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Consulting firm AAB expands into South East with Charlton House acquisition

By Stephen Emerson
1 August 2022

Aberdeen-headquartered Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has acquired West Sussex customs consultancy firm Charlton House as it continues its expansion across the UK and Ireland.

Charlton House, based in Horsham, provides customs duty advice and compliance services to a wide range of businesses on all aspects of the customs’ supply chain and has an emphasis on customs compliance services.

The company has a broad mix of customs professionals whose backgrounds range from HMRC to industry and accounting.

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Charlton House’s founders, Jon Hicks and Seanna Whitmore, will remain with the business to support plans to grow the Charlton House business as part of the AAB Group.

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The business will be re-branded as AAB with immediate effect, forming a key part of AAB’s expanding indirect tax team focused on providing clients with VAT and customs duty services.

Alistair Duncan, Head of AAB’s Indirect Tax Practice, commented: “The last two years have demonstrated the growing need for customs duty advice. The addition of the Charlton House team will strengthen our existing team, bringing fresh skills and expert knowledge which will enhance our capabilities in the indirect tax space.”

With international trade becoming more complex, particularly for UK businesses following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, AAB say Charlton House is a strong strategic fit.

Following investment from August Equity in October 2021, AAB Group has grown rapidly and now employs more than 550 people across 10 office locations. The acquisition of Charlton House, for an undisclosed amount, will expand the specialist services provided by AAB while strengthening the support available to businesses trading internationally.

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In July last year, Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), which describes itself as a tech-enabled business critical services group, acquired a majority stake in Edinburgh-based Purpose HR.

The AAB Group recently merged with FPM, a leading all-Ireland independent accountancy and business advisory firm, which created a significant new hub for the group across the island of Ireland. The acquisition of Charlton House provides the opportunity to provide customs duty services across the AAB Group offices in the UK and Ireland and internationally.

Jon Hicks, Director Customs Advisory at Charlton House, commented: “We have for some time had ambitious plans to grow the business into the rapidly expanding customs compliance market. From the outset, AAB demonstrated that they share our vision and following the acquisition we are now well placed to recruit in line with the demand for our specialist skills and services. AAB also gives us the geographical reach to expand across the European Union and further afield. We are all very excited to be joining such an energetic and forward-thinking organisation.”

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