Monthly Archives: August 2014

PM+M team – New Arrivals & Leavers

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of comings and goings at PM+M. There have been several new arrivals whilst we have also said a fond farewell to a couple of our longest serving team members.

The Marketing team has been boosted with the arrival of Faye Hughes as Marketing and Business Development manager and Daniel Hill as Marketing and Sales Assistant. Tim Farragher’s appointment as a Paraplanner has bolstered our Wealth Management offering and the Tax team has been strengthened with the addition of Laura Fort as a trainee.

Also, Kirsty Wright has recently taken up the position of Office Manager; her role will be quite wide ranging and will encompass managing our HR, reception and secretarial functions.

What’s more, in September the Run My Business team will be augmented with the appointment of Luke Irving as Accounts Trainee and Lorna Hargreaves as Accounts Assistant.

These new arrivals emphasise our commitment to developing the firm across the board and form a key part of our ambitious growth plans.

However, whilst we are delighted to be welcoming talented new people to the firm it is with a heavy heart that we have recently said goodbye to two of our longest serving team members. Between them Barbara Porter and Lorraine Cade have provided PM+M with almost 80 years of service and shortly before they left we asked them a few questions about their (considerable) time at PM+M, here’s what they had to say…

PMM_10.7.14-3403How long have you been with PM+M?

BP – 40 years and 8 months.

LC – When I leave it will be 39 years one month and 19 and a half days.

What made you stay so long?

BP – I liked the idea of working for the best firm of accountants in the area, also the clients and mix of work I have had the opportunity to work with and on.

LC – Family commitments and locality as well as the great team.

One thing you’ll miss?Lorraine Cade

BP – The people and feeling that that I may have made a contribution, however small in helping a client.

LC – The obvious answer would be the camaraderie. I’ve met a lot of people, at PM+M, over the years and regrettably many of them I have forgotten. However, there are quite a few who I am still in contact with and hopefully this will continue in the coming years.

One thing you’re looking forward to?

BP – Not getting up so early.

LC – Having the time to pursue ventures I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.

How will you be spending your time?

BP - Relaxing, reading, painting, cooking and walking.

LC – I plan to start playing the piano again. Also, I’ve been a member of the WI for many years and now I hope to take a more active role in the coming years. Finally, having two grandchildren will obviously take up quite a bit of my time as well.

Lorraine and Barbara have both played a huge role in making PM+M what it is today and we would like to wish them both a long and very happy retirement. They most certainly deserve it!

Jane Parry – HR Partner

Taking on the London to Paris Cycle Challenge

Btei9xnIMAAtgrjWhen I was presented with the opportunity to take part in the London to Paris Cycle Challenge, last month, to raise money for Blackburn Youth Zone I didn’t have to think twice!

Cycling is my sport nowadays and it was great fun combining something I love with raising money to support such a worthwhile enterprise. PM+M have been Youth Zone patrons since the early days and we are always impressed by the achievements of the young people involved in the project.

Alongside me in supporting the Youth Zone were Jamie Allison and Richard Robinson from Napthens. We were joined by a group of around 75 people, ranging in cycling ability from beginner to advanced, all raising money for worthwhile causes.

Day 1: Croydon – Portsmouth

An early start at the Hilton Croydon for the 80 odd miles to Portsmouth. After an introduction and a few photos we set out. Although the regularly scheduled stops and drinks breaks took some getting used to, once we got going, the pleasant weather and rolling countryside made for an auspicious start to the trip.

Day 2: Le Havre – Rouen

The following morning there were a few bleary eyes as we set out, bright and early, at 4:30am. We caught the 7:00am ferry to Le Havre and upon ‘arrivée en France’ hit the road. We were greeted with wonderful weather combined with spectacular French countryside, the result of which was a thoroughly enjoyable ride and the 70 miles to Rouen flew by. That night, by way of reward for the day’s efforts, we took the opportunity to explore the town and sample a few of the local wines and ales.

Day 3: Rouen – Vernon

The shortest day of the trip. I opted for an early start and went ahead of the group. By lunch I had completed the 60 miles to Vernon giving me the chance to catch up with some family living in the area.

Day 4: Vernon – Paris

The final leg of the journey, Vernon to Paris, was kind to us with very flat, smooth roads and despite the traffic we kept a quick pace. As we closed in on Paris we regrouped and the 75-strong team cycled into the city, around the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Élysées and finished at the Eiffel Tower. That night, after dinner and speeches at the hotel, we celebrated the end of our trip with a lively night out in the French capital.

The following day we were lucky enough to witness the conclusion of the ‘real’ Tour de France as they replicated our own arrival in Paris 24 hours earlier.

To date, we have raised over £3000 for the Youth Zone and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored us! Check out the slideshow below for a few more pictures of our trip. And, to find out more about Blackburn Youth Zone click here.

Tony Brierley – Managing Director of PM+M Wealth Management

A very proud PM+M team achieve Gold Investors in People status

Capture

We recently received the feedback from our Investors in People assessment and I am absolutely delighted to announce that we are being upgraded from silver to gold status.

To achieve gold recognition, businesses not only have to meet the standard 39 evidence requirements but also an additional 126 criteria.

Only around 3% of IIP accredited businesses are awarded this highest accolade and I am immensely proud that we can now count ourselves amongst them.

The assessor noted that the change from the traditional accountancy firm that he first met 6 years ago was amazing. I am delighted at this recognition of the commitment to development and growth we have made over the past few years and continue to embrace and am hugely proud of all of our team.

I believe our success is in part thanks to our focus on culture which is underpinned by our key values of quality, achievement and fun. It is this clearly defined clarity of vision, shared by all our people, that enables us to provide the client service that we do. The reason we are able to execute our plan effectively is because the whole of our team contributes to setting out our goals and vision. Annual Whole Firm Meetings and regular departmental updates mean we are all aware of the direction in which we are heading and are striving to achieve targets we have all played a part in identifying.

Along with the vision we set the firm as a whole, we also encourage our team to set personal objectives. We challenge our people to be the best that they can be. We support and encourage our team throughout their professional qualifications and beyond, offering regular performance reviews alongside an annual personal development plan to ensure that potential does not go unfulfilled.

I firmly believe that the happiness and motivation of the team is vital to the success of any organisation and to the quality of service provided to our clients. The importance of creating an upbeat working atmosphere can’t be underestimated. I’m certain the infectious enthusiasm generated by the team each and every day provides the impetus by which we maintain our gold standard.

I’d love to hear your feedback on how you think we can improve further still. Leave a comment at the bottom of the page, call me on 01254 679131 or email jane.parry@pmm.co.uk.

Jane Parry – HR partner

PM+M appoints Tim Mills to it’s Corporate Finance Team

tim mills

PM+M has strengthened its Corporate Finance team following the appointment of Tim Mills as a partner.

Tim has worked in the lead advisory arena for 13 years and has joined Blackburn headquartered PM+M from Pierce Corporate Finance where he was an associate director. He has also previously worked at Garbutt & Elliott. His new role will see him advising owner-managed companies on transactional and strategic matters including debt and private equity fund raising, mergers, acquisitions, disposals and due diligence. He will also be advising management teams on MBO’s and MBI’s and he will work closely with family businesses to resolve succession issues.

David Gorton, head of Corporate Services, said; “Tim’s appointment reinforces our corporate finance offering and emphasises our commitment to delivering a comprehensive partner-led service. His joining is a key part of the firm’s future planning and strengthens our position as one of the leading accountancy and corporate finance adviser practices in the North West.”

Whilst Stephen Anderson, Managing Partner, added “Tim’s arrival is fantastic news. As a business, we are in an enviable position as we continually attract talented and experienced people who directly benefit our clients. At present, we are seeing an increase in the number of clients who require dynamic business advisors rather than just a compliance service. Tim – alongside the rest of our experienced – is well placed to deliver on that expectation.”

Tim said of his new role; “PM+M has been on my radar for some considerable time thanks to it’s excellent reputation, both within the wider business and professional communities. My focus is now on adding value to our clients and contacts and assisting with the continued growth of the firm.”

Pension Reform: Huge changes to retirement benefits

July saw the Finance Bill 2014, proposed in the Spring Budget, come into effect. This bill introduced major changes to how retirement benefits can be taken from your pension. The biggest change was the proposal to allow individuals aged 55 or above to take the whole of their pension pot as a cash lump sum from April 2015.

The way we take our pensions has been evolving for a number of years. The option to take 25% of the fund as a tax free cash lump sum has been with us for some time and it hasn’t changed. Commonly, those without a final salary pension would use the rest of their accumulated pension pot to make the one-off purchase of an annuity – an annual retirement income that is paid to them for the rest of their life.

However, falling annuity rates and the increased desire to phase retirement saw the introduction of income drawdown whereby you could draw your income directly from your pension fund, deferring a decision on annuity. Whilst this arrangement worked well for many, income available under drawdown remained restricted. Under the new rules, these income restrictions will go and you now have the choice of how much you wish to take. After you have taken the 25% tax free cash you will be able to access all the balance of the fund but it will be taxed at normal income tax rates. You can also elect to take just the tax free lump sum and draw no income – perhaps using the lump sum to pay down a mortgage or to meet children’s university fees.

Of course, such decisions are dependent on individual circumstance therefore we recommend that you seek professional advice before deciding on such a course of action. After all, a pension is designed to give you an income in retirement – stripping the fund prematurely may have repercussions for your lifestyle later on! If you’re looking to develop a retirement plan, it is likely you will need guidance as to what represents the best path.

Even at their current levels, annuities do provide a certainty of income and may still be your best option. However, you must be aware of the rates on offer;

  • You may qualify for an enhanced annuity if you have a condition that affects your life expectancy.
  • Perhaps you possess a policy that contains a valuable guaranteed annuity rate?

Similarly, drawdown may be more appropriate for your situation. However;

  • You may need to change your pension plan as many older contracts will not offer drawdown as an option.
  • What may have been the best available pension vehicle when you set it up is unlikely to be the best option for you going forward. It could be time for a review.

Whatever your circumstances, we can help. If you have any questions about these new changes to pension benefits contact the Wealth Management team on 01254 679138.

Richard Hesketh – PM+M Wealth Management

During 2014-15 PM+M will be running a number of important FREE seminars aimed at helping people plan their financial futures and achieve peace of mind.  Click here to find out more and book your place.