I always try and take some time to read the financial press during the week and also the business section of the Sunday Times.  It helps to keep me informed.  I also often come across articles which are of interest to clients.

Occasionally too I actually come across contacts and clients appearing in the national press.

I might exclude FRP, the insolvency practitioners from this list, as they appear constantly on the front page of the business section of the Sunday Times as they pick up large insolvency appointments almost for fun.

A few weeks ago I was working through the Money Section of the Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph, when I came across an article in which Phil Billingham of Perceptive Planning was mentioned.  Phil is a financial planner and he and his team have a particular niche in advising foreign nationals resident in or locating to the UK.  We secure a lot of work assisting with the taxation issues in this complex area.

I hit the jackpot though when working through the Business Section of the Sunday Times on 22 August.

Page 2 had a major article on the likely impact on Christmas because of supply chain woes caused by COVID.  There could well be empty shelves if the shortage of drivers and manpower cannot be resolved.  The article started off with a reference to Kelly’s Turkeys and the problems confronting that business, including a quotation from Paul Kelly.  Kelly’s Turkeys is a client looked after by my colleague, Nick Forsyth.

Having digested that article and feeling quite pleased, I was delighted then to read the article underneath.  This related to the move by a US company, Sparton Corp, to acquire a British defence contractor, Ultra Electronics.  Both are involved in anti-submarine technology, which could be crucial given the way the Chinese are boosting their submarine fleet.  Last year the US blocked the acquisition of Sparton Corp by Ultra Electronics.  Now Ultra is the subject of a bid from a defence rival, Cobham, owned by American private equity group Advent since it was sold.  Advent, post-acquisition, had broken up Cobham, despite giving undertakings to the Government about protecting it.  This prompted a quote from a defence journalist, Francis Tusa (who happens to be a client of mine) that Advent had made the Government look like “a complete load of tossers”.  Francis indicated that he felt encouraged to make a graphic quotation but I don’t think there are many who would disagree with him, when looking at the facts of the matter.

I wonder, though, how many accountancy firms of the size of Lambert Chapman LLP would see references to two of their clients on one page of a national business broadsheet.  I suspect not many.  I like to think that it again demonstrates that we do punch above our weight.  Our client base truly does extend from the one man band to groups with turnover in excess of £100 million.  It helps to give us the perspective to give all our clients the best advice that we can.

As always, if there is anything that we can help you or your business with at the moment – do get in touch.

The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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