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Simon Bevan

Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP

London, United Kingdom

About Me

I head up the firm's China Britain Services Group, which provides multidisciplinary, practical and commercial advice to companies operating between the UK and the People's Republic of China. With more than 10,000 people operating in the UK and China combined, my role includes ensuring the best possible flow of knowledge and opportunity between these teams.

I have more than 30 years' experience of auditing, and working with the stakeholders of successful high-growth businesses. I have been both managing partner and senior partner of a large accounting firm, and bring leadership and governance experience to my work with clients.

I focus on privately owned and private-equity-backed businesses; my expertise covers professional service firms, retail, food and beverage, real estate, technology and media. I have a wide experience in audit and transactional assignments. Key projects that I have had responsibility for include:

  • leading a series of projects for an international IP business over an eight-year period, which culminated in a partial sale by 300 partners to a private equity buyer
  • advising a leading property services firm on UK acquisitions, international expansion, partnership governance and sale to a US buyer
  • advising a leading construction services firm on international growth, including acquisitions and new office openings in more than 20 countries
  • Board experience going back more than 20 years and chair of my firm's partner and director selection panel.

With experience gained on sabbatical in China I have direct knowledge of international engagements. I am Visiting Professor at Xiamen University in China and am a former chairman of the Association of Partnership Practitioners.

Outside the firm I am treasurer of the Bromley by Bow Centre, while my spare time is spent travelling, listening to music and trying to find exciting ways to stay fit.

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Cybersecurity and state-sponsored interventions

Businesses have long been targeted by cyber-fraudsters, including professional firms which have fallen foul of "man-in-the-middle"...

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Shortages of international talent

The impact being seen in the accounting profession is likely to be felt similarly in other professional service sectors.

One reason may be the impact of Brexit: the number of EEA nationals leaving the UK is at a 10-year high. This has impacted sectors across...…

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The Imposter Syndrome

A common phenomenon, even among successful professionals (and perhaps it's actually what keeps them from becoming complacent) - sensibly...

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Gender Pay Gap and equity partners

Professional firms seem to be moving beyond compliance with the letter of the law, and seeking to get to the spirit of it too.

A growing number of UK top 50 firms are considering whether to restate their gender pay gap figures with partner data included, as recent...…

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Chinese Fintech - the UK and EU

Britain's post-Brexit positioning for Chinese Fintech is going to be critical.

Out of the 27 fintech startups with valuations exceeding $1 billion in the world — so-called unicorns — nine are Chinese.


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