Acquisition aids growth at EST

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EST’s HR team Back L – R Kate Matthews, Deborah Jones, Barry Esterhuizen, Lucy-Ann Thomas. Front L – R Rhian Hayes, Kirstie Baker

Professional advisory firm EST has acquired a HR consultancy to grow the HR division it established last year.

The Cardiff-based firm, which has divisions offering accountancy, tax, payroll, auto-enrolment, commercial finance and HR services, has bought Julie Kelly HR, a trading style of Risk Monitor Limited, for an undisclosed fee.

The acquisition sees HR officer Lucy-Ann Thomas join the 15-strong team and follows the recruitment of new payroll manager Kirstie Baker, who joins from FRS Payroll.

EST’s HR division was set up in March 2016 to complement the firm’s existing services and add value to its clients by providing advice and support with every aspect of the employment cycle from recruitment and induction, to training and development, through to exit.

Supporting owner-managed SMEs, including fast-growing and ambitious companies such as Nutrivend and Flying Tiger Copenhagen Wales and Bristol, the HR arm of EST has exceeded all of its first year targets.

Kate Matthews, Director of EST and Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), said: “Since we launched our HR arm last year, we’ve had a really positive response from the marketplace. We’ve exceeded all of our expectations and it’s great to round off the year with our first acquisition.

“In the last year we have created a really solid team with a commercial outlook and diverse background including in-house HR, HR consultancy, training and development and union work. With the depth of knowledge and experience we now have within our team, we are in a really strong place for continued growth.”

This is the latest move for the progressive firm after acquiring Newport-based accountancy practice Price & Partners in 2016 and launching a commercial finance arm earlier this year to provide funding advice to ambitious and growing SMEs.

Director of EST, Barry Esterhuizen said: “In the last year, our aim of having a complementary group of companies has come to fruition. We’re now seeing more and more clients using us across the board and taking value from being able to access a wider range of services all in one place.

“While we have acquired two businesses within the last year, our focus remains on growing organically by attracting new clients who are looking for a range of professional services under one roof and cross-selling our wider offering to existing clients.

“We envisage adding more complementary services to EST over the next year so that we continue to enhance our offering.”

Established in 2013, EST is a new generation of dynamic and trusted professional advisers to start-ups and SMEs across south Wales and the south west of England.