Our heritage is crucial to who we are now and where we will be in the future. We honour our rich history as an independent firm by upholding our values of excellence, integrity, collegiate, and enthusiastic.
We’ve historically operated on a people-first basis, setting the professional standard as one of the UK’s first accounting firms, and passing on deep expertise to the next generation of our partners and people. Here are some of our key dates since our foundation:
1800s – the beginning
In 1855, Joseph John Saffery, aged just 21, started in practice and established an accountant’s office in London’s Guildhall chambers. He enters into partnership with William Palmer until 1860, Palmer and Saffery, at 10 Basinghall Street, London.
- This partnership lasts until 1865, where Croysdill & Saffery forms as a firm at 14 old Jewry Chambers, London.
- In 1880, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) was incorporated by Royal Charter. Joseph John Saffery was a founding member of the first council.
- The beginning of a family firm – Saffery Son & Company is formed in 1885, when Francis Joseph Saffery joins his father in partnership.
- The succession continues, when Harold Edgar Saffery joins his father in 1889, under the newly named Saffery, Sons & Co.
- From 1889-91, Joseph John Saffery becomes President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, one of the first to serve more than just one term. In 1890, he lays the foundation stone for the ICAEW headquarters in Moorgate, London.
1900s – leading mergers, building networks
- In 1900, Joseph John Saffery sadly passes away.
- Cecil Francis Saffery, the eldest son of Francis J Saffery, was taken into partnership and the firm reverted back to its familial roots in 1914 as Saffery, Sons & Co.
- In 1928, Thomas Holme Nicholson enters the partnership.
- Delving through our archives, it was recorded that at Saffery, Sons & Co in 1950, there were three partners, two secretaries, one typist/telephonist, and nine members of staff, including articled clerks. There were no electric typewriters, no copy machines, no calculators, and only carbon copies were available. The firm’s turnover was £32,000.
- Dennis Thomas Holme Nicholson enters the partnership in 1951, before the firm unveils another new name, Safferys, in 1973. Shortly after, Clive Nicholson follows in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and joins the firm in 1975.
- Our Guernsey office is established by Clive Nicholson in 1977.
- Saffery Champness comes into existence in 1982 when Safferys and Champness Cowper merge; this brings together two firms that had co-existed for more than a century.
- The first step to building an international network: in 1986, the firm established SC International.
- In the final merger of the 20th century, Armitage & Norton’s London and High Wycombe offices merge with Saffery Champness.
2000s – the turn of the millennium
- We celebrate our 150th birthday in 2005. There are 53 partners and 400 members of staff.
- In 2007, SC International merges with Nexia, and we officially become a member of Nexia International.
- Our Geneva office is established in 2008 – the first outside the British Isles.
- In 2012, we acquire RSM Tenon’s Film & TV unit, which becomes part of our specialist Sports & Entertainment Group. We also enhance our presence in Switzerland by establishing our Zurich office.
- 2017 was a big year for us – we celebrated 40 years in Guernsey and became a limited liability partnership (LLP).
- Going international once more, our representative office in Dubai opens in 2018, with our Dublin office opening in 2019 after we acquired Grant Thornton Ireland’s Media and Entertainment Practice.
- After 112 years of his family working at Saffery Champness, Clive Nicholson retires.
- In 2020, Saffery Champness Registered Fiduciaries launches a Cayman offering, as a registered controlled subsidiary of a licensed Cayman trust company.
- Which brings us to the present – 2023 marks the year that Saffery Champness Registered Fiduciaries acquires Holdun Trust (Cayman) Limited. Alongside the existing Cayman offering, the combined business will operate as Saffery Trust (Cayman) Limited.