We understand that selling your business is one of the most important decisions you will make so it is imperative that you plan and get it right. To prepare business owners for this transitional period, we have designed a series of workshops which provide insight into all aspects of exit planning. The third in our series of workshops will cover everything you need to know about the exit process. Our head of Corporate Finance, Nigel Barratt will present alongside Ian Dawson, associate partner and Ryan Niblock, corporate finance executive.

Posted: Oct 26, 2017
Rachel Murphy

We have strengthened our tax advisory team with the appointment of Nia Thomas as a manager. Nia, 38, who lives in Altrincham, has 13 years’ experience as a personal tax specialist.

Welsh-speaker Nia has returned to the north west after three years at Dixon Wilson in London. She previously worked at Morris & Co in Chester and Ernst & Young in Manchester.

Her career has seen her advise in particular high net worth individuals, including non-UK domiciled clients affected by increasingly complex tax rules in Britain.

Nia said: “I’m delighted to be back in the north west and to join the growing tax team at HURST. The firm has a varied range of clients and I look forward to working with them to advise on their tax matters.”

Nia Thomas of HURST Tax Nia Thomas | Tax Manager

Rachel Murphy, who heads the HURST tax team, said: “Nia is a well-regarded specialist with extensive experience of advising high net worth individuals on all areas of tax. “Her skills add greatly to our existing capabilities in helping our clients manage their personal tax affairs.”

Nia’s arrival follows a strong period of recruitment for HURST, which in recent months has expanded its corporate finance and business services teams with a series of appointments.

The firm has also established a specialist tax compliance team to help companies amid a crackdown by HM Revenue & Customs on tax avoidance and evasion - read more about this by clicking here.

Wondering what your future with HURST might look like? Email Inspired@Hurst.co.uk or click here to see our current opportunities! 

Posted: Aug 17, 2018
Simon Brownbill

On Friday 24th August the HURST team will be taking the day off work to raise money for our chosen charity of the year, MedEquip4Kids!


Colleagues have been broken down into six teams, each challenged with raising as much money as possible out in the community. The teams will be taking part in different fundraising activities including; face painting, raffles, car washing, selfies with a superhero, and a cycle challenge. One team is even collecting old mobile phones to sell so they can donate the funds.

hurst charity challenge

This year we are supporting MedEquip4Kids – a great cause providing essential paediatric equipment to hospitals in Greater Manchester. There are huge gaps in NHS funding - MedEquip4Kids fills these gaps, ensuring children receiving care have the required facilities and equipment. So far this year, we’ve had a bake-off, organised a dress up as a kid for kids day and completed the National 3 Peaks Challenge to raise funds for this great cause.

You may have already been approached by a HURST colleague about this, and if you have donated or helped out in any way then we’d just like to say thank you! If you’d like to support us but haven’t yet had the opportunity, then please visit our just giving page by clicking here or you can donate using the button below!

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

If you’d like to try your luck at winning one of the raffle prizes on offer, email inspired@hurst.co.uk. On the day you can follow our progress on Twitter - #HURSTCC or by visiting our Facebook page

If you do need to reach us during the day, our mainline number 0161 477 2474 will be taking messages which will be checked on a regular basis.




Posted: Aug 15, 2018

People talk openly about preserving their physical health, but rarely do we open up about our mental health, something which is equally, if not more, important. Initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week, Time To Change and It’s Ok To Talk have helped break down barriers, but we’re still way off completely tackling the taboo of mental health in the workplace.


Work is a huge part of most people’s lives and, as employers, line managers and colleagues, we all have a responsibility to support and help those struggling with mental health issues.

When you delve into the statistics surrounding mental health, it’s staggeringly obvious that employers can’t ignore it. One in four people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives. Failure to address mental health issues in the workplace could cost the UK economy up to £99 billion per year.

It’s common knowledge that a happy and motivated workforce is a productive one but, when you have an employee in distress, productivity and performance often slump. There are other indicators that someone might be going through a tough time – spotting these early signs is key, as is ensuring the overall well-being of your employees.

Spotting the early signs

According to recent studies, 49% of workers wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing a mental health problem at work, so knowing what to look out for is a really good starting point. Mental health problems can manifest themselves in different ways but some of the most common things to look out for can include:

  • Lack of motivation / procrastination 
  • Uncharacteristic mistakes
  • Time-keeping might slip 
  • Short temper and outbursts of anger
  • Absence from work 
  • Not looking after appearances as they normally would

If you notice any of the above, it may well be time for you to take action. Transparent and open communication will go a long way in determining whether a person is struggling. Choose an appropriate time and place to have a conversation, make sure you have a good window of time to dedicate to that person, be open, ask direct questions and recap on what’s been discussed so you can mutually agree on the next steps.

Managing absences and the return to work

Research from the British Chamber of Commerce and insurance company Aviva shows that more than 30% of business leaders have seen an increase in absenteeism due to mental ill-health.
A further 33% saw the length of the absence increase also.

The longer the person is away, the harder it will be for them to come back, making it more likely that they won’t return at all.

Line managers should be urged to deal with these absences on a case-by-case basis. Regular contact with your colleague can help and will mean they will feel less fearful when it is time for them to return. It will also help you to determine whether any adjustments need to be made to make their working life easier.

Making reasonable adjustments at work

Those most affected by ongoing mental health issues will meet the criteria of disability in the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act and so, are entitled to reasonable adjustments to adapt to their role.

Stress, workloads and time constraints are known to be the leading factors causing or aggravating anxiety and other mental health illnesses. Before taking action, encourage your employee to identify the things that may be leading to them feeling unwell. Some of the most common adjustments that can be made are:

  • Offer flexible working times to account for any side-effects of medications being taken 
  • Ensure they have the technology required to work from home if they need to
  • If the person has been absent for a while, offer a phased return, gradually building up to full-time hours
  • Make exceptions for them not attending networking events involving food and/or alcohol

What else can you do?

Often, mental health issues aren’t disclosed in the workplace for fear of being judged. Establishing a culture that values authenticity and transparency will mean that employees feel they can be themselves and have open conversations with line-managers.

Taking care of the basics can also contribute to someone getting back on their feet. Eating right, staying hydrated and regular exercise are vital. Think about introducing free fruit in the office, make sure you have water coolers available and introduce a cycle-to-work scheme or reductions on local gym memberships - all of which contribute to employee wellbeing.

Occupational health support and counseling for staff are also options to consider, especially if the employee still doesn’t feel comfortable discussing their issues with management.


There are more and more resources available for employers. Mental health first aid courses are becoming more and more popular, ACAS and CIPD offer further guidelines on how you can address mental health in the workplace and lots of charities are also there to help.

Click here for a full list of mental health charities, groups and services.





Posted: Aug 10, 2018
Simon Brownbill

A 14-strong team from HURST conquered the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in under 24 hours for charity. The group’s efforts raised £3,340 for MedEquip4Kids, the firm’s charity of the year for 2018.

hurst complete national 3 peaks

MedEquip4Kids raises money to provide paediatric medical equipment and facilities for hospitals and community health teams that are not funded by the NHS.

The HURST team, including members of the corporate finance, business services, finance and marketing departments, scaled Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon within 24 hours to complete the Three Peaks Challenge.

The fastest finishers were corporate finance team members Ben Bradley and Sinead O’Grady and finance assistant Chris Kinsey, who clocked 22hrs 50mins.

HURST on top of Ben Nevis

Marketing executive Lucy McCormick, who was among the climbers, said: “It was a gruelling challenge with a number of those taking part left nursing blisters, knee and foot injuries, but the support we received and the money we raised made it all really worthwhile.

“We’re so pleased to be supporting MedEquip4Kids, which gives so much to our communities and provides essential medical equipment for babies and children.”

So far this year, HURST has also staged a ‘Dress up as a kid’ day for staff and an office Bake Off competition.

Future planned events include the firm’s annual corporate football tournament and a fundraising challenge in which teams of HURST staff will organise activities to raise as much money as possible in a single day.

To find out more about HURST's fundraising activities, visit our just giving page by clicking here


JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Posted: Aug 6, 2018
Simon Brownbill

The co-founder of a global motorcycle and cycle accessories brand has bought back the business 12 years after he sold it to a US group. Motorcycle enthusiasts Henry Rosenthal and Andrew Renshaw established Renthal in 1969, initially making handlebars for trials bikes. The company’s name is a blend of the duo’s surnames. They sold Renthal in 2006 to Motorsport Aftermarket Group.


Henry, who has remained actively involved in the business supporting the management team as chairman, has now bought it back in a multi-million-pound deal.

Andrew passed away in 2013 and his widow Claudine has supported the transaction.

Nigel Barratt, head of HURST Corporate Finance, advised Henry on the buy-back.

Nigel Barratt  Nigel Barratt - Head of Corporate Finance 

Renthal operates from a 41,000 sq ft manufacturing and engineering facility in Bredbury, Stockport. The business turns over £12m a year and employs 90 staff.

Its management team is led by managing director Tom Wade.

The company is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of products for the motorcycle and cycle markets.

Products include handlebars, grips, bar mounts, levers, hand guards, chain wheels, chain and brake pads. Around 80 percent of its products are exported, to more than 60 countries.

Renthal’s products are used by Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki as original equipment for their performance motocross models.

Overall its products have been used by nearly 200 motorcycling world champions and, since it expanded into the cycle products industry in 2010, by six world mountain biking champions.

bike in use

Following the sale of Motorsport Aftermarket Groupin April to a syndicate of US private equity investors, the opportunity arose for Henry to buy back Renthal.

He said: “When MAG decided to sell Renthal I was determined to back Tom and the team to maintain the company’s reputation as a trusted brand and continue to support its growth and product innovation.”

Tom said: “Renthal is a world-leading brand, with great products and a dedicated workforce. “Next year will be our 50th anniversary and, with Henry’s support and as an independent business, we have an exciting future.”

Funding for the acquisition and future working capital was provided by a team at Praetura Commercial Finance led by Stuart Bates.

Frank Shephard, head of corporate at law firm DWF, led a team who provided legal advice for the transaction.

Nigel Barratt said: “I have known Tom and Henry for many years and it was great to have the opportunity to work with them and restore Renthal’s independence. I have every confidence that the brand will continue its success in the future.”

If you are thinking about an MBO, business disposal, or an acquisition please contact us at inspired@hurst.co.uk

Posted: Jul 23, 2018
Simon Brownbill

The new Executive Insight programme launched by HURST to help entrepreneurs drive growth in their businesses has been shortlisted for a top national award.

executive insight shortlisted for national award

Executive Insight is a finalist in the mid-tier firm innovation of the year category at the 2018 British Accountancy Awards.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House hotel on London’s Park Lane on Wednesday, September 26.

HURST launched Executive Insight earlier this year to offer exclusive events and inspiring content to north-west entrepreneurs.

The programme has so far featured keynote speakers Lord David Blunkett, the former Labour Home Secretary, Greater Manchester MP Sir Graham Brady, who is the influential chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers, and Will Butler-Adams, the managing director of fast-growing Brompton Bicycle.

Edwina Currie will be the next guest speaker, at an event in October.

Other events planned include a tour of Bentley Motors’ factory in Crewe and workshops for companies looking to do business overseas.

The Executive Insight website www.executiveinsight.co.uk features a range of thought leadership articles on key topics, and under the programme, entrepreneurs have access to a panel of expert advisers.

The initiative is open to business owners and entrepreneurs whose companies turn over at least £5m a year. Events are free to attend.

Simon Brownbill, partner and director of practice development at HURST, said: “We support some of the region’s best-known entrepreneurs and Executive Insight is helping to develop their knowledge and give them an opportunity to mix with like-minded people.

“We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award.”

Entrepreneurs seeking further information about the programme or wishing to sign up should contact Lucy McCormick at HURST via inspired@hurst.co.uk

Posted: Jul 23, 2018
Tim Potter

HURST has set up a dedicated due diligence team in response to growing demand from banks, venture capital outfits, financial institutions and entrepreneurs.

hurst launches specialist due diligence team

The team is headed by partner Helen Besant-Roberts and business services manager Allan Chan and will undertake financial, tax and commercial due diligence.

HURST chief executive Tim Potter said: “Over the past 18 months we have seen a notable increase in due diligence assignments from a variety of sources.

“These include the mainstream banks and other lenders as they look to make significant investments, such as funding a deal, new capital equipment and property.

“We are also doing international due diligence work due to our connections with fellow members of the PrimeGlobal association of independent accounting firms.

“As a firm, we have a strong reputation for supporting international investors looking at opportunities in the UK.

“Expert due diligence is essential for them, and indeed for all investors, and we have identified a gap in the market for this specialist advice.

“It’s also important when it comes to buying or selling a business. The team’s work involves careful analysis so that the buyer understands what they are getting.

“In addition, businesses can lose significant value during the process if they have not prepared properly, and we are able to assist them with their DD so there are no surprises.”

He added: “Helen is a grant claims expert who also has experience of working in corporate finance, and she has undertaken regional and international due diligence assignments in recent times.

“Allan is a due diligence specialist who joined HURST last year. He and Helen are the ideal people to lead our new offering and they are supported by a broader 35-strong business services team.”

For more information on our due diligence offering, feel free to get in touch by emailing inspired@hurst.co.uk or by calling 0161 477 2474 

Posted: Jul 2, 2018
Simon Brownbill

Chief executive Will Butler-Adams keeps a magnum of champagne under his desk in his office at Brompton Bicycle. He says he will only open it when his company sells 50,000 bicycles in a year….and the milestone isn’t far off. 

Last year, Brompton sold 46,000 and achieved record revenues of £36m.

When Will joined the business in 2002 – he subsequently led a management buyout in 2008 – the business was turning over £1.6m a year.

Will shared some of the secrets of his success at the latest event in HURST’s Executive Insight programme for entrepreneurs.

More than 50 business people from across the region attended the lunchtime event at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Tim Potter, chief executive of HURST, welcomed the guests, and Nigel Barratt, head of HURST Corporate Finance, introduced Will.

Under Will’s leadership, Brompton Bicycle has grown from a cottage industry to a global brand – a huge British manufacturing success story.

From modest beginnings in the 1970s when its iconic folding bike was invented by Andrew Ritchie, the London-based business has become the UK’s largest bicycle manufacturer, with 80 per cent of sales now coming through exports.

Brompton recently launched an electric folding bike, developed over six years at a cost of £2.5m.

Will said the first 50 electric bikes were shipped to customers a few weeks ago and Brompton’s factory is producing more on a daily basis.

Will Butler-Adams

He told the Executive Insight audience that, if the company gets it right with the product, turnover will be £90m in five years’ time, such is the demand.

Will urged people in business to be ambitious, to invest in research and development and to recruit staff with ideas as well as experience.

“You have to have ambition, to inspire your staff and to keep them driven,” he said.

“Normal gets you nowhere against your competition. Always encourage your staff to be different. If you can afford it, do give new things a go. You can write it off if it goes pear-shaped. If it’s a complete disaster, don’t worry.

“Allow people to have an impact on the business and not be afraid to make mistakes.”

Will said he believes that being privately-owned helps Brompton to maintain its competitive edge, as it enables the company to plan and invest for the long-term.

Having non-executive directors on the board is also beneficial, as they bring perspective to the company, he added.

Brompton’s success is also due to a focus on serving customers well, said Will.

“The board sets the tone for the entire company. If the board is obsessed with the customer, they are protecting shareholder value.”

Will also focused on the importance of overseas sales to Brompton. The business has invested significantly to grow sales in countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore as well as nations closer to home such as Germany.

“The potential for us to grow exports is still significant,” he said.

A constant motivation for Will is being involved in something that makes a difference.

“It’s not about the money, but doing something that makes us feel proud,” he added.

Leading a company which combines engineering excellence with pure passion rightly makes him brim with pride – and that champagne moment is surely just around the corner.

To hear more about our Executive Insight events please contact Lucy McCormick on 0161 429 2529 or email Lucy.McCormick@hurst.co.uk