Posted on Monday 9 April 2018 by Ulster Business


Jamie Watts and Billy McCarthy of iMultiply


Family-owned, entrepreneurial enterprises account for almost three quarters of companies in Northern Ireland, with more than half in either their second or third generation. As an owner managed business ourselves, iMultiply, a dedicated finance and executive search firm, understands the challenges of attracting and retaining talent, scaling and planning for the growth journey ahead.


One of the key focuses of our experienced team in Belfast is recruiting talented, qualified finance professionals into the owner managed sector, and having opened our doors in Northern Ireland last year we have been warmly welcomed into this business community.


Billy McCarthy, director of iMultiply Belfast, said: “We have found that companies with an appetite for growth, such as ourselves, are the lifeblood of Northern Ireland and we have been delighted by the reception we have had to growing our business into Belfast.


“Attracting and retaining talent is the number one concern for the leadership of family firms. Finding and hiring high calibre people with the right skill-set and at a cost that makes sense to the business can be a major catalyst or barrier for growth.


“Qualified accountants are particularly in high demand. The talent and capability of finance professionals is on a par with other locations we operate in. Where Northern Ireland potentially lags behind is the volume of talent - there are fewer qualified accountants currently looking for employment, exacerbated by the talent drain to Dublin and London.”


This is where a trusted recruitment partner can prove invaluable. iMultiply has already utilised its extensive networks in Scotland and further afield to target finance professionals who have family ties with Northern Ireland and are considering

making the move home.


How to grow your business to the next stage has also been a shared interest with entrepreneurial businesses. This is where attracting finance talent will help in terms of business forecasting and tax planning, sourcing funding and providing an objective pair of eyes to optimise corporate structure.


Barriers to securing growth capital can be overcome with the right professional expertise on your team, which will provide the opportunity to market and expand your product or service offering.


“iMultiply has a demonstrable track record of working closely with scaling companies who are looking to build a talented finance function. As a growth company ourselves, we understand the peaks and troughs of scaling and are enjoying working with local businesses and investors who share iMultiply's entrepreneurial and inclusive values”, according to Jamie Watts, iMultiply manager in Belfast.


“We are working closely with our investor network which has rightly identified Northern Ireland as a strong market for potential equity investment. These investors are keen for us to facilitate introductions to business leaders interested in securing growth capital.”


Looking to the future, not planning for the next generation of leader is a recognised threat to the continuity of family run businesses. Your finance team are critical to this process, providing help with the timing and questions around future ownership, management of shares and capital, and tax issues. It stands to reason that when you come to this business crossroads you need the best finance professionals available at your side.


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