Growth companies in the South have gathered for the first corporate gathering at Southampton’s newest luxury hotel.
Nearly 200 business leaders attended Smith & Williamson’s annual drinks reception at the superyacht-styled Southampton Harbour Hotel.
The event celebrated the success of the professional services’ firm over the past year – and underlined the importance of scale-up support for expanding companies.
Guests included Mayor of Southampton Councillor Les Harris, Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith and Gary Jeffries, chairman of Solent LEP, a key interface between the government and local business when it comes to economic development.
Andrew Edmonds, managing partner at Smith & Williamson in Southampton, referring to the nautical feel and look of the hotel, welcomed guests to the “high seas of Southampton”.
He said: “We are delighted to be holding our annual drinks reception here in the highly anticipated Southampton Harbour Hotel – and what a fantastic place it is.
“How time flies. It’s hard to believe that many of us were sharing a glass of wine in our brand new Southampton office in Cumberland Place, celebrating our commitment to the city for the next 10 years.”
Andrew outlined 10 achievements for the firm, including seven scale-up events in the port city.
“Many of you will be aware that this is a key initiative for the firm, taking businesses through crucial growing pains of ‘middle age’ and something we will be doing significantly more of as time goes by.”
The accountancy, investment management and tax group locally has also added 600 new clients, following the recruitment of nine private tax specialists, promoted eight staff internally, brought in five new trainees and appointed two senior managers into business tax.
Guest speaker Gary Jeffries, chairman of Solent LEP and managing director of independent commercial property consultancy Hughes Ellard, spoke of the importance of firms such as Smith & Williamson in supporting growth businesses.
He told guests: “Solent LEP shares a common goal with the ScaleUp Institute in our desire to remove barriers to corporate growth and help close the scale-up gap and to develop world-leading high-growth enterprises for the benefit of current and future generations
“Organisations such as Smith & Williamson are at the centre of this agenda.”
Smith & Williamson is a corporate founder of the ScaleUp Institute, helping to influence and improve the ecosystem for entrepreneurial businesses and facilitating their development and growth.
Gary added: “We are home to more than 50,000 businesses in the Solent region, the vast majority of which are small to medium size enterprises (SMEs).
“Since inception, Solent LEP has been committed to supporting our SME business community – the fuel of the Solent engine.”
“We hope to be able to do much more in the years ahead, working in partnership with organisations like Smith & Williamson.
“We also know that within the thousands of larger and small businesses operating in the Solent today, there are many with particular high-growth potential that hold the key to the future growth of our economy.
“We are especially keen to target our support towards accelerating this high-growth potential.”
Smith & Williamson is an independently owned financial and professional services group. The firm is a leading provider of investment management, financial advisory and accountancy services to private clients, professional practices, entrepreneurs and mid-to-large corporates. The group’s c1,700 staff operate from a network of twelve offices: London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cheltenham, Dublin (City and Sandyford), Glasgow, Guildford, Jersey, Salisbury and Southampton.
Smith & Williamson LLP. Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International.