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Grant Thornton Durban builds strong advisory capability

Grant Thornton KZN has expanded its business service offering to provide a broad spectrum of advisory services as Durban’s new generation of business executives begin to grow the region at an alarming rate.

Research released by New World Wealth in November 2014 reveals that Durban is rapidly growing as the city races to become the next “City of Gold”. The 2014 Africa Wealth Report highlights that since 2007 Durban has been producing millionaires faster than Johannesburg, with massive top end wealth growth recorded for the past five to 10 years. The city at present has 2 700 high net-worth individuals with net assets worth more than R11 million or $1m, with the number expected to grow by 35 percent over the next decade. The report indicates that while Johannesburg and Cape Town still have more millionaires than Durban with 23 400 and 9 000 respectively, Durban is catching up, due to the city’s higher percentage growth in recent years.

Shannon Smith, who has been appointed director of the Advisory Services business at Grant Thornton KZN says: “There’s a definite upswing that is very noticeable in the Durban area as businesses begin to expand their capabilities and service offerings.”

The firm’s Advisory Services business will provide these growing businesses with expertise that encompasses business consulting, due diligence services, valuations as well as tax advice and outsourcing services.

“We’re delighted to welcome Shannon to the KZN team to add to the depth of leadership and expertise in our growing Advisory Services business,” says Deepak Nagar, national Chairman of Grant Thornton South Africa and managing partner for Grant Thornton KZN. “Shannon has a wealth of experience in new business development and a passion for delivering distinctive client service. It is clear that Shannon shares in Grant Thornton’s ambition to help clients unlock those parts of their businesses that have the potential to grow.”

Shannon Smith completed her articles and became an audit manager at two firms respectively prior to joining Grant Thornton Durban as a manager in 2012. She was tasked to lead the newly established SME business department in the Durban office. Smith particularly enjoys the tax consulting role of her job and she is also currently growing her corporate finance experience portfolio so that she can enhance this area of the advisory business in the future.