Accountants to create 50 jobs with new Financial Services team

Martin Watson

Accountancy business PKF has revealed plans to grow its Northern office with the creation of a new Financial Services team.

Spearheaded by new financial services partner, Martin Watson, PKF’s expansion will create up to 50 new jobs in Leeds over the next three years.

The company says its decision to invest in Leeds, serving businesses across the North, “reflects the region’s dominant position as the leading Financial Services hub outside London.”

It adds that as the city’s finance sector is booming, Leeds was the obvious place to base the new specialist team.

Watson said: “Now is the right time to be investing in Yorkshire. You only need to look around to see the buzz in the region.

“But companies based in Leeds and beyond are telling us they want a credible alternative to the ‘Big Four’ in the region; they are crying out for more choice. It’s our goal to offer them that choice.”

The new Financial Services unit will join PKF’s existing restructuring and advisory teams at its Park Row offices.

James Sleight, partner in PKF’s Leeds Office, said: “Martin’s appointment demonstrates PKF’s commitment to the North of England.

“We know the area well and we understand the challenges and opportunities facing the region’s businesses. That puts us in a strong position to help.

“Martin’s presence further strengthens our offering in the financial services market and kick-starts the next phase of our investment in Yorkshire.

“PKF is growing from a strong foundation and the region’s financial services market is in great shape – it’s an exciting time for all of us at PKF Leeds.”

Watson added: “We have ambitious plans for our Leeds office and are looking for local people who want to help make our vision a reality – the type of people who enjoy making things happen.

“It’s our goal to build a diverse and dynamic team that encourages everyone to fulfil their potential and achieve a sustainable work-life balance.”

Watson recently joined PKF as financial services partner after 13 years at Deloitte, the last four of which were spent in Leeds.

With experience of working across the full spectrum of financial services clients – from FTSE/AIM listed down to smaller privately or member owned businesses – he has developed a strong focus on the insurance sector.

He previously served as a Board member on the Investment & Life Assurance Group (ILAG), a trade body representing the life assurance and wealth management industry, and currently chairs its Financial Reporting Practitioner Group.

He said: “I’m excited to have joined PKF at this time. The firm has continued to invest in its people and processes despite the pandemic, and this has been reflected in the major new clients that it is winning, both within the Financial Services team and more broadly across the firm.

“I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping PKF to realise its plans, developing its offering to financial services businesses and also building the team in Leeds.”