Recruiting a firm of chartered accountants to enhance and support your businessBack in 2009, when two young entrepreneurs set out to build a highly specialised, multinational recruitment business in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, they turned to Lansdell & Rose to help develop the platform and resources needed to achieve their ambitious growth plans. Wynden Stark now trades internationally from offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Sydney and Hong Kong, with further launches planned for their next phase of expansion.As a specialist search advisory and talent acquisition firm working in the banking and finance, commodities and energy, and information technology sectors, WSL operates “at the leading-edge of human capital where talent is most highly valued and innovation most highly sought”.Directors Steven Talbot and Hugo Sugden are highly appreciative of the support they have received from Lansdell & Rose and consider this guidance to be a fundamental component of their commercial success. They’ve been working with the firm of chartered accountants for the past five years after a recommendation from specialist IT, pharma and energy recruiters Lawrence Harvey Group.Lansdell & Rose met Wynden Stark through Tom Glanfield, the chairman of an existing client who is very well-known in the recruitment industry,” says Lansdell & Rose Managing Partner, Michael Lansdell. “The team at Lansdell & Rose helped to extract them from a previous business partnership by introducing them to a very good commercial lawyer and have been working with them ever since.”
Getting the structure of the business right from the beginning is absolutely vital, according to Michael. Restructuring the business as a holding company with the potential to have local subsidiaries was one element of the Wynden Stark solution, as was getting the Articles of Association correct, so that they were more along the lines of what the directors wanted to achieve.In the early stages of their relationship with Steven and Hugo, the team at Lansdell & Rose were engaged in providing plenty of commercial advice, including assisting in the preparation of much of the supporting documentation needed to run an international recruitment business. This involved being part of the professional team helping to define the organisation’s “terms of business” and setting up employment contracts for staff (via an employment lawyer).Wynden Stark had an extremely successful first year under its new structure and then began to recruit more staff as the firm expanded. This meant that the two principals had to switch their attention to teaching, training and developing other people to sign up more candidates and clients, while seeing the deals through to conclusion. In short, Steven and Hugo had to become managers and address themselves to all the concerns of running a fast-expanding business.So, as the company thrived and Wynden Stark’s headcount grew, Lansdell & Rose introduced the pair to a specialist bureau to handle the day-to-day administration of the company’s payroll. Then, when it came time to for Wynden Stark to expand across the Atlantic, the team drew on Lansdell & Rose’s impressive contacts base to put his clients in contact with a US immigration law firm.
Most importantly, Lansdell & Rose were able to transform Wynden Stark’s relationship with its bankers, by ensuring that the company was properly serviced by the “right echelon within RBS”.“We brought them two things: experience and introductions to a network of advisers,” Michael declares.Lansdell & Rose have also been able to support Wynden’s founders in other more subtle ways, not least by acting as a “stabiliser” in their commercial expansion. “They’re entrepreneurial risk-takers,” explains Michael. “Where appropriate, we leaned on our experience to help to introduce a note of level-headedness.” Steven echoes this sentiment, adding: “Lansdell and Rose provided much-appreciated ‘adult supervision’, acting as an informed advisor and providing an enhanced layer of business acumen.”Today, Lansdell & Rose work at the centre of Wynden Stark’s financial network spanning four continents. The accountants keep the recruitment operation’s directors on top of all the important financial information by producing standard management accounts across all subsidiaries, monitoring KPIs (key performance indicators) and optimising the corporation tax position.At the same time, they have reduced the administrative cost burden by automating much of the bookkeeping and maximising the use of cloud-based systems, while using local financial specialists in each operating country to file the necessary returns. This arrangement works well, and has enabled Wynden Stark to be as efficient as possible while also benefitting from local financial expertise.“We have been able to do this relatively easily thanks to our technical knowhow,” Michael suggests.Hugo supports this view, adding: “Lansdell & Rose is an obligatory requirement for all businesses seeking ‘more than just an accountant’. Not only have they managed our accounts flawlessly since inception, they have also provided us with an infrastructure that has helped us grow to the size of the company we are today without restraint. The response times and support from all the team have been first class and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough.