6 Partner Hunter based firm Farrow Wyatt

  • Bentleys acquired 2 Partner Sydney based firm Sellingers

  • Dalchristie and Titan Partners merged to form a 5 Partner firm in Sydney. All of the Partners are ex-Crowe Horwath Partners from Sydney

  • Walker Wayland had St Kilda based 2 Partner firm Bennett Group join their network