Finance Awards 2020 Rhino Trade Insurance: Best Tradesman Insurance Broker 2020 Oakmount & Partners Ltd: Best FixedIncome & Investment Specialists 2020
2 | Finance Awards 2020 Contents Welcome to the Finance Awards 2020 SME News are delighted to announce the return of the SME Finance Awards through which they aim to give recognition to those in the finance industry who have continually shown excellence and outstanding expertise in the past year. Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2018 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized. Due to financial difficulties being one of the most common issues business both small and large businesses face, there is no denying that the finance industry – not limited to accountancy services, business loans, and personal finance advice – provides the cornerstone for businesses in today’s market to flourish. This is proven through the fact that in 2017, 38% of SMEs used a type of external finance in order to keep their dream alive. This can come from a variety of sources including venture capital companies or investment specialists. There are also many other examples of companies looking to outside their company for financial advice, such as bookkeeping and payroll experts, because business owners simply do not have the time to do this internally. Laura Brookes | Senior Editor +44 (0) 20 3970 0052 email@example.com 4. Oakmount & Partners Ltd: Best Fixed-Income & Investment Specialists 2020 6. Rhino Trade Insurance: Best Tradesman Insurance Broker 2020 8. Options Mortgage Centre Blackpool: Most Dedicated Mortgage & Protection Advisors - North West England 9. Jones & Co: You’re in even safer hands 10. Phoenix True Potential Ltd.: Judith Phoenix-Meese: Best Executive CV Writer & Career Coach 2020 11. Husky: Best Workplace Pension Compliance Solution 2020 12. Tatton Consulting Ltd: Best Grant Consultancy Firm 2020 13. Chapelle Consulting: Best Risk Management Advisory & Training Firm - Europe 14. Tax Spot Group: Best Accounting & Tax Advisory Service - West London 15. Quantum R&D Tax Ltd: SME Tax Practice of the Year 2020 16. Tavistock Private Client Ltd: Boutique IFA Firm of the Year – England & Most Outstanding in Tax Efficient Investing - England 17. Camdor Global Advisors: Most Innovative Investment& Risk Advisory 2020 18. Themis Wealth Management: Financial Planners of the Year - Cornwall 19. Venn Wealth Management Ltd: Best Wealth Management Firm - Devon 20. The Z2 Group Ltd: Most Trusted Business Accountants - Hertfordshire 21. Accounted For Ltd: Best Business Accountancy Firm - South Wales 22. Limestone Mortgages: Stone-Cold Success!
Finance Awards 2020 | 3 23. Ashbourne Insurance: Best Independent General Insurance Broker - Hertfordshire 24. Rigby Capital Limited: IT Financing Providerof the Year 2020 25. Williams Lester Accountants Ltd: Bookkeeping & Tax Services Firm of the Year - Wales 26. volofin Capital Management Ltd.: Best Commercial Aviation Financing Specialists 2020 27. Sestini & Co Pension Trustees Limited: Best Bespoke SSAS Administration & Trustee Services Provider 2020 28. The Underwriting Specialist: Insurance Underwriters of the Year - Hertfordshire 29. SL Investment Management Ltd: Best Alternative Investment Fund Manager 2020 & Best Medium to Long Term Alternative Investment Fund (Since Inception): BlackOak Investors LP 30. Journey Mortgages: Most Proactive Commercial Mortgage Broker 2020 31. Phil Anderson Financial Services Ltd: Lifetime Achievement Award 2020: Richard Bain 32. Zoo Accounting & Business Solutions Ltd: Most Innovative Accounting & Business Consulting Firm 2020 - West Midlands 33. Shawpoint: Best SME Corporate Finance Advisory Firm 2020 34. My Mortgage Maker Ltd: Making Mortgage Magic 35. Ross and Richardson Ltd: Most Trusted Life Insurance Provider - North England 36. Satago: Most Innovative Cashflow Solution 2020: Satago 37. Storm2: Best FinTech Recruitment Company 2020 38. Sheridan Accounting Solutions Ltd: Accountancy Business of the Year – Warwickshire 39. D&K Accounting: SME Accountants of the Year - Yorkshire 40. Crown Agents Bank: Best Foreign Exchange & Cross-Border Payments Services Provider 2020 41. Thistle Initiatives: FinTech Compliance Consultancy of the Year 2020 42. Aurora Capital: Best SME Finance Broker 2020 43. RS Data Tech: Best Credit Report Solutions Provider - Northern England
4 | Finance Awards 2020 Oct20742 Best Fixed-Income & Investment Specialists 2020 Growth is not something that happens by accident. It’s something that can, and should, be planned for by experts who have your best interests at heart. The team behind Oakmount and Partners Ltd know this better than most, and their award-winning success in the UK Finance Awards deserves to be celebrated. We take a closer look to see how they’ve achieved such impressive levels of success within the industry. The aim of the team at Oakmount is simple. They know that their clients have ambition. They want to improve their financial standing, moving and developing new strategies and policies for success. The work of the Oakmount team is to bridge the gap and create these strategies so that their clients can flourish. Treating their clients as partners is the secret behind the team’s incredible success. They work closely with them to establish, improve and implement long-term strategic plans that make it possible for them to meet their financial purposes. Each plan is carefully calculated, and bespoke designed to meet specific needs and requirements. Based on risk profile and return targets, there is very little left to chance, with financial success almost guaranteed. Success has come thanks to the team’s consideration of four key principles, namely knowledge, commitment, nurture and growth. Each plays an invaluable role in ensuring the best possible results and returns for a client. By taking this approach, the team have been able to guarantee that your capital performs in the best possible way, working hard to meet your unique ambitions. Some companies find tried and tested routes, sticking to these throughout their lives. The team at Oakmount consider innovation a necessity when it comes to investments. They are constantly investigating new and enhanced strategies and opportunities that will more beneficially serve their clients’ financial purposes, goals and ambitions. As a result of this proactive approach, the team are able to concentrate on achieving certain return targets and yields of 7-12% annually. These experiments are built on the work of some of the leading industry experts. This data-driven attitude is why clients feel safe and secure working with Oakmount. The team value this trust deeply, knowing that for many people they are the custodians of their investment and retirement plans for the future. As such, the team act in as efficient and comprehensive a way as possible, considering all the possibilities of their actions and organising them in as courteous and transparent a way as possible. There is, at the heart of Oakmount, a desire not to be the biggest firm in the world, but certainly to be the best. Service comes above all else. As such, the team reach into an extraordinary array of different areas, but never to such a degree as to compromise the project as a whole. Protecting the best interests of their customers and achieving the financial targets that have been set are the hallmark of this impressive business. Being based in the UK, even during these most turbulent of times, has been an enormous boon to the team at Oakmount. The UK is a leading financial service centre, with the highest concentration of global financial institutions in the world. To an investment firm like Oakmount, it presents enormous opportunities. Of course, being able to easily access these resources in a relatively politically stable environment means that customers have the best chance of prospering. Business loves certainty, and that’s a major boon to working in the UK. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty over the last twelve months. There has been a big shift in how the economy is moving. Gold, for example, reached a 10-year high during July 2020 and the sentiment is it will potentially go much higher owing to global uncertainty. Gold’s position as an investment is considered the ultimate safe haven during times of doubt, and this has certainly held true during this crisis. It has outperformed other major asset classes over the past two decades and is used to protect and enhance wealth over the long-term. Gold also operates as a means of exchange because it has global recognition – it’s the ideal investment medium for many, which is why Oakmount has used it on behalf of its clients. While the world continues to react to an unprecedented situation, the team at Oakmount continue to take immense pride in the work they undertake. It’s uncompromising and determined, which is why the team have achieved such success. At the heart of every decision made is a knowledge of the industry that is bolstered by imagination and creativity in how projects are executed. It’s not enough for Oakmount to simply offer the old way of working. The team know that to secure success moving forward, it is vital that they continue striving to find a better solution to a client’s problems. A point of pride for the team is not just that they are pioneering in their approach, but that some of their practices and techniques have become standard in the industry. It’s not just a credit to the team, but to their forward-thinking mindset. To achieve this, Oakmount works collaboratively as far as possible. Of course, individual creativity is something to be fostered, but never at the expense of the group at large. The future seems bright for the Oakmount team, although one of the challenges that lies ahead is that of preserving their position within the marketplace. They are determined to continue balancing two different aims, namely being big enough to undertake the greatest projects that any of our clients could contemplate, yet small enough to maintain the loyalty, the intimacy and the esprit de corps that the team all treasure and that contributes greatly to success. It’s not an easy balance, but it’s one that has ensured outstanding products and unsurpassed service within the industry at large. Company: Oakmount & Partners Ltd Contact: Glenn King Website: www.oakmountpartners.com
Finance Awards 2020 | 5 Oakmount & Partners Ltd
6 | Finance Awards 2020 Oct20749 Best Tradesman Insurance Broker 2020 Rhino Trade Insurance is an award-winning UK trade insurance company and broker serving the self-employed tradesman community nationwide. Offering a comprehensive range of insurance services, Rhino’s accessible online shop is efficient and effective, proving affordable insurance solutions in everything from Employers and Public Liability Insurance to Tax Fee Protection Insurance. Nationally recognised for making insurance matters simple and easy to manage, Rhino is this year the recipient of the UK Finance Awards: Best Tradesman Insurance Broker 2020. Based in Thurmaston, Leicester, Rhino Trade Insurance is a leading trade insurance company and broker that specialises in providing straightforward, quality insurance at low premiums for self-employed tradesmen. Offering insurance online or over the phone, Rhino deals in employers and public liability insurance, tools in transit insurance, legal expenses, personal accident, income protection, contractor’s all-risk and tax fee protection insurance. Serving plumbers, electricians, carpenters, builders, bricklayers, painters, decorators and more across the UK, Rhino is a trusted partner to trade businesses of all sizes. The company aims to clear the confusion that often clouds insurance in the trade industry, providing easy-to-understand and purchase insurance products on its straightforward one-stop shop that uses uncomplicated jargon to communicate with clients. Rhino’s corporate group Rhino Protect also provides access to legal advisors, tax consultants and solicitors who are on hand to support insurance matters regarding legal expenses and tax fee protection products, in order to deliver on the Rhino guarantee of creating solutions to the full breadth of insurance matters faced by tradespeople in one location. Having been built over twenty years by former tradesmen for a growing community of tradespeople, Rhino knows the requirements of its clients and tailors its services to fill those needs, and only these needs, at competitive rates. Often known as the ‘tradesman’s insurer’, Rhino seeks to be relatable for its clients, speaking in the same language as them so that they can have confidence in choosing and purchasing their insurance. Customers are able to use Rhino’s online insurance shop and quote engine that is unintrusive and fast, obtaining an insurance quotation without submitting personal details so that they can choose the right insurance product for them and have it implemented quickly and without hassle. As such, Rhino’s reputation for transforming the often complex and cumbersome process of purchasing and renewing insurance streamlined and painless is growing as the company itself develops. With an application process that takes just minutes online and produces all the necessary documents required immediately after payment, Rhino is able to offer 24/7 support to its clients, with customer service and sales teams available to answer questions or resolve issues efficiently six days a week. Existing at the heart of a community of tradespeople that spans the length and breadth of the UK, Rhino has also cultivated a vast network of partners in relevant service providers across the trades industry. As a result, Rhino is able to offer unique referral schemes to ensure their clients get the most comprehensive insurance solutions possible, whilst its partners are able to co-brand and host white-labelled versions of the Rhino insurance shop front as part of the company’s successful sub-broker network. In doing so, Rhino has established itself as an intrinsic element in the success of the UK trade industry, supporting and collaborating with men and women who take pride in their work and their partnership with one of the UK’s most trusted trade insurance brokers on the market. It is clear, therefore, that people are the defining factor of Rhino’s success, which holds great store by the old adage, ‘people buy from people’. The front-line staff of Rhino’s business are the sales and customer support teams who are vital to maintaining close communication channels across its network of thousands of tradespeople. As the voice of Rhino is its USP, the firm recruits a team of individuals who are able to communicate in the common language shared by the insurance company and its brokers and their community of tradespeople. The same inclusive culture applies to the back-end staff at Rhino who perform the vital tasks of managing claims, renewals, administration and underwriting. Together, Rhino operates on a level playing field that promotes every individual team member, creating the sense of family and positivity that translates into Rhino’s positive and empowering customer service. Employing these attributes in cohesion with the professionalism, compliance and progression needed in financial markets, Rhino is able to strike the balance between welcoming customer service and the growth and innovation needed to thrive in those markets. However, Rhino has witnessed the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on so many of its self-employed tradesmen, many of whom have spent long periods of the lockdowns with minimal business activity. The company has had to be conscientious in its navigation of the pandemic and maintaining the high quality of service that its customers expect, even in such unprecedented times as these. As such, Rhino has worked in collaboration with its clients to sensitively handle their insurance needs and to provide informative resources to guide them through government guidelines and protocols as they try to continue operating as far as possible. In addition, in order to keep morale across its community high, Rhino has gifted thousands of pounds worth of tools and prizes as well as their signature Rhino workwear to its tradespeople throughout the pandemic, to let them know that Rhino continues to have their best interests at heart, particularly in this trying year. As a result of the continued support of its community, Rhino has been able to maintain steady growth month by month throughout even
Finance Awards 2020 | 7 its national recognition which is marked by several awards which now includes UK Finance Awards: Best Tradesman Insurance Broker 2020. Together, these accolades and attributes are building Rhino’s nationwide reputation for being an insurance provider that truly cares about its people. Company: Rhino Trade Insurance Contact: Troy Stevens Website: www.rhinotradeinsurance.com Rhino Trade Insurance the most challenging periods of the pandemic by keeping staff in operation so as to continue delivering the same high standard of service to its clients. Working in partnership with them in a non-aggressive approach, Rhino has been widely praised for its handling of the Covid-19 situation and its welcome support through the past year. The five-star reviews that can be found on independent review platforms and Rhino’s carefully curated social media platforms are testament to the continued excellence that has been built over the past twenty years which has shone particularly brightly throughout 2020 and the beginning of 2021. As Rhino looks ahead to the rest of the year, it is with excitement to continue offering UK tradespeople quality insurance products at competitive products. The firm is constantly reviewing and adding to its product list to ensure that Rhino services are as comprehensive as possible and able to meet the demands and expectations of its broad clientele. This year will also see the development of the Rhino partner network of sub-brokers who will be able to benefit from a referral scheme by directing tradespeople towards their white-labelled Rhino Trade Insurance platforms. Rhino is welcoming all readers who have access to tradespeople to get in touch and get involved with this exciting subbroker opportunity. In the meantime, Rhino continues to take great pride in its development, its community, and
8 | Finance Awards 2020 Oct20750 Options Mortgage Centre Blackpool: Most Dedicated Mortgage & Protection Advisors - NorthWest England Options Mortgage Centre Blackpool was originally formed by Richard Tingey who’s still a Partner Adviser today. The original company was set up from a Layton home office in 1996, with Rick borrowing the money to form the company and get a Consumer Credit License. After a year of arranging mortgages and introducing life cover and protection needs to Eagle Star, Rick soon realised he would need to deal with the insurance and investments needs of all of his clients personally. He then joined Lincoln National at Preston where he studied his Financial Planning Papers under the CII for FPC. It was whilst working towards his qualifications that Rick met with Trevor Thompson, then acting as regional sales manager at Lincoln. Over the following twelve months, they worked closely together and later moved onto heading up an office with Canada Life in the same region for a further year. After qualifying and leaving Canada Life, Rick and Trevor jointly set up The Tingey & Thompson Partnership and moved into dealing with all areas of mortgages, financial planning and investments. Rick was also an assistant manager with a Bradford & Bingley Agency which also had links to Estate Agency work and later took on a similar role within the Furness Building Society both of these based out of Blackpool. During their time in Blackpool the duo took on another partner, Phil Brewer, and formed another linked business - Options Mortgage Centre (OMC)- in 2000. OMC retained all of the established clients and was, at this point, the one and only main business and focus going forward. The OMC partnership is still trading today although only Richard Tingey and Graham Wilson remain at the company due to the retirement of Trevor earlier this year. The team still work from their head offices in Blackpool, are still using the same telephone numbers, are part of the same IFA Network and have retained most of the original staff members from the company’s establishment some 20 years ago. Graham Wilson joined OMC in 2013, utilising his hard-earned experience as a Senior Mortgage & Protection Adviser with Santander. Graham had built a steadfast friendship with Rick via IFAP and shortly after, became the youngest business partner to date at the company. Ultimately, Graham brought a desire to succeed, hard work, diligence, a customer focus and great determination to improve on an established successful practice. Since joining the team, Graham has been instrumental in the ongoing growth of OMC and has spearheaded the modernisation of the company for the digital age. Today, Options Mortgage Centre has a live client base in excess of 8000 clients and has an annual T/O of £1.5 million pounds. OMC has over 30 full time staff members, advisers and support staff and has won National IFA Network Awards every year for the last 5 years. Needless to say, the future looks very bright indeed for this leading mortgage firm, as it looks to further reinforce its undisputed expertise in the England’s financial market. Company: Options Mortgage Centre Blackpool Website: https://optionsmc.co.uk/ Telephone: 01253 294480
9 | Finance Awards 2020 You’re in even safer hands Bigger and better and ensuring its clients are in even safer hands than ever before, Jones & Co was founded in 2009 by Mark Jones. Located in the heart of Chesterfield town centre, the firm’s offices are a source of great pride for Managing Director, Mark, who has spent much time and effort to create a highly professional and hospitable environment for clients and colleagues alike. A very warm welcome “Everyone who visits our offices is guaranteed a very warm welcome by every member of our team,” enthuses Mark. “Danielle, our Office Manager, and Laura & Emma, our Financial Services administrators, are usually the first faces you’ll see when you get to Jones & Co and they’re always smiling. “It’s really important that people feel at ease whenever they come to see us because we firmly believe in establishing long-term working relationships with each and every one of our clients. I’m very happy that we’ve managed to create that here – friendly faces on reception and exceptional financial advice and services from our highly qualified advisors, just two of the many reasons clients spontaneously recommend us to friends and family.” Unbiased, bespoke and jargon-free advice Continues Mark: “Over the last decade, it’s been my focus to grow the company sustainably by recruiting the right people who wholeheartedly support our ethos of providing unbiased, bespoke and jargon-free advice with the aim of preserving or accumulating wealth and security for our clients. “We now have a team of four financial planning professionals in place – Suzanne Jeakins, Pauline Fernandes, Kirk Yeomans and I – who are committed to meeting the financial needs of people of all ages and backgrounds from across the UK. From pensions and retirement advice, to wealth management and business protection, we’re here to provide effective and efficient financial planning advice, and we have an exceptional track record. We’re also proud to nurture new talent as well as acquire other financial services practices in the industry. Building a stable future “When it comes to retirement planning, we don’t believe it’s all about pensions – that’s just one way to build a stable future. We work with individuals who are at all stages of retirement from 18-year olds who have no retirement plans in place to those who are imminently about to retire with company and personal pension plans. “Whatever the situation, it’s our job to develop a financial strategy to help each client achieve their own personal retirement goals. It’s all about helping people make the right decisions and assisting them to gain the maximum income possible from hard-earned savings. A totally unbiased and professional view “When it comes to investment advice and financial planning, we’re here to unravel and make sense of the myriad options available on the open market from basic high street deposit accounts to complex risk-based investments. “Whatever a client’s requirements, we will always start with a conversation about what and where that person sees themselves and what they’d like to achieve from wealth management. As such, we use an in-depth questionnaire with every client to find out more about them and their approach to risk. This then enables us to devise a bespoke structure or portfolio to ensure we can advise on the right solution for their circumstances. And that’s something that we formally review on an annual basis or whenever each client wishes. Many clients simply pop in to see us for a catchup if they’re passing, that’s how we operate, we’re always here to help and advise. Vision Portfolios exclusively from Jones & Co – outperforming the sector “In order to continue to provide our clients with an unrivalled level of service, in May 2019, I began work on creating a new range of investment portfolios. Our Vision Portfolios launched in June last year and delivered beyond my expectations in the first 12 months of going live, with our medium risk fund achieving positive growth results through a volatile market loss in February 2020 due to Covid-19*. “Not only have they outperformed the sector benchmarks for risk rated funds, they have outperformed the Rayner Spencer Mills (RSMR) Portfolios across all risk levels, which were the range of portfolios used previously**. This clearly demonstrated, at an early stage, the quality of the Vision Portfolios and I’m confident that they will only continue to succeed. What’s more, our investment committee boasts Chartered Wealth Manager, and previous Brewin Dolphin and Charles Stanley team member, Pauline Fernandes.” In ever safer hands “During these unprecedented times, we are focusing on providing all of our clients with independent financial advice remotely, whenever the need arises. We call this ‘remote working’ and it enables us to protect our team and our clients whilst providing the very best service we can, exactly as if we were meeting up in person. So, not only are our clients’ financial plans in even safer hands than ever before, so is everyone associated with Jones & Co.” Company: Jones & Co. Telephone: 01246 550521 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ifajonesandco.uk *Source: Financial Express Analytics report 09/07/2020 **Please note, past performance has no bearing on future returns. Nov20079 Voted Best Independent Financial Advisory Firm – Chesterfield in SME News’ Finance Awards 2020 was the icing on the cake for Jones & Co after a year of growth and continued success.
10 | Finance Awards 2020 feel it is necessary, which often helps bring clarity to my clients in terms of them really understanding their skills, strengths, wants and needs in a way they haven’t considered before. I don’t generally speak in terms of having a USP but, if asked, I would say it is the consultation process that I have developed. Clients often tell me the consultation provided equal value as the more tangible outcome of the new CV they received. I work with clients in almost every industry, including Finance, Banking, FinTech, Retail, Manufacturing, Service Industries and Construction. 2020 was undoubtedly a strange year for most businesses in one way or another, with some sectors hit particularly hard during the global pandemic. Through my work I gain invaluable business insight across a broad spectrum through the eyes of my clients; I have been surprised and delighted to hear of numerous success stories, with businesses not only surviving, but thriving. Approximately 95% of my Executive clients secured new roles last year, even throughout both lock-downs. I’m not pretending things aren’t tough, but I do see some really encouraging signs as we move forward in 2021. I always consider myself lucky to be doing a job that I absolutely love. This year I’m feeling even luckier as, not surprisingly, I have been busier than ever. As I look towards 2021, I’m expecting more of the same and I am truly thankful for that. Company: Phoenix True Potential Ltd. Contact: Judith Phoenix-Meese Mobile: 07939 351119 Telephone: 0115 946 2929 Website: www.phoenixtruepotential.co.uk LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ judithphoenixmeese-executivecvwriter Skype: judith.phoenix.meese Words by Judith Phoenix Meese of Phoenix True Potential Ltd. Through my business, Phoenix True Potential Ltd, I offer 3 core services – Executive CV Writing, LinkedIn Profile-Writing and Career & Transition Coaching. These can be taken-up by my clients as stand-alone services, but it is more typical for them to be combined. This is particularly true with CV Writing and Coaching which can be blended seamlessly and can collectively pack quite a punch! I have been running my business since 2005, including a rebrand along the way. While my services have evolved over the last 15 years, my values have remained the same. I’m someone with high integrity and a focus on delivering a quality service; but I don’t class these as my values as such. I consider my core value to be the intent to make a difference. I think this phrase can be somewhat over-used these days, but for me it is genuinely at the heart of my business and I believe it is the reason so much of my business is by referral and recommendation – because of the outcomes I deliver. Judith Phoenix-Meese: Best Executive CV Writer & Career Coach 2020 The vast majority of my clients are Senior Executives in SMEs and large Corporates. Although they all come to me in need of a CV which will position them appropriately for a particular role or change of career direction, the underlying reasons can vary enormously. In order for me to create a CV which truly reflects the value my client can bring to a company, this requires some very detailed questioning and exploration; my consultations are lengthy and involve a great deal more than simply discussing the nature of each role on the current CV. I challenge where I “I’m someone with high integrity and a focus on delivering a quality service; but I don’t class these as my values as such. I consider my core value to be the intent to make a difference.” Nov20093
11 | Finance Awards 2020 Workplace pensions are a key employee benefit, but UK businesses have struggled to get the best out of their investment, and often face challenges being sure they are fully compliant with the legislation. Husky has helped over 1,000 UK firms choose, set up and run a fully compliant workplace pension, with tools to drive engagement and ensure better outcomes for their employees. Since the introduction of the UK’s Automatic Enrolment (AE) legislation in 2012, Husky has been helping businesses choose, set up and run fully compliant workplace pensions. Building on a deep understanding of the legislation and working closely with The Pensions Regulator (TPR), Husky has developed a suite of tools and services to help firms get compliant and stay compliant. Many business owners may be concerned about the risk that their workplace pension isn’t compliant. But often it is the Regulator that brings compliance problems to light, with firms facing steep fines and escalating penalties for not getting things right. Husky has helped hundreds of businesses with such issues and has frequently been able to get fines reversed as part of our work bringing businesses into compliance. Workplace pensions aren’t just about compliance, though. An employer-sponsored pension scheme is a valuable workplace benefit, but employees are rarely aware of the value of this benefit. As part of its core service, Husky provides a mobile app for employees that demonstrates the savings they are receiving courtesy of their employer and the taxman and explains how to take advantage of savings opportunities. A valuable part of Husky’s product is a comprehensive Salary Exchange service. This enables employers to offer Salary Exchange (also known as Salary Sacrifice) to their employees without the overheads that are typically involved (for example, engaging an Independent Financial Adviser). The product takes care of all the necessary calculations for payroll and provides all the supporting documentation, including frequently asked questions, scheme rules and side letters, allowing staff to be enrolled in a few clicks. When it comes to selecting a workplace pension, employers are often in the dark, and many default Best Workplace Pension Compliance Solution 2020 to the government-supported NEST scheme. NEST is a sound choice for some employers but may be less suitable for others, depending on the size of the firm and the profile of employee salaries. Husky provides a guided scheme selection tool that helps firms to find a scheme that is suited to their needs and the needs of their staff. Husky then sets up the scheme on behalf of the business and liaises with payroll to enable contributions flow correctly. Once the scheme is in place, Husky’s real-time assessment engine ensures that all staff are correctly enrolled and that they receive the right level of pension contributions. Individuals are increasingly interested in how their money is being invested, so Husky now provides responsible investment scores for their pension, showing how it stacks up against other pension schemes in the marketplace. The Husky mobile app is also independent of employer, so employees can take their workplace pension data with them when they change employer. Husky takes the guesswork out of workplace pensions. Using Husky, business owners can be sure they’ve made a good choice of pension for their staff and can relax knowing it is being operated and administered in an efficient and compliant way. With the Husky mobile app, employees can learn about their workplace pension and can take advantage of Salary Exchange, getting more in their take-home and potentially more in the long run. Company: Husky Contact: Kay Burnett Telephone: +44 (0)207 582 7875 Website: https://huskyfinance.com/employers Nov20639
12 | Finance Awards 2020 Sector-agnostic, Tatton works across a wide range of technologies. From sensors in Formula 1, to packaging made out of seaweed. Advanced manufacturing technologies to drone-based crop disease detection. Tatton has secured funding for over 250 UK SMEs, helping them to innovate and grow. Tatton is also now recognised as the official Grant Partner to a number of high-profile technology incubators, venture funds and growth initiatives across the UK. All in all, it’s no surprise that Tatton Consulting continues to be such a tremendous success. The team’s hard work and passion for the ever-changing arena of grants really shines through and sets an example for other companies to follow. We’re sure that Tatton’s client-focused approach will only continue to serve as a competitive advantage in the years to come. Contact: Mark Clayton, Lewis Needham, Martin Solly Company: Tatton Consulting Ltd Website: www.ukgrantfunding.co.uk Email: Funding@tattonconsulting.co.uk Despite the challenges businesses faced in 2020, Tatton Consulting continues to lead the way in the world of grants and funding. Passionately supporting SMEs to innovate and develop new technologies, Tatton has won over £45 million in grants for a wide range of clients. The team is growing and turnover has doubled - Tatton is a company right at the top of its game in 2021. Formed in June 2014, Tatton Consulting quickly established itself as one of the leading experts in UK and EU grant funding. With an everburgeoning base of high-profile clients and innovative technologies funded over the past 15 years, it now sits firmly at the top of the industry. Tatton has become the go-to consultancy in the UK for grant funding. Tatton is able to combine its many years of experience with a fresh outlook on the industry. The team has a strong belief in doing things differently to its competitors. A unique, relationships-first approach For example, rather than focussing on one-off applications or quick wins, Tatton’s emphasis lies on building long and trusted relationships with its clients. A highly-effective approach beneficial to all involved in the application process, with proven success. By really getting to know and understand their clients, Tatton can look across a company’s entire project pipeline. This allows them to spot opportunities others can’t, using this knowledge to create a timetable of funding applications. An approach that gives their clients the best chances of success. Another benefit of their deep client relationships, Tatton’s process is both transparent and straightforward. The focus is on ensuring every step is clear, the client’s input is optimised and the overall pathway to grant funding is easy to follow. Ultimately, it’s this tried and tested procedure that has enabled Tatton to win over £45 million in equity-free, interest-free and repayment-free funding for its clients. Unrivalled insight, experience & expertise The company has an expert team of grant writers with over 30 years’ experience – each within distinct specialist fields. These specialisms include Advanced Manufacturing, Sustainability and LowCarbon Technologies and Medical Devices and Digital Health, to name just a few. Best Grant Consultancy Firm 2020 Industry knowledge is vital within the grant writing team to help bring to the fore what assessors are really looking for in a grant application. A successful project needs to be innovative in its nature with outputs that demonstrate a strong wider benefit beyond the company itself. A good grant application is therefore part-technical document and part-storytelling. Grants are extremely competitive, so getting this delicate balance right is key to winning applications. Tatton’s writers are adept at crafting this perfectly balanced narrative, as demonstrated by the company’s enduring success. The recipe for funding success Each application can take up to 200 hours to produce and clients need to make sure they’re eligible to apply, which includes having the resources to part-fund the projects themselves. Tatton provides a free eligibility check service to ensure a project is suitable before either party spends too long on an application. Again, Tatton’s experience and expertise are vital in assessing eligibility and – of course – potential for success. As to be expected when dealing with taxpayer’s money, the process of winning funding is both complex and comprehensive. Applications are time-consuming and competitive. All the more reason, then, to work with an expert. And it’s fair to say Tatton is right up there with the very best. Offering flexible services and pricing to suit each client’s needs, Tatton has a success rate 6x higher than the UK average across all funding schemes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better grants partner to work with. Refreshingly reassuring What’s more, Tatton is the only grants consultancy to offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ guarantee. This means after 12 months, if Tatton hasn’t won its client any funding, they’ll fully refund any fees paid. This confidence in their service – and peace of mind for their clients – is one of the key reasons Tatton has won this award. Oct20816
13 | Finance Awards 2020 Based in London, Chapelle Consulting is a team of experienced and passionate risk specialists dedicated to providing its clients with the best advisory, training and insights in operational risk and enterprise risk management. Following the firm’s well-deserved success in the UK Finance Awards 2020, we got in touch with Ariane Chapelle to find out more. Established in 2006, Chapelle Consulting aims to simplify risk management by focusing on its value for the decisionmakers and their organisations’ priorities. Going into further detail, Ariane begins by providing us with a brief overview of the firm and offers more insight into its clientele. “At Chapelle Consulting, our mission is to make risk management effective, valuable and accessible to all. Together, we aim to diffuse good knowledge and best practices in risk management for the benefits of all sectors, both profit and non-profit. Typically, we serve a wide range of clients across the financial services industry, international institutions, UN agencies, as well as the energy and healthcare industries. Financial clients include top tier international banks, insurance companies, national and local banks, and asset managers. Institutional clients include the IMF, the World Bank, the UNHCR, national regulators and central banks.” Specialising in risk management brings plenty of competition to the table for Chapelle Consulting. However, thanks to its values and training capabilities, the firm has been able to differentiate itself from the rest and rise to the forefront of the industry. “At Chapelle Consulting, we cater and adapt to our clients’ needs through total flexibility, while ensuring our advice is of exceptional quality and our pricing fair”, Ariane explains. “As a firm and an employer, the “Chapelle spirit” of honesty, kindness, hard work, entrepreneurship, and fun has allowed us to develop the business and exceed our clients’ expectations. By combining our operational risk and enterprise risk management expertise, we deliver top-class executive training courses, consulting services, and coaching programmes. The audience of our tailored training programmes ranges from the board of directors to staff at all levels, including risk specialists, auditors, and supervisors.” Best Risk Management Advisory & Training Firm - Europe Ariane further points out that it is essential to recruit individuals who possess similar values to Chapelle Consulting. “Working relationships here are solid, and although our small team is currently growing very quickly, nobody joins the firm without the approval of others. Each team member is absolutely critical to the success of the business, so naturally, when it comes to hiring, we look for people who can bring the hard work, business ethics and subject matter expertise we value with them.” Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the firm has still managed to prosper during these difficult and uncertain times. “With risk management often being countercyclical, 2020 was even busier than other years for Chapelle. Undeterred by periods of lockdown and travel restrictions, we were able to boost the digitalisation of our training, building a new website, and develop live online training and webinar series. We applied to ourselves what we recommend to our clients and exploited the opportunities brought by challenging times.” When discussing its impact on the industry, Ariane highlights how the pandemic showcased the importance of risk management. “In risk management practice, the pandemic has re-emphasised the importance of scenario analysis and the assessment of interconnections between risks, stress-testing, and the necessity to identify early trends and emerging risks. The financial industry has demonstrated exceptional resilience in the wake of COVID-19 and should be praised for that. Much is, however, still to be strengthened at all levels, and learnings from the past year should be built upon to fully utilise opportunities while continuing to mitigate key risks.” Bringing the interview to a close, Ariane signs off by sharing her thoughts with us on Chapelle Consulting being awarded Best Risk Management Advisory & Training Firm – Europe before revealing some of the exciting plans the firm has in store for 2021 and beyond. “We are very grateful to SME News for this award. Looking back at our achievements so far and ahead at another year of expansion in 2021, receiving this wonderful recognition feels extremely rewarding. Moving forward, we plan to continue putting our values and expertise at the forefront of our service provision to support our clients’ needs as they navigate emerging risks and opportunities. More outreach is in the pipeline by furthering our service provision in more specific areas such as climate risks and operational resilience, a new certification programme in operational risk management, developing coaching and peer benchmarking services to keep catering to stakeholders’ needs across sectors. Feel free to reach out to us via our website to know more!” Company: Chapelle Consulting Contact: Ariane Chapelle Email: email@example.com Website: www.chapelleconsulting.com Nov20493
14 | Finance Awards 2020 much easier to identify those candidates who are passionate and make excellent colleagues by meeting them face-to-face, rather than through a meticulously crafted CV. The individuals at Tax Spot are what makes the firm successful, thus the strength and cooperation of its team is crucial. Whilst other accountants and bookkeepers have reported a broad spectrum of impacts of the ongoing pandemic for themselves and their clients, Tax Spot is seeing its own clients thriving, benefiting from greater income and growing their own businesses. As a result, Tax Spot has not had a late payment since the start of the lockdowns in March, where previously it had expected around 15% of its payments each month to be made late. For Valentina and her team, it is a sign of the appreciation of Tax Spot clients for their determined work over the past seven years and the added-value the firm has provided in the last few months in the form of free support videos released by Tax Spot throughout the pandemic. The priority for Tax Spot has been remaining a trusted partner to its network of clients, staying in close communication with regular updates to remind them of their reliable presence, even in unprecedented times such as these. With clients placing greater importance on saving money in 2021 than ever before, Tax Spot is expanding its resources to support these goals. The firm is launching its online school with downloadable electronic products on everything from how to do bookkeeping for oneself, VAT returns, Tax Returns and more. These resources were made available at the beginning of the year as part of Tax Spot’s continued ambition to help its clients achieve financial and, more importantly, personal success. Company: Tax Spot Group Contact: Valentina White Website: www.taxspot.co.uk Tax Spot Group is a London-based accounting and bookkeeping company that seeks to change the way its clients manage and think about their money. Offering a wide range of services delivered effectively and efficiently, Tax Spot is able to help individuals and businesses optimise their taxes so that they can focus on the bigger picture of their personal or business development. Tax Adviser Valentina White tells us more. Based in two offices across West London, Tax Spot Group is an accountancy and bookkeeping firm that specialises in business solutions pertaining to the optimisation of business and personal taxes and HMRC penalty appeals, for which the firm has a staggering success rate of 98%. In seven years, Tax Spot has assisted more than 2000 clients with company formations, accounting and bookkeeping services, and tax advice and litigations, offering companies, individuals, contractors and self-employed professionals a one-stop service for all their tax and financial needs. However, Tax Advisor Valentina White seeks to go even further in supporting her clients: “We are unique in consulting clients on money management on a more profound level, which empowers the growth and development of clients’ mindsets and their businesses. We connect money to spirituality as well as materialism.” For Valentina and the team at Tax Spot, success is not found in blindly chasing wealth for survival, as the results are often exhaustion and stress instead. People should instead pursue the things they love and do the things they are passionate about, measuring their success not by the millions they have earnt throughout their life but by the way they live their lives and the relationships they establish with the people around them. For Tax Spot, the path to success is not defined by society’s template, but by learning and growing. That is how we can achieve personal and financial success. Tax Spot seeks to guide its clients along their chosen paths by providing its wide selection of services all under one roof, delivering excellence in its solutions to optimise company and personal taxes and guaranteeing strict quality control over Best Accounting & Tax Advisory Service - West London all services. Clients come to Tax Spot to find accountants and bookkeepers they can rely on to communicate with transparency and honesty. Whilst many accountants often miss out details or do not explain their processes fully, Tax Spot provides honest and full responses no matter the situation or complexity of an issue. Moreover, the Tax Spot team can guarantee success in HMRC penalty appeals, delivering positive outcomes safely and efficiently. It is no wonder that Tax Spot has accrued such a broad and loyal client base in just over five years. To maintain the culture of openness and excellence that Tax Spot has become synonymous with, the firm has built a team of individuals who share a desire for self-realisation and growth, and who are open, conscious, and content with their wellbeing and life. Tax Spot does not recruit based on CVs, finding that it is Oct20735
15 | Finance Awards 2020 Founded in 2018, Quantum R&D Tax Ltd is an independent research and development tax consultancy operating across the UK. Following its well-deserved success in the UK Finance Awards 2020, we got in touch with Co-Owner Katherine Baines to find out more. Based in Worcestershire, Quantum R&D Tax Ltd are one of the very few R&D specialist organisations to be regulated by the ACCA. With a team of experts in R&D tax relief and a wealth of knowledge and understanding of multiple sectors, the firm are well placed to maximise its clients R&D tax credit claims. Going into further detail, Katherine begins by outlining the services provided by the firm and the type of clients that turn to Quantum R&D Tax for their award-winning services. “As a research and development tax consultancy we help SME’s claim R&D tax credits back from HMRC on their qualifying research and development expenditure. R&D tax credits reward and encourage scientific or technological advancements and improvements, by supporting companies that work on innovation projects, helping them reinvest in further innovation and growth.” “Together, our mission is to help educate potential clients on what constitutes as eligible R&D and the criteria they need to meet to make a successful claim, and then work with their finance team and/or accountant to file the claim with HMRC, so there is no stress or hassle for the client. As part of the claim process, we conduct a technical interview with the client to capture the details of the R&D projects they have done throughout the year, and then help them identify the corresponding expenditure to produce a finance report that outlines the claim, that we submit to HMRC on their behalf. Although Quantum R&D Tax helps any eligible businesses to claim R&D Tax credits, there are five sectors that we typically concentrate on, these being sustainable business, digital technology, engineering and manufacturing, food and drink, and construction.” Despite its size, the firm is able to compete with some of the bigger players in their industry due to the efficient manner in which the team works. “Quantum R&D Tax is different from its competitors as we are a small team” Katherine highlights. “With Michael Newnham overseeing technical SME Tax Practice of the Year 2020 reporting and myself overseeing the financial report, clients deal directly with us rather than dealing with a different member of staff each time they contact us. This way, we have been able to build strong client relationships from the beginning. Naturally, we pride ourselves in the reports we prepare to submit to HMRC, and if a claim were to ever have an enquiry open on it, then we would defend the claim for no additional fee. Registered and regulated by ACCA, clients know they are in safe hands particularly as not all R&D tax companies have professional registrations.” Working in the tax consultancy sector can be quite challenging, and as Katherine goes on to explain, it often requires people with a particular set of skills. “As mentioned previously we pride ourselves on the reporting for claims, which is why when we look to hire people we identify candidates who are experts with attention to detail.” The outbreak of COVID-19 has further emphasised the importance of businesses (who are eligible to do so) claiming R&D tax credits. With many SME’s struggling with this in the current climate, Quantum R&D Tax Ltd are here to support its clients, as Katherine points out. “Only 55% of businesses eligible to claim R&D tax credits are doing so and we are here to make the process simple and easy for any clients wishing to claim.” Looking ahead to what the future holds for the firm, Katherine signs off by revealing the goals that the team at Quantum R&D Tax hope to achieve in the years to come. “Over the coming years, Quantum R&D Tax will continue to grow organically from our network of contacts and existing clients, and because we are members of B1G1.com as we grow others will benefit too, as we give a donation supporting one of the UN’s Global Goals on successful completion of every claim completed.” Company: Quantum R&D Tax Ltd Contact: Katherine Baines Website: www.quantumtax.co.uk Nov20410www.sme-news.co.uk