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Old Mill announces plans to become fastest growing practice in West Country targeting 15% growth pa under ambitious five-year plan

  • Old Mill moves from LLP structure to Ltd to facilitate organic growth and carefully chosen acquisitions
  • Five-year plan targets ambitious growth of 15% per year
  • Old Mill aims to become fastest growing practice in West Country and attract talent from across the region

Accountancy and wealth management firm Old Mill has announced an ambitious five-year growth plan that puts it on course to become the fastest growing professional practice in the West Country.

Under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Kevin Whitmarsh (pictured) and a new Ltd structure which brings all aspects of the business together into one multi-service advisory firm, Old Mill is targeting growth of 15% pa for the next five years with the aim of doubling the size of the business by 2026.

Old Mill – which has offices in Chippenham, Exeter, Wells and Yeovil – will be looking to increase staff numbers from 320 to more than 600 in order to facilitate its plans, which will be achieved through a mixture of organic growth and carefully chosen acquisitions.

Joining Whitmarsh on the senior leadership team is current MD Ian Carlson, who becomes CFO; the firm will also return to a partner structure, initially with 16, but with plans to promote others to that level. External leadership and management support will come through the appointment of a new chairman and two non-executive directors.

Whitmarsh, who has been an integral part of the business for 26 years, says the new structure creates a much simpler business model and fast-growing environment, enabling Old Mill to hit its ambitious growth targets, but stresses that any acquisitions will be carefully chosen to ensure they are a good cultural fit. 

Kevin Whitmarsh, CEO said: “The new structure enables us to put a strong emphasis on income growth which will be fuelled by high quality client service and aggressive recruitment in the marketplace. 

“It is, in effect, a return to a much simpler business model, with a reduction in the range of internal strategies and business initiatives, enabling us to offer fantastic career development opportunities and greater financial rewards for those who help deliver the growth. The new structure will also make it easier to introduce new shareholders, both via internal promotions and through external appointments.” 

The majority of the growth will be organic – through client wins and securing more work from current clients – but Old Mill will also be looking at making acquisitions, as Whitmarsh explains:

“Our acquisition strategy will be very carefully managed, as we are certainly not looking to become a consolidator. We are a fun, modern and interesting place to work, with a real feeling of family, but we are also ambitious.

“We will be looking for businesses that share this culture, who are wanting to sell either because they want to retire and find a good home for their business, or because they are ambitious like us, and are looking to offer an improved proposition for their clients by being able to offer a wider range of solutions all under one roof and better opportunities for their staff.” 

Old Mill currently has four quite distinct service lines – rural, tax, wealth management and commercial – but there is a huge amount of overlap and under the new structure, the firm will be looking to take a much more collaborative approach. Clients will have one main point of contact but enjoy the expertise from across the business, which will not only provide them with a better service but offer greater business development opportunities for staff.

Staff at Old Mill already receive a wide range of benefits, including a bonus scheme, an extra day’s holiday for their birthday and cash valued WOW points for doing good things. The firm also has a flexible working policy, which means all staff can choose whether they work permanently from home, are fully office based, or a mixture of the two.

Whitmarsh concludes “We know that excellent client service can only be achieved if you have great people within the business. To attract and retain great people, we need to ensure we are offering them the chance to feel a part of something they value and care about, let them work in a way that allows them to achieve a healthy work/life balance, while also ensuring we reward them for working hard.

“Our new structure enables staff to progress more quickly, but also ensures we stay true to our people-centric approach, meaning our staff will feel happy, motivated and rewarded for the part they play in this exciting and ambitious journey.”

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