Introduction by Founder
I have been giving advice to Corporate Clients for over 30 years. I have also been involved in several of my own businesses enjoying both success and failure along the way. Without exception, I have yet to meet any business owners who have not made significant sacrifices to build their business and their journey has often been arduous. The financial compromises are shared with their families and dependents along the way. It is imperative, as a minimum, that an owner should protect the value of his own business.
Parachutes were introduced in military aircraft after World War One, in part due to the recognition that pilots were more valuable than planes since the latter could be more easily replaced. A century later, it’s a lesson that’s still lost on many small businesses.
Equilibrium 4 has established a specialist Corporate Protection advisory business advising the owners and Key people within SME's how to protect the value in their business and ensure adequate provision for succession planning. We work in consultation with the other trusted business advisers that a business uses such as lawyers, accountants, General Insurance Brokers, Employee Benefit Consultants, NED’s, Banks and Corporate Finance/Private Equity houses. It is important that there is a joined-up approach with the advice that is given to company owners and ensures there is no conflict between solutions proffered.
Meet Our Team
Jim has had a career in Financial Services over the past 30 years. Initially, as an adviser he successfully built and merged his own IFA practice, Independently Financial, with Radcliffe & Co where he doubled advisers and sales within 12 months and catapulted the firm to National status. In addition he was a shareholder and part of the team that built and subsequently sold the National network group Bankhall in 2001. He has also worked with Intersolve, delivering new product design and distribution on behalf of Canada Life.
Robert has had a twenty seven year career as a fund manager having worked for Framlington Investment Management and F&C Asset Management, before leaving to become joint founder ofthe specialist smaller companies investment boutique, Bluehone Investors LLP, in 2005. Robert has considerable experience of investing in smaller companies, both public and private, and has been involved in the AIM market since its inception and helped launch and run The AIM Trust PLC as well as two AIM VCTs and other SME investment funds.
In 1989 Mark became head of product development for Midland bank’s new life company, Midland Life (now HSBC life) where he qualified as an Actuary. In 1992 he set up a specialist derivatives development team at the investment bank Midland Montagu in London where he was responsible for developing what is now known as the Guaranteed Fund market. In 1996 Mark set up Intersolve Limited with partner actuary, David Lloyd. They were responsible for the development of many major innovative products.
Every company is dependent on external advice whether it be their tax implications or their legal structure or the contracts they enter into with their customers. We ensure that the advice and considerations of other trusted advisers are incorporated within any solution offered. In essence, through collaboration, we strengthen the service and proposition that all advisers give to their clients.
What Our Professional Partners Say
Jim was very professional to deal with an offered a sterling service to all of our clients. I would not hesitate to recommend him to future clients.
I have worked with Jim on a couple of matters and our mutual clients have always been pleased with the standard of service delivered. Jim is both professional and attentive and brings character to the service being provided.
The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is the business archetype in the UK; there are about 5.7 million of them, making up more than 99 per cent of all UK businesses. By definition, SMEs (businesses with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover under €50m, according to the EU Commission’s definition) are more vulnerable financially and more dependent on key personnel than their larger rivals. Every year, more than 10 per cent of businesses cease trading, with the rate now at its highest since 2001. Around 5.5 million of the UK’s SMEs are in fact, micro businesses, employing fewer than 10 people.
Most, if not all, SMEs will have some kind of insurance, whether that’s fire, flood and theft, public liability or professional indemnity insurance. Businesses of this size tend to protect their premises, property and stock. Very few consider the one asset that genuinely cannot be replaced – people. As industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie once said: “Men and women, not machines, are the real source of profits in any business.” In their 2013 paper ‘Do Entrepreneurs Matter?’, the academics Sasha Becker and Hans Hvide undertook a number of comparative studies that highlighted the immediate and sustained deterioration in company performance that follows the death of an owner, their research found robust evidence that the mean negative effect on sales is around 60%