Building relationships that are the foundations for success

Strong relationships are at the heart of the Pierce approach to business advice and the wide range of accountancy services it offers.

And there is no doubt that growing and nurturing those relationships is a quality needed more than ever as companies in all sectors work to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The practice is no stranger to challenging economic times. It was founded in 1929 – the year of the Wall Street crash, with all the difficulties that brought to businesses then.

Today as our businesses face new and unprecedented challenges, the Pierce team continues to combine high standards of service, pro-active advice and a wide range of expertisestrong foundations that the company has built its reputation on.

A year on from a successful management buyout, the proudly independent Blackburn-headquartered firm continues to widen its expertise for the benefit of its growing client base.

Managing director Jimmy King led last year’s MBO along with directors Ben Smith, Simon Diggle, Tom Wilkinson and Lisa Kennery. It has been 12 months of strong and positive development.

Now, as the business continues on its growth path, Pierce has made a key senior appointment. Kevin Steven joins the team as director of corporate finance, bringing with him a wealth of experience and know-how in the sector.

Supporting and helping SMEs is our central role, it is what we do well

The appointment comes as Pierce records its best ever year in terms of fees. The practice has clients in all sectors and of all sizes, though the bulk of its work is with businesses with between £1m and £20m turnover –companies that are the backbone of the UK and the Lancashire economy.

Jimmy says: “The MBO came about as the existing partners were looking for a succession plan. The timing was right and given our integral knowledge of the client base and the opportunity before us, we were delighted to do the deal.

As a result, we remain an independent firm and that is really important to us, our team and our clients. It is who we are.

“We remain based and rooted in east Lancashire, which is our home, but we have clients across the county, the wider North West and nationwide, we grow as our clients succeed.

Supporting and helping SMEs is our central role, it is what we do well. And today it is much more than the numbers game, the advice and support we are able to give is critical to our clients.

“That extra voice is something we’ve always been really good at offering and it continues to be at the heart of our service to clients.”

Ben agrees. He says: “In the current crisis that is more important than ever. Helping our clients face the challenges, we feel we are part of their management team and we pride ourselves on that.

“We actively provide advice and can help find the solution to their challenges both every day and in terms of their planning and structural work.

“It is about building relationships and we believe that is what sets us apart. Having the ability to call someone and to have the trust to talk openly with them, it is an invaluable tool for any small or medium-sized business.”

Today Pierce has 65 staff. It delivers audit and accountancy compliance services, as well as a range of additional value-added services such as corporate finance, forensic, research and development, corporate and personal taxation.

The firm also provides management and outsourcing services such as secretarial, online services and payroll.

Making the difference

Kevin Steven, Pierce’s new director of corporate finance, has a wealth of experience in the SME Sector, with particular emphasis on fund raising across traditional and alternative finance markets as well succession planning and execution.

It is industry know-how that the firm’s growing client base can now tap into and use to their advantage when it comes to finding the right funding partner in what is a dynamic funding environment.

Kevin’s appointment is a strong signal of intent from the team at Pierce as it looks to grow and develop its breadth of services. Strengthening and widening the corporate finance team is a large part of that strategy.

Managing director Jimmy King says: “Kevin has come on board to help our clients gain access to the right type of finance for them, he has fantastic experience of supporting owner managed business both directly as funder and as advisor.

This will provide Pierce and our clients with a depth of experience of fundraising in what are are challenging conditions.

“He will be a major asset, both for the practice and our clients moving forward and we’re really pleased that he has made the move to Pierce.”

A qualified accountant Kevin, whose CV includes senior roles at RBS and ThinCats, has a strong track record of working in the North of England with owner-managed SMEs Pierce’s existing and target market.

He also has rounded experience and working knowledge of both traditional and alternative funders. Kevin, who has moved to Lancashire from across the Pennines, says: “These are exciting times for Pierce and I’m delighted to be a part of it.

The external funding market is currently very dynamic, and clients will be required to engage with funders in a way that they have not had to historically. My background of direct lending will give clients a clear insight into what funders require of them and how best to structure that support in order to meet their strategic goals.

Pierce recognise the importance of having a robust and well invested corporate funding function to support clients from both a day-to-day and succession planning perspective.

A buoyant and client base, the firm’s fantastic reputation and the Boards very clear vision of where it wants to go is what has attracted me to the role.

“The Pierce approach is all about relationship building and adding value and that is something I’m looking forward to, bringing a fresh approach for the benefit of our clients.

“The funding market has changed dramatically over the last five years. Those who are able to access the right finance are best place to capitalise on market opportunities, I believe that is where I can make a real difference.”

01254 688100 | pierce.co.uk

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