Who was Grant and Thornton

  • Post published:11/01/2011
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Many have asked me over the years where the Grant and the Thornton names come from. So for the record and history books here’s our story.1771_flowers_red

In 1924 (B.E. 2467), 26-year-old Alexander Grant founded Alexander Grant & Co. in Chicago, USA. Grant had been a senior accountant with Ernst & Ernst (now Ernst & Young). He chose to leave the comfort of an established company to pursue his plan for public accounting. Alexander Grant was committed to providing services to mid-sized companies, a commitment the firm still holds today.

When Grant died in 1938, he was just 40 years old. Despite this unexpected loss, Alexander Grant & Co. survived the change in leadership and continued to grow nationally under the guidance of several dynamic and innovative chief executive officers. The 1950s and early 1960s were a time of both explosive growth and centralization for the firm. The US national office in Chicago was established and net revenue exceeded 5 million USD in 1961.

During the mid-1960s, the firm’s leadership decided it was the ideal time to expand internationally and in 1969, Alexander Grant & Co. joined with firms from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom to establish the firm of Alexander Grant Tansley Witt. This organization operated successfully for 10 years.

Meanwhile in 1959 in the United Kingdom, two regional accounting firms, Thornton & Thornton of Oxford and Baker & Co. of Leicester and Northampton, merged to form Thornton Baker with both companies dating back more than 100 years. For the next 16 years, Thornton Baker attained more than 38 mergers, and as a result the firm was nicknamed “The Thundering Herd.”2822_rosette_lavender

The current structure of Grant Thornton dates back to 1980 (B.E. 2523) when the company Alexander Grant in the US joined forces with the company Thornton Baker in the UK to become the founding members of a new worldwide accounting organisation to be called Grant Thornton International. On 1st May 1980 (B.E. 2523) the first agreement was signed by these two founder members and three other firms in Canada, the Netherlands and Mexico.

Grant Thornton’s presence in Thailand dates back to 1991 (B.E. 2534) where the firm was officially established and started its operation from the offices of AMT & Associates. AMT & Associates was at the time a correspondent firm of Grant Thornton International and was located in Silom Plaza on Silom Road.

Clayton Hebbard joined Grant Thornton in 1993 as Managing Partner and in 1995 moved the firm to its first own premises at Kamol Sukosol Building, Silom Road. Initially the office took up half the 14th floor, the other half being occupied by Tisco. When Tisco moved its operations, Grant Thornton took over its space and the firm now occupied 700 square meters.3398_GTWorldMap_-_Thailand_crop

The firm provided clients with corporate services, market entry and feasibility studies, legal, tax and audit services. Executive Recruitment became a new service some years later and was run by Bruce Clark who joined the firm from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

During the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98 the firm expanded into restructuring services and Ian Pascoe joined the firm in 1998 as head of Restructuring & Reorganisation. Ian became the Managing Partner in 2003, a position he still holds. Grant Thornton moved from Silom Road in 2001 and into the new prestigious All Seasons Place, 18th floor of Capital Tower.

Grant Thornton International is today one of the world’s leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms, ranking just below the Big Four (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young International, KPMG International, and PricewaterhouseCoopers).

The member firms of Grant Thornton International provide assurance, tax and specialist advisory services to privately held businesses and public interest entities. Clients of member and correspondent firms can access the knowledge and experience of more than 2,400 partners in over 100 countries and consistently receive a distinctive, high quality and personalised service wherever they choose to do business.

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.