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Advice firm plans to double in size by 2026

Advice firm plans to double in size by 2026
 Kevin Whitmarsh, chief executive of Old Mill

Accountancy and wealth management firm Old Mill has announced plans to become the fastest growing professional practice in the West Country, targeting 15 per cent annual growth.

It explained that under the leadership of newly appointed chief executive Kevin Whitmarsh and with a new limited company structure, Old Mill is targeting growth of 15 per cent a year for the next five years with the aim of doubling in size by 2026.

The firm, which has offices in Chippenham, Exeter, Wells and Yeovil, said it will be looking to increase staff numbers from 320 to more than 600 to facilitate its plans, which will be achieved through a mixture of organic growth and acquisitions.

Current managing director Ian Carlson will be joining Whitmarsh on the senior leadership and taking on the role as chief financial officer.

Old Mill also announced that it will 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,” it said.

Whitmarsh explained that the new structure creates a simpler business model and fast-growing environment, enabling the firm to hit its ambitious growth targets. 

However he stressed any acquisitions would be carefully chosen to ensure they are a good cultural fit.

“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.”

Not a consolidator

Whitmarsh explained 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. 

“Our acquisition strategy will be very carefully managed, as we are certainly not looking to become a consolidator,” he added. “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 distinct service lines: rural, tax, wealth management and commercial. But there is overlap and under the new structure the firm will be looking to take a much more collaborative approach.