Acquisitive advisory firm looks for further growth in 2021

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The chief executive of growing advisory business Progeny said the business will continue to grow through acquisitions as he sat down with to talk about the firm’s results for the first six months of the year.

Neil Moles, CEO of Progeny noted that the business which over the last 12 months has acquired two businesses – Scottish firm Affinity and the Leeds-based Watsons Law – is expecting to announce its latest acquisition announced in the next few months. He added that the business has “a great pipeline of potential acquisitions beyond [our next one] which will complement our organic growth strategy”.

In the first half of 2021 the business which is based in Leeds and has operations in Scotland and London saw revenue increase by over £1.2m, growing almost 18% year on year. With the growth attributed to record referral levels both internally and from external sources and a growth in the firm’s wealth and asset management divisions.

Moles added: ““2021 is a year of growth for Progeny. We are focusing on three key areas. Organic growth through our marketing strategy and client referrals, inorganic growth via our ongoing acquisition strategy and internal growth from referrals and by marketing more of our array of professional services to more of our clients.”

The chief executive added that the business has always been focused on where it is going and looking ahead, noting that last year the business chose to invest through the Covid-19 crisis, both in acquisition deals, marketing but also in its people.

He noted that one of the drivers of growth has been “the excellence” of its people, but noted that it then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

“The positivity of growth is the ability to recruit great people, we’ve got 34 open positions across the business right now and this year we’ve brought on 39 new team members. And the prospect of bringing on even more talented people is just frankly so exciting – bringing them into Progeny and helping them grow and develop.

“So, you know for us the next phase is, you know, we made it to the pandemic we’ve grown. And now we are we’re excited about, not just surviving the pandemic but making sure we come out and thrive.”

Looking ahead and away from acquisitions Moles highlighted the importance of utilising technology, data and also confronting the environmental elephant in the room – climate change.

The business is currently on track to submit its completed assessment to B-Corp – a certification that is given to businesses that balance purpose and profits – by the end of the month and is progressing with the pledge it previously made to be a “climate positive workforce with an environmental net zero strategy”.

Moles was quick to explain though that for him this is more than about being seen to do the right thing.

“[The environmental agenda] is a core principal of life now. I think if you do it just to get the right outcome for the business then you’re looking at it through the wrong lens, I think you just have to say ‘right hat’s right for the planet and what’s right for our people’.

“Yes you can make positive decisions very easily, although they’re not always the easiest ones and sometimes they cost a bit of money, but in the long term we will see rewards. But I think the biggest factor when you look B-Corp and various other things is that it’s not just what we’re doing for the planet but how we’re actually supporting our people properly and that for me has equal weighting in terms of what we’re wanting to achieve. Supporting our people and helping them grow and develop is of paramount importance – and not just saying it for the sake of saying it but doing it.”

The growth story shown in both these latest half year results and the firm’s full year figures for 2020 which were published in February, vindicate the statement made by Moles during the first phase of lockdowns last year when he stated that businesses shouldn’t “use Covid as an excuse for halting business plans” and suggest that Moles’s ambition for the business to come out of a turbulent economic period thriving may be more reality than rhetoric.