100 year anniversary: PM+M is making a statement of intent

The new sign welcoming visitors to PM+M’s Blackburn headquarters is a strong statement of intent that points to the future.

The refurbished building has been renamed New Century House as the accountancy, wealth management and corporate finance specialist looks to its next 100 years.

Founded in Blackburn by Richard Porter, John Matthews and Walter Hindle Marsden back in 1919, PM+M’s roots have remained firmly in Lancashire throughout its first century – though its client base stretches much further afield.

Over the past century, PM+M has grown from strength to strength and now operates from three office locations across the North West, with operations in Burnley and Bury as well as Blackburn.

Recent achievements include being named as one of the UK’s top 100 firms by Accountancy Age, achieving its highest team headcount ever, and receiving gold Investors in People status.

Managing partner Jane Parry says the secret to the firm’s continuing success has been adapting to changes in technology and business over the generations, whilst continuing to deliver high levels of service.

She is also proud of the fact PM+M has remained fully independent throughout its growth journey. Today the practice employs 112 people and has an annual turnover of £6.5m.

A lot of people can prepare
accounts; the difference is that
we develop relationships.

PM+M has been in its current offices on Greenbank Technology Park since 2010, making the move from Blackburn town centre.

Jane says: “We have grown significantly over the last few years; in fact we grew by 15 per cent last year alone.

“We live in an increasingly regulatory world and our mission is to make sure people are properly advised and protected. We also look to act as trusted advisers to our clients, someone to bounce ideas off.

“People are really important to us and we look to really understand our clients and their businesses.

“A lot of people can prepare accounts; the difference is that we develop relationships. We look to add value, to help solve problems and help businesses to grow. Our mantra is simple. We thrive when our clients succeed.”

That business advice role is becoming increasingly important in the fastchanging commercial world that exists today.

PM+M’s client base ranges from SMEs to international groups and the firm is proud of its long-standing relationships with local businesses and organisations such as Blackburn Rovers, whose links with the firm span its century of work.

Being proudly independent is also central to the PM+M ethos. Jane says: “That is really important to us. Our aim is to keep growing in the right way.”

Training and developing employees are also important to PM+M. Jane explains: “It really is absolutely critical.”

That commitment to training sees its people rising through the ranks from apprentices to partners.

PM+M partner Chris Johnson took that route. Fellow partner Antony Keen started his PM+M career as a YTS placement. Both were 16 and school leavers.

Today Chris, 35, is a corporate services partner, while Antony, 47 is partner of PM+M’s wealth management team.

Jane says: “We have a really good retention rate and we are constantly investing in people and encouraging them when it comes to individual opportunity. Our business is all about people.”

“We also believe it’s important to support, fund and encourage those in our local community. We support a number of local charities, including Blackburn Youth Zone and East Lancashire Hospice, and we actively participate in local initiatives.”

Jane adds: “We’ve renamed our Blackburn office New Century House to show that we aim to be as successful in our second 100 years as we have been in our first.

We also believe it’s important to support, fund and encourage those in our local community. We support a number of local charities.

“We’re looking forward to the future as well as looking to build on what has been achieved over the past century. And that is important to us all.”

Timeline

1919: Richard Porter, John Matthews and Walter Hindle Marsden come together to found PM+M, with the firm’s first office based on Preston New Road, Blackburn and initial clients including Blackburn Rovers

1946: Ralph Holden joins the practice after time in the Army

1950s: PM+M continues its expansion through a number of mergers with east Lancashire based practices

1950s: Its growing client base includes a number of well-known Lancashire industrial businesses including the company that was to become Walker Steel

1956: Ralph Holden becomes a partner

1962: Jeremy Stirrup joins the practice

1970: Jeremy Stirrup becomes a partner

1970: The business moves to new offices in East Park Road, Blackburn as it continues to expand

1980s: PM+M launches its financial planning and pensions service

1990s: Ahead of the curve, PM+M opens a computer service operation

1990s: The practice becomes a member of what is now Praxity - a global alliance of independent accounting and advisors firms involving 40,000 professionals from firms in over 100 countries

2001: The firm merges with a Burnley practice, strengthening the firm’s presence in the town

2010: The firm moves to its present headquarters at Greenbank Technology Park

2011: The practice becomes an active patron of Blackburn Youth Zone

2016: Jane Parry becomes managing partner

2017: PM+M opens its office in Bury

2018: Head office refurbishment sees it given a new name: New Century House

2019: Centenary celebrations begin