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Our heritage

Helping clients unlock their potential for growth has been deeply embedded in Grant Thornton’s DNA for more than 100 years.

The global organisation we recognise today dates back to 1904, when Thornton & Thornton was formed in Oxford, UK. Twenty years later and on the other side of the Atlantic, 26-year-old senior accountant Alexander Richardson Grant established Alexander Grant & Co in Chicago, US.

Supporting dynamic organisations has been high on our agenda from the beginning. Thornton & Thornton advised automotive pioneer Morris Motors on its flotation in 1936 and also delivered international audit services before the Second World War.


The history of Grant Thornton

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A truly global organisation

We took our first steps to becoming a truly global organisation in 1979 when the UK and the US firms set up a new international organisation. Many of the original member firms remain in our global organisation, including India, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Singapore.

All of our founding firms had one thing in common – a commitment to delivering best-in-class solutions to clients. Global growth gathered momentum during the next several decades as new member firms from dozens of countries became part of the international organisation.

Seven years later in 1986, the US and UK firms each changed their names to Grant Thornton and in 1997, the first International Business Centre opened to manage our cross-border activity.

In more recent years, we rebranded with a new logo and tagline – “An instinct for growth”.

Over 100 years after Thornton & Thornton opened its doors in Oxford, we’re now a $4.5 billion global organisation.