Above: Martin Dixon tries to steal a crutch from Paul Williamson in a last-ditch effort  to prevent him from entering the Millards building.

By Roger Duck, Digital Duck Inc.

In a move that stunned the city this week, Paul Williamson has ousted Senior Partner, Martin Dixon, from his key role at the busy Brantford accounting firm.

Williamson says that the takeover was in response to rumblings expressed privately by other Millards Partners, staff and clients.

“I like Martin. Everybody does… but let’s face it. He has one job at Millards and he’s just not delivering anymore.”

For many years, Dixon’s primary role with the firm has been overseeing the April Fools Joke Committee. Williamson stepped in forcibly after losing patience with Dixon for what many consider to be a failure of comedic leadership.

“For a guy who spends an entire year putting together an April Fools gag, you’d think they would be funnier.”

Early in his career, Dixon earned a reputation with his clients and co-workers for staging hilarious April Fools jokes. In more recent years, however, many have questioned both his delivery and timing.

Darin Cleary, CPA, CGA, CFI, LPA from Millards in Brantford, is one of the few Partners that would speak publicly about the takeover.

“It’s sad but it was inevitable. We all looked up to Martin. Well, technically we all looked down at him but my point is that we’ll miss him but his April Fools gags were out of control.”

Cleary has been increasingly concerned about the direction of Martin’s buffoonery.

“Last year he almost got us sued when he produced an attack ad focused on an area lawyer running for Mayor of Brantford. During one of his previous stunts he told Bill Verity, a valued client and the owner of a Muskoka cottage, that his island was sinking… and Verity believed him. Everyone knows that accountants are not funny and we’re hoping that leadership from a completely different industry will reduce the number of incidents.”

Williamson says that he is committed to regaining the respect of the community. He brings a wealth of tom foolery to the committee and promises that next year’s April Fools joke will restore the good name of Millards.

“Look, it’s not all Martin’s fault. The harsh reality is that insurance brokers are just much funnier than accountants. We can’t help it. It’s in our DNA.”

Williamson brings a track record of success and comedic expertise to his new role. Williamson created the Williamson Group, a company that grew to include 75 employees and hundreds of high value individual and corporate clients. During his time at the head of the firm, he was known for his sense of humour. He retired nearly 4 years ago after selling the company to The Cowan Group.

“I’ve been home everyday for almost 4 years and I was really surprised by my wife Margot’s reaction when I told her I was going back to work. I’m sure it was just an act to be supportive but she seemed ecstatic.”

Williamson admits that he was looking for something to fill the void left after leaving the Williamson Group.

“I’ve mostly been entertaining strangers by picking them up in my new Mercedes-Benz and playing music really loud. This car has 24 speakers. I have over 1,500 songs on my iPod. Do you like Bon Jovi? What? I can’t hear you. Did I mention that this car has 24 speakers?”

Dixon has expressed disappointment over the takeover but says that he won’t give up without a fight.

“Oh sure, insurance brokers may have natural comedic ability but just wait until Paul has to do some actual accounting work. It’s really hard… from what my staff tell me.”