Businessman John Joyce is taking control of MGI Wenham Major, one of the oldest accountancy firms in Birmingham, in a deal backed by Bank of Scotland Corporate.

Mr Joyce, the firm's executive chairman, will complete a management buyout for an undisclosed sum from existing partners, with finance in place for a five year growth strategy.

He says he aims to build the business, transforming it into "the UK's leading independent practice" and is "looking at a number of potential acquisitions".

Mr Joyce joined MGI Wenham Major in 2003 as chief executive when turnover was just over #2 million.

It now claims annual revenues to the end of March of #10 million and has 70 staff.

A former HJB Kidsons partner, Mr Joyce arrived from the ashes of Tenon West Midlands when the Birmingham side of the operation foundered.

Tenon Group had sought to establish a UK-wide quoted accountancy company and, although it remains a substantial operation, never quite lived up to its early ambitions.

More recently he has been trying to help salvage troubled Coventry-based financial firm Berkeley Berry Birch where he has been non-executive chairman.

But Mr Joyce says he is confident of continued progress at MGI Wenham Major under a new management team.

Ammar Azam has been appointed chief executive of the firm; John Edwards has joined as chief operating officer; Viv Shad-bolt becomes head of assurance; and Sarah Griffiths is head of tax.

Mr Azam said: "The whole team is absolutely fired up for the next phase of our development."

Mr Joyce noted: "The business is going like a juggernaut. This is all down to a new vibrant energy within the firm, the dedication of the new team and the commitment of everyone in the firm to a culture of excellence."

MGI Wenham Major has been part of the Birmingham and Midlands business landscape for almost a century and a half, and celebrates its 140th anniversary next year.

It still carries the name of its original founder Alfred Ebenezer Wenham, who opened the doors of his practice in Cherry Street in Birmingham in 1867.

Mr Joyce said: "The proposition will appeal to those individuals who became accountants not just to crunch numbers but to be entrepreneurial advisers to businesses and help clients create more value from their businesses.

"Entrepreneurs crave advice, ideas, guidance, inspiration, fresh thinking outside the box and a sounding board.

"One might consider this should be a given, but in the real world it's still a rare commodity. That's what MGI Wenham Major is all about."

Phil Gurney will chair the firm's international development programme. "The firm's international client base is growing rapidly," he said.

Mr Joyce was advised by HDI Capital Partners and Cobbetts. PricewaterhouseCoopers is advising the firm on its development and growth plans.

Shaun Knight, director of new business at Bank of Scotland Corporate in Birmingham, said: "The company offers strategic counsel as well as a comprehensive range of accountancy services. A number of new team members have been appointed and the company is expecting to make more during the coming months."

A newly established Heritage Board chaired by former senior partner Clive Hewitt, together with Janice Laraway and Peter Newton, will ensure the firm "retains its traditional values".

A charitable trust, with an initial #100,000 funding, is being established under John Crabtree, former senior partner of Wragge & Co, who Mr Joyce initially brought in as the then non-executive chairman of MGI Wenham Major when he first arrived.