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AAB Announces Acquisition of Edinburgh Firm Purpose HR

Ross Kelly


Purpose HR
AAB group now has a combined headcount of over 340 staff across its Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen offices.

Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB) has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Edinburgh-based firm Purpose HR.

The acquisition, which is for an undisclosed sum, follows AAB announcing its growth plans to become a £50-million revenue group by 2025 and its recent merger with Glasgow-based accountants Hardie Caldwell.

Graeme Allan, Chief Executive at AAB, commented: “As a business critical services group, we are focused on providing solutions for our clients across the key areas of finance and HR.

“Purpose HR being part of the AAB group enables us to continue to build our capabilities in the HR space and extend our payroll and HR offering to clients.

“We are delighted to welcome Purpose HR to the group and our growing team in the Central Belt, and look forward to exploring the ways in which we can enhance our service offering to existing and new clients across the UK and internationally.”

Purpose HR provides human resources advice and support to early stage and high growth investor-backed businesses through tailored consultancy and ‘HR as a service’ outsourcing.

It was founded in 2014 by Lisa Thomson, a former Saltire Fellow who worked at Wolfson Microelectronics post-IPO and prior to its acquisition by Cirrus Logic in 2014.

The company was among the first cohort of businesses on the Scottish Enterprise-backed ‘Unlocking Ambition’ programme.

According to AAB, the deal adds a “new dimension” to the group’s growing central belt presence and provides exciting growth opportunities across the UK and internationally.

The acquisition will also accelerate Purpose HR’s growth aspirations, with the business continuing to operate under the Purpose HR brand and Thomson running the business as CEO and shareholder.

Purpose HR’s client base is currently focused on the tech and life science sectors, and includes Cyan Forensics, Blackford Analysis, Modulr Finance and Topolytics.

The combined group will actively target further growth in the tech sector across the UK.


Commenting on the deal, Lisa Thomson said: “We have known AAB for a number of years and already have several mutual clients. The deal has come together at a great time for us as we look to accelerate our next stage of growth.

“It has been an exciting journey for the team and I to grow Purpose HR to this stage and having the chance to support so many amazing and innovative clients. Despite the challenges of the last year our client base has been actively growing and companies are increasingly recognising the value of investing in HR support and their people.”

Thomson added: “By becoming an AAB group company we will have access to the wider group resources and infrastructure, enabling us to increase the range of services we can offer to clients and to expand our team – we will be hiring across Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and London.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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