1. How has 2016 been for you?
2016 has been an extremely busy but enjoyable and successful year. The corporate tax, private client and expat practices grew by between 15% and 18% which is in keeping with the last couple of years.
2. What are the key issues and opportunities facing the business community in 2017?
2017 offers us considerable opportunities. Hg Capital's acquisition of the practice has been well documented and the opportunity for us to invest even more in people is very exciting. We intend to carry on acting for the same client groups doing the same high quality work. It is a challenge to continue to grow at the rate we have been, and to push even more in 2017, and yet not change who we are and what makes us a strong practice.
3. What outlook do your clients have in relation to the immediate future?
We live in interesting times to say the least. Our large international client base is to some extent concerned about the impact on the UK of Brexit. On the other hand, the vast majority are carrying on business as usual and continue to commit investment into the country. The world economy of course impacts our private clients as well but we have a good mix of old and new economy clients and I am sure they will withstand the uncertainty. The times we live in provides opportunities for my private client colleagues who act as trusted advisors rather than just technicians.
4. What do you think makes Blick Rothenberg such a good choice for talented tax professionals seeking a new career/role?
It has been interesting journey for us over the last twelve months. We have traditionally not struggled to attract the right people because we are seen as a high-quality tax practice with a very interesting and active client base. It is interesting to see how many of our new starters have joined us to follow ex colleagues now at Blick Rothenberg. At the more senior end, people have seen us as a progressive and collegiate practice. I was concerned post the deal with Hg that people will not see us as an attractive option due to the change in structure. My concerns however have been misplaced as we have seen no shortage of people wanting to join us and have the opportunity to be involved in a fast-growing practice. The partner level candidates we are speaking to see this as a chance to grow a business with a clear objective of investing in existing and new people. They therefore have an opportunity to gain the experience in a short period which may have taken longer in the traditional partnership model. We are also looking at acquiring complimentary practices and this too opens up a whole new avenue of experience for our people.
5. Crystal ball time! How do you see the UK being positioned in 2021 ?
It is difficult to see so far ahead when you see what has happened around us in the last few months! I have been doing this long enough to know that there will always be uncertainties and challenges but, what is clear is that businesses and people adapt. Those who can do this quickly tend to do very well and I am therefore confident that by the time 2021 comes, we will still be a leading economy with great opportunities within our profession. But, we also need to adapt. As a profession, we lag way behind many other businesses in the use of technology. We need to make changes which improve our efficiencies without impacting client service, but to also adopt technology that improves the client experience. Clients will always want trusted advisors so we should not fear this change.
6. About you – away from work?
I travel a lot for work but one of my interests is also travel for leisure. I very much believe in the motto "work hard and play hard" and like colleagues who also have interests outside work, active and otherwise. It is important we are well rounded as individuals so we can relate to our clients.
Thanks for your thoughts and your time Nilesh.
A pleasure James.
This interview was conducted by James Bain, Director of Lawrance Alexander on 18/11/16.
Founded in 2010, Lawrance Alexander offers bespoke tax recruitment solutions for candidates and clients across the UK.