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Mazars

20

The specialist on-the-ground support available to the East Midlands’ 250,000 family-owned businesses from advisory network Families in Business (FiB) has been boosted by accountancy and business advisory firm Mazars, which has signed-up to the organisation as an Approved Adviser.

As an Approved Adviser, Mazars will provide accountancy and wealth advice to FiB’s family business members network in Nottingham, Leicester and across the wider East Midlands.

“It is vital family businesses have access to the very best, trusted advisers that truly understand the challenges faced by family firms,” comments Dani Saveker, CEO of FiB, “and the team at Mazars in Nottingham and throughout the East Midlands have an impressive track record of working with businesses in the sector. They represent an excellent addition to our growing network of advisers.

“A FiB survey of East Midlands’ family businesses carried out earlier this year revealed succession and growth as their greatest concerns. Planning and bringing in trusted advisers at an early stage is critical to support them in overcoming these issues. Mazars is a perfect fit for FiB and the East Midlands’ family firms, with their hands-on experience and understanding of issues such as shareholder agreements and how to help them future-proof the business for the next generation.

“FiB is focused on supporting business leaders and stakeholders within family businesses with the ‘nitty gritty’ of day to day life in and around their business,” says Dani, “it’s about our team and our Approved Advisers rolling sleeves up and understanding what matters most to them. Having known Alistair and his team for a number of years we are thrilled that he now brings his energy, passion for family owner businesses, and support to the wider FiB network as he leads the Midlands Mazars initiative.”

Alistair Wesson, Nottingham and East Midlands Managing Partner at Mazars, explains: ‘’Family businesses are the heartbeat of the local, regional and national economy. In the East Midlands we predominantly advise family owned businesses and take great pride in helping them develop their strategies and adding to their success.’’

“We know that 77 percent of privately-owned businesses in the East Midlands are family owned,” adds Dani, “and the high number of family firms need a community like FiB that connects them with tailored advice, consultancy, support and a trusted network, of which our advisers are an integral part.”

Mazars is set to become a FiB Approved Adviser in the North West next month, when FiB will launch in the region with an event in Liverpool for local family businesses and advisers.

FiB delivers focused consultancy, membership, events and tools tailored to the needs of family and owner managed businesses, and its national network of advisers is a vital component of its specialist support for the UK’s family business sector.

Family businesses account for two in every three of the UK’s private enterprises, with three million family businesses in the UK employing over nine million people that contribute almost a quarter of all GDP to the UK economy and have a combined annual turnover of £1.1 trillion.

15

International accountancy firm Mazars is reinforcing its long term commitment to Nottingham with a move into the city centre business quarter.

The firm is moving from its current base in Cartwright House, Tottle Road, to Park View House, 58 The Ropewalk, in central Nottingham on Monday, November 3.

Mazars will occupy the top two floors of the building and East Midlands managing partner Alistair Wesson said the move had been driven by two factors.

“Client demand and a consequent growth in staff numbers has led us to move into a new city centre office,” he said.

“This decision demonstrates our long term commitment to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as we feel it is essential for the city’s core advisers to be at the heart of the business community.

“Both nationally and internationally, Mazars is committed to offering our clients a high quality service. Our move into the central Nottingham business quarter is about providing real choice for businesses in the East Midlands marketplace.

Mazars has been growing rapidly in the East Midlands throughout 2014, with a new Leicester office in February.

Staff numbers have increased rapidly with the Nottingham roll call approaching 50.

Alistair Wesson added: “The decision to move offices, with the disruption and cost it entails, was not made lightly.

“But with a vastly enhanced team in Nottingham and Leicester, we are now very well placed to providing existing and new clients in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire with a full service offering we believe is not matched in the marketplace.”

18

East Midlands firms, particularly SMEs, could be missing out on vital grants to help fund their growth, business advisers at international accountancy firm Mazars are warning.

Alistair Wesson, Mazars’ East Midlands managing partner, said: “There is a wide range of grants available for a number of sectors, with different criteria to be met in each case.

“On first sight, it looks a bit of a minefield and we feel that this is proving offputting to a number of businesses, particularly those smaller ones where the owner/manager tends to be very hands-on on a day to day basis.

“But there is money available out there that could make a significant difference both to how you fund your growth plans, and ultimately the worth of your business when you come to retire.

“Some of these funds are limited by time, some by amount available, so there is a strong feeling of ‘Buy now while stocks last’!” he said.

Mazars has specialist teams specifically established to help their clients grow and hence has built a strong working knowledge of what is available and also the right route to grants.

“It is not just a question of being aware what is available, it is also about making sure you apply in the right way. That you understand both the relevance and the importance in the future of the questions you are asked and the answers you give,” said Mr Wesson.

There is currently grant funding available in England to private companies, particularly SMEs and those who are looking to undertake a capital project of some size, through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

There are many small grant schemes, funded by RGF, which are running (predominantly in the Local Economic Partnership (LEP) areas).

Mr Wesson said: “Some of the criteria to consider when looking to see if your business could access some of these funds include the following.”

Are you looking to undertake a capital project such as a new build, an extension, expansion or acquiring substantial machinery? NB – not repairs or replacement of existing buildings or plant.

Is your company classed as small or medium, ie under 250 staff and with either a turnover less than 50 million euros, or gross assets on your balance sheet of less than 43 million euros?

Not part of a group structure – or part of a group, but the group totals come within the thresholds above.
Not in the retail sector.

Are you willing to guarantee to employ a number of new staff on a permanent basis?

Are you willing and able to move quickly with the project?

Mr Wesson said: “There are other conditions depending upon the precise terms of the scheme in the local area, but the above will be common to all.

“You owe it to yourself, your business and your family’s future to find out what you could be missing out on – and it doesn’t cost anything to find out.”

20

International accountants and business advisers Mazars have announced five significant promotions within its East Midlands team.

It follows burgeoning work levels and new client wins across the region where the firm has offices in Nottingham and Leicester.

Vishal Thakrar takes a step up to audit manager after nine years with Mazars in the East Midlands – working with a portfolio of SMEs and corporate clients.

Colin Benfell is promoted to assistant manager in the accounting and business advisory department, having joined the team earlier this year in response to the sizeable growth in client numbers and demands.

Faye Millington is promoted to assistant manager in the corporate tax team having relocated to the East from Mazars Birmingham two months ago.

Within the business recovery team, both Lee Sims and Andrew Rule were promoted to senior administrator.

Alistair Wesson, East Midlands Managing Partner, said: “I am delighted and heartily congratulate them all. It is great to see such talented individuals making an important contribution to the success of our East Midlands operations and flourishing as we grow.

“We put great stock on developing individuals and fostering teamwork and it is fantastic to see it paying off so strongly.”

43

International accountancy firm Mazars has named the man who will lead the firm’s Birmingham office.

Lee Cartwright took up the role of office managing partner with immediate effect. He will work alongside partner Ian Holder who is to take on an increasingly market facing role driving the business development of the Birmingham office.

Ian Holder said: “We still see tremendous scope for growth in Mazars in Birmingham and the West Midlands.”

Lee Cartwright steps up into the role after Mazars’ central region managing partner David Chapman announced he is to focus on his role as national head of acquisitions.

He currently provides a range of services to clients including internal audit, external audit, advice on mergers and group structures, governance, risk management and fraud awareness and investigation.

He is also one of Mazars’ lead specialists in the housing sector, but also advises clients in other sectors including the public sector, charities and commercial entities.

Since September 1, he combines his existing client facing role with leading the Birmingham office, and will also be staff partner.

He said: “Following David Chapman is no easy task. During the past ten years, he has overseen the growth of Mazars, moving its main office from Dudley into Birmingham, and is leaving the Birmingham office established as a growing force to be reckoned with in the region.

“But I look forward to the challenge and I know I will be supported in continuing our growth by my fellow partners and staff at 45 Church Street in Birmingham.”

Mr Cartwright attended St Peter’s Collegiate School, Wolverhampton, before doing a law degree at Wolverhampton University.

He joined Mazars as a graduate trainee in 1995, qualifying three years later and becoming a partner in 2008.

Aged 40, he lives in Birmingham city centre.

He added: “In recent years, we have seen the Birmingham office grow from 96 staff to 127 and during that time several bluechip, national and international clients have joined the firm.

“We continue to recruit and Mazars is always keen to talk to dedicated professionals who have demonstrated their ability to win and retain work and show the same work ethic that is the hallmark of Mazars.”

David Chapman said: “I am pleased to be handing over responsibility for the Birmingham office to Lee. I know that the team is in good hands, and I am confident we will continue to grow and prosper in the city.”

16

Completion of two significant Midlands transactions is further evidence of burgeoning M&A confidence, according to international accountancy firm Mazars.

Nick Johnson, Corporate Finance Partner, said the deals were indicative of “an exciting pipeline of deal opportunities and improving confidence that now is a good time to being doing deals for both buyers and sellers”.

Bullwell Trailer Solutions, of Lichfield, was bought by the UK subsidiary of Ryder Inc., a leading global commercial vehicle leasing company while Nottingham-based Badgemaster acquired Scottish business Akorn Badge Company.

Bullwell provides mobile trailer repair and maintenance services from its central base in Staffordshire.  Ryder is one of the UK’s leading independent commercial vehicle rental, contract hire, maintenance and dedicated delivery solutions provider and operates one of the largest truck and trailer fleets in the UK.

And there was high praise from Bullwell for the way in which Mazars handled the process for them.

Kevin Tomlinson, Bullwell’s finance director, said: “The corporate finance team from Mazars were key to the successful completion of the transaction, showing dedication, persistence and commitment. They guided us through the challenges encountered, always helping to find solutions.

“We greatly appreciate their efforts, professionalism and what they have helped us achieve.”

Mr Johnson noted: “The acquisition of Bullwell enables Ryder to build on its strong market proposition in trailers and to enhance its onsite maintenance services to all truck and trailer customers.

“Every deal has issues to overcome and a committed and focused approach from experienced CF advisers is vital to ensure deals get completed in a way that works for everyone.”

Badgemaster, which has a warrant from the royal household, manufactures permanent staff, engraved employee name, ID and personalised corporate identity badges.

It has now taken over North Lanarkshire counterpart Akorn Badge Company.

Badgemaster, formed in 1992, said the deal would allow it to be even more competitive, boost its buying power and increase its total number of accounts to 27,000.

Managing director John Bancroft said: “It has always been our vision to be not just a name badge company, but ‘the’ name badge company, and I am proud that we have achieved that.  We have many millions of people now going to work every day wearing their Badgemaster custom-made name badges and we are now processing over 1,000 orders a day.

“In combining Akorn with Badgemaster we have a marriage made in heaven that will bring significant and long-term benefits to both Akorn and Badgemaster’s extensive combined customer base.”

Akorn Badge Company’s factory is being transferred to Nottingham as part of the transaction.

Advisers included Paul Bevan and Pete Wood of Mazars in the East Midlands.

Mr Bevan said: “This was a deal which had compelling synergy.

“We were very pleased to have played a part in helping Badgemaster take its business to the next level.

“Mergers and acquisitions are very much part of today’s agenda and we are heading towards an excellent year.

14

Completion of two significant Midlands transactions is further evidence of burgeoning M&A confidence, according to international accountancy firm Mazars.

Nick Johnson, Corporate Finance Partner, said the deals were indicative of “an exciting pipeline of deal opportunities and improving confidence that now is a good time to being doing deals for both buyers and sellers”.

Bullwell Trailer Solutions, of Lichfield, was bought by the UK subsidiary of Ryder Inc., a leading global commercial vehicle leasing company while Nottingham-based Badgemaster acquired Scottish business Akorn Badge Company.

Bullwell provides mobile trailer repair and maintenance services from its central base in Staffordshire.  Ryder is one of the UK’s leading independent commercial vehicle rental, contract hire, maintenance and dedicated delivery solutions provider and operates one of the largest truck and trailer fleets in the UK.

And there was high praise from Bullwell for the way in which Mazars handled the process for them.

Kevin Tomlinson, Bullwell’s finance director, said: “The corporate finance team from Mazars were key to the successful completion of the transaction, showing dedication, persistence and commitment. They guided us through the challenges encountered, always helping to find solutions.

“We greatly appreciate their efforts, professionalism and what they have helped us achieve.”

Mr Johnson noted: “The acquisition of Bullwell enables Ryder to build on its strong market proposition in trailers and to enhance its onsite maintenance services to all truck and trailer customers.

“Every deal has issues to overcome and a committed and focused approach from experienced CF advisers is vital to ensure deals get completed in a way that works for everyone.”

Badgemaster, which has a warrant from the royal household, manufactures permanent staff, engraved employee name, ID and personalised corporate identity badges.

It has now taken over North Lanarkshire counterpart Akorn Badge Company.

Badgemaster, formed in 1992, said the deal would allow it to be even more competitive, boost its buying power and increase its total number of accounts to 27,000.

Managing director John Bancroft said: “It has always been our vision to be not just a name badge company, but ‘the’ name badge company, and I am proud that we have achieved that.  We have many millions of people now going to work every day wearing their Badgemaster custom-made name badges and we are now processing over 1,000 orders a day.

“In combining Akorn with Badgemaster we have a marriage made in heaven that will bring significant and long-term benefits to both Akorn and Badgemaster’s extensive combined customer base.”

Akorn Badge Company’s factory is being transferred to Nottingham as part of the transaction.

Advisers included Paul Bevan and Pete Wood of Mazars in the East Midlands.

Mr Bevan said: “This was a deal which had compelling synergy.

“We were very pleased to have played a part in helping Badgemaster take its business to the next level.

“Mergers and acquisitions are very much part of today’s agenda and we are heading towards an excellent year.

17

Mazars in the East Midlands have announced the arrival of corporate tax partner Stephen Fuller from their London operations.

He transfers with effect from September 1 and will work across the Nottingham and Leicester offices, supporting the existing tax team and working with the partners to continue the growth strategy across the region.

Fuller also heads Mazars Infrastructure Tax and Accounting team, which advises over half of the top 30 construction and property businesses in the UK, as well as most of the banks.

He will continue to head this team nationally, and in addition, establish an East Midlands specialist sector team. Mazars see this as a key national specialism and are delighted to add to the national resource base within the East Midlands .

“I have seen the significant growth and momentum achieved during 2014 by the team in the East Midlands, and I am excited to be joining such an active and dynamic group of people” said Fuller. “Also, as I already live in the East Midlands, spending more time in the local market and less frequent trips on the train to London is an added bonus!”

Alistair Wesson, Mazars East Midlands Managing Partner said “We are absolutely delighted to have landed a person of Stephen’s quality and calibre ahead of the transfer deadline. His expertise in the property and construction sector, in addition to a strong general tax grounding, will add significantly to our advisory potential and benefit our clients, staff and growth plans considerably.”

58

International accountants and business advisers Mazars have bolstered the Leicester office with two new appointments.

Emma English and Faye Millington join as senior corporate tax manager and corporate tax senior respectively.

It comes as the office, only launched last year, continues to build business and add to staff numbers.

They will help deliver the growing workload as a result of new clients coming on board.

Ms English specialises in corporate reorganisations, transactional work and employee share schemes.

She said: “I worked with the current partners of Mazars Leicester office throughout my time with my previous firm and so know the team well.

“I was attracted to work for Mazars as it has a great reputation nationally and, more specifically in Leicester. It is a fast growing office with terrific people and good opportunities for career progression.”

She has been in Leicester for 11 years advising mainly owner managed businesses on a wide range of tax planning.
Ms Millington moves across the Midlands, transferring from the Birmingham office of Mazars.

She said: “Choosing Mazars was an easy choice as the company offered the opportunity to study the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales ACA qualification and to study tax – my preferred specialism – as well as holding many core values which fit with my own.

“As the Leicester office has only recently been established it presents an exciting new opportunity for me and new challenges, as well as the office being closer to home. I hope to continue to work in corporate tax, however, also expand to experience more personal tax as well as more technically challenging advisory work, further establishing the Mazars name in the East Midlands.”

Ms Millington graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2010 and started in the Birmingham office of Mazars as a tax graduate in October 2010.

She became ACA qualified in August last year and has now begun studying for the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s CTA qualification.

Chris Darlington, partner and head of the Leicester office, said: “We are pleased to welcome both Emma and Faye.

“Knowing her strengths and abilities well we were keen to attract Emma to join us. She is fully conversant with the area and many of the businesses in it. I am certain she will be a significant asset as we continue to expand.”

He added: “Faye is a young and talented individual who is keen to progress.

“The Leicester office is growing fast and we continue on the look out for staff across all parts of the business.”

30

Equity markets are increasingly responsive to good deal opportunities, according to a transactions expert.

And David Preston of Mazars’ transaction services team said he was confident the outlook remained favourable despite some reports to the contrary.

He cited two recent regional deals in which Mazars, the international accountants and business advisers were involved – the AIM market IPO of AFH Financial Group and Alkane Energy’s acquisition of three power response companies.

“Our experience is that equity markets are active and supportive to the right type of business and will continue to be so once we move into September,” he said.

With £750 million of assets under management, Bromsgrove-based AFH Financial Group is one of the UK’s leading independent financial advisory and discretionary wealth management firms comprising 122 self-employed financial advisers and a further 141 employees.

The AFH IPO raised £2.9 million and followed a two year period on the ISDX Growth Market during which it made over 20 acquisitions. The move to AIM is partly to accelerate its acquisition strategy.

Alkane Energy, which has its headquarters at Edwinstowe in Nottinghamshire, is one of the UK’s fastest growing independent power generators. Its £12 million transaction followed the successful raising of £8 million of equity and not only enhances the group’s existing strong position in the power response market but also broadens its geographical presence in the South of England and Wales.

The acquisition involved Darent Power based in Kent, Leven Power of Redditch and Rhymney Power in Cardiff.

Mr Preston said: “Through these transactions, both AFH Financial Group and Alkane Energy have made significant statements of their growth intentions.

“Despite recent sentiment to the contrary, it is pleasing to see equity markets being supportive of their ambition.”