The 2021 version of North West Business Insider’s SME 300, ranks the 300 most successful mid-sized companies in the North West.
Leonard Curtis is featured in the table at number 1.
Daniel Booth, CEO, talks about the Group’s successes and ambition.
“With over 240 employees working across its 19 offices in the UK and the Channel Islands, the Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group is the largest privately owned professional services provider of corporate restructuring and insolvency in the UK and in the last financial year generated revenues of £25m.
“The business was founded in 1995 and offers a range of financial solutions to SMEs and business owners, including rescue and recovery, legal services via LC Legal and finance raising via Reach Commercial Finance.
“We are also parent to Lifecycle, a unique free to join national network of over 1,500 member firms of accountants, offering access to our full range of expertise to support best practice and strengthen connections.
Exciting new partnerships
“Following a private £15m investment in August 2021 by North-West based multi-family investment office, Arete, in partnership with Svella, a number of new opportunities for growth are now on the table for us.
“The deal, which valued the business at £40m, sets out a clear vision for the future of the Group using the capital partners’ experience in building professional services businesses, leveraging the company’s existing capabilities and bolting on incremental specialist services for the group’s SME client base.
Proud of our people in a challenging year
“I am very proud of the commitment, dedication and development of our people in a difficult and challenging year. Our team is our greatest asset and without them the growth achieved to date in the business would not have been possible.
“We are now based in 19 towns and cities, clustered to provide strength in depth across UK regions and recognising the diversity within those communities. So we are in places like London as you would expect, but also Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, we are in Birmingham but also Worcester, Wolverhampton and Barlborough in Chesterfield. We are in the major cities of Cardiff and Glasgow to serve Welsh and Scottish interests and we also have a specialist off-shore team in Guernsey.
The greatest growth opportunities
“There will always be a focus on corporate restructuring work – looking at rescue and recovery whenever we can – and we will continue to progress towards UK market leadership in this area. We do expect a surge in demand for these services in the coming months.
“We are developing a specialist financial services team this year which will support bids for Special Administrations and securing larger briefs from bigger organisations on a national basis, some of which will be led by our London-based team, headed up by the experienced IP Alex Cadwallader, our newest board member.
“However, the fastest growing side of our business is in positive, non-insolvency solutions. Reach Commercial Finance and LC Legal have turned in record performances in the last 12 months and will represent an increasing percentage of our turnover. This will provide more variety of work and allow us to capitalise on a dynamic asset-based lending market and increasing interest in buying financial and legal services from one credible brand.
“I see us also investing in young people, expanding our Graduate Programme and providing more Apprenticeship opportunities.
Top challenge for 2022
“Sticking to our values as we continue to grow. Everything we have done since day one has been based on the same set of values which determine how we behave and what we believe in. So we encourage our teams to act in five consistent ways: Be nice to people, it feels good – you don’t have to be ruthless to be successful. Be inspired, it can really help others. Be considerate, people are not always in a great place. Be honest, it’s who we are. Be fair, because everything needs balance. We look for positive outcomes in every negative situation.
“I think the fact that Leonard Curtis is a business too and we deal with all the same challenges, pressures and risks, has helped us understand what people are going through when they are facing an administration or other business issues. We don’t judge, just provide practical, straight-talking advice at times of crisis and need. There is nothing we have not seen in 25 years and while, hopefully, this is the only time a business owner is going through an administration or trying to recover from a pandemic, for us it’s our routine, our everyday. That helps bring perspective. Our rescue and recovery business is often described as walking a tightrope, there are so many competing interests to manage. That’s when our values come into their own and it is hugely satisfying when you arrive at a positive outcome.
We want to extend services
We will work with our capital partners as part of a vision to extend our service capabilities, either organically or via acquisition, and continue to build a national profile. This will focus on strengthening our reputation UK-wide for breadth of service offer and quality of our people and showcase the real relationships we enjoy with our referrer audiences – both at grassroots, nationally and internationally – who help us problem solve for SMEs and business owners at all stages of their business lifecycle.”
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