Employee Benefits Brochure

As the pace of life moves faster and faster the demands on our time continue to increase. Many employees are now turning to their employer to help them manage their work-life balance.

This is why we have designed and created a brochure that sums up Employee Benefits, what they are and why you should implement them into your work culture.

A well thought through, relevant employee benefits programme can make your organisation stand out from the rest and help you recruit the best employees and retain them for the long term.

If you already have benefits in place, it is important to review these to take advantage of new products and solutions that are on the market as well as making sure that they remain relevant to your employees.

We can help you to become an employer of choice.


Contact us

If you would like to discuss any information discussed in this article, please make sure to get in touch with our Financial Planning Consultant, Dave Gleeson on dave.gleeson@mooreandsmalley.co.uk or ring 01772 821 021.

Business Succession: On Death

What do you have in place should the worst happen? Many of you reading this article will have considered at some point establishing a personal will and your likely motives for putting this in place will be one or more of the following; you want to limit the amount of tax you pay; if you have children you want to appoint a guardian and ensure they are provided for financially; you want to head off any potential family disputes; and critically you want to have control over how your estate will be distributed after your death.

Individuals generally want to have peace of mind that on their death their wishes are carried out as they would want them to be and it is the same from a business point of view. Individuals who have business interests via Limited Companies, Partnerships, or LLPs should ensure there is clear instruction as to who and how their business interests are left to…Worryingly, over fifty percent of UK businesses have not left instructions in a will or any special arrangements regarding shares on their death.

Let us consider an example; a limited company, with 2 shareholders, each owning an equal share of the business. The shareholders are both married, and both have dependents. If we asked either of these shareholders what they wanted to happen to their share of the business on death, they’d likely say they would want their respective families to inherit the cash value of their share of the business and rightly so. However, with no formal agreements in place the reality is often quite different.

The shares would generally pass to the spouse under the terms of the will (and if there was no will in place, the rules of intestacy would apply). The spouse may wish to ‘sell’ these back to the business, but there is nothing binding to make this happen. The business may not be able to buy the shares from the spouse (even if they wanted to) as they may not have any readily available cash. Perhaps borrowing is an option. This will take time. Would it even be possible against the likely backdrop of a potentially traumatic period for the company?

They could sell the shares on the open market but, would they get a fair value? How long would this take? The business would almost certainly not welcome this course of action.

What else? The spouse may decide to keep the shares and become actively involved in the business. This could be an unwelcome event for the remaining business owner.

Having a business will in place can provide businesses with a solution. It will allow the funds to be in place to facilitate the purchase of shares and it will ensure that the business can continue, and the family are compensated as per the client’s wishes. Peace of mind for all involved and minimal disruption to the business.

Have a think about your own business, whether that be a Partnership, an LLP, or a Limited Company. Have you considered what you would like to happen should the worst happen? What have you got in place to ensure your wishes are carried out?

Importantly, if you believe you have something in place, when was it last reviewed?

Does it still meet your needs?

Contact us

For an initial free no obligation conversation about your own individual circumstances, please contact our Financial Planning Consultant Nathan Douse who specialises in this area on 01772 821021 or email nathan.douse@mooreandsmalley.co.uk

Business protection series

Maximising your Deposit returns and Security

As we continue to manage our way through the Covid pandemic and start to see some aspects of life return to some form of normality, many of us will have had considerable time on our hands to consider our own financial wellbeing and this will also be true for Charities.

At MHA Moore and Smalley, we understand that it can be difficult for Charities to build and manage cash reserves.

Interest rates in the UK have been at a low level for several years. Currently the Bank of England are weighing up their options to stimulate the UK economy and give it a much-needed boost to help it through the Coronavirus crisis, including looking at a negative base rate. More potential bad news for savers looking at generating a return from their deposits.

For Charities this leaves them with little or potentially no return on the funds they rely on to keep everything going.

The Financial Planning team at MHA Moore and Smalley can help as planning is the cornerstone of financial confidence. We can assist with reviews of rates, mapping a plan of how to secure the highest rates in the marketplace, with an eye on capital security, conducting due diligence on the institutions, and for a lot of our existing charity clients, providing that extra layer of security and acting as an independent credible challenge to the trustees decisions.

As advisers, we provide peace of mind in these uncertain times and help to provide access to rates that are not available in the marketplace. We also take away the headache of research, thus saving time now and in the future on what can be an essential exercise for the charity to maximise its returns.

We do charge fees for our work, but for our existing clients we have been thanked for our efforts and told that we have provided great value for money in the work that we do.

If you feel that you could benefit from an initial no obligation conversation about your own charity’s cash deposits please contact a member of the Financial Planning team on 01772 821 021 or email financialplanning@mooreandsmalley.co.uk

The Great Wealth Transfer: Why it is good to talk

Transferring wealth from one generation to the next is a difficult conversation topic, but with the baby boom generation expected to pass down a record-breaking amount of assets over the coming years, confronting this taboo has never been so important. And experts suggest that, while discussions involving money can be uncomfortable, the best approach is invariably to talk.

The next 30 years are expected to witness the largest ever intergenerational passing of wealth as baby boomers – the wealthiest generation in history – prepare to pass on assets to their heirs.

Commentators have dubbed it the ‘Great Wealth Transfer’ with estimates* suggesting an unprecedented £5.5tn could be set to pass between generations in the UK.

Involve the family

While the significance attached to the wealth transfer process is unquestionable, most families remain uncomfortable talking about money, with finance among the few remaining taboo topics. As a result, discussing money issues with their children can prove a difficult task for many parents, with conversations typically awkward or stilted. However, it is vitally important retirees involve their offspring in financial planning decisions if the wealth transfer process is ultimately to be successful.

A balancing act

The issue of inheritance unsurprisingly raises a number of concerns for parents. For instance, there is the dilemma of wanting to help children financially while not dampening their offspring’s work ethic. In addition, parents need to balance the emotional desire to leave significant sums to heirs with the need to ensure their own financial wellbeing, particularly in an era of spiralling long-term care costs.

Start the conversation

Arguably the key inheritance challenge, though, remains ensuring your children are ready to take on financial responsibility for family assets. Encouraging their involvement in your financial planning decisions now is a particularly good way to boost their financial literacy and ensure they are ready when the time comes. So, introduce them to us and we can help you start those difficult conversations.

* Kings Court Trust, 2018

The information given in this article should not be construed as financial advice.

For an initial, free, no obligation meeting, please get in touch with our experienced Financial Planning Consultants at your local office or email info@mooreandsmalley.co.uk

This article was originally written by our colleagues at MHA Tait Walker.

Business Protection: Business loans

In our third instalment of our Business Protection blog series, we look at business loan protection.

Many people have a mortgage on their home. Many will take out life cover so that the debt would be repaid if they died. This type of insurance provides peace of mind that their family can go on living in the home with no lender chasing the debt, if the worst was to happen.

Many businesses also have some type of debt; commercial loans, mortgages, overdrafts. These will hopefully help the business grow and prosper. However, what if owners or the loan guarantors die or become critically ill? The debt could soon become a significant liability if the business doesn’t have sufficient assets to repay the loan.

Does a commercial loan have to be repaid on the death of the guarantor?

Almost certainly yes. Even a director’s loan would have to be repaid.

If this is the case, where does that money come from? It could leave a deficit in the accounts if taken from the business.

Could the business take the financial burden?

If there aren’t sufficient assets to cover the debts, lenders can seek repayment from the guarantors estate. This could even mean calling on personal assets including the family home.

Which businesses benefit most from insuring debt?

Essentially, every business should consider insuring debt.

Ironically, the businesses that are least able to repay their debts (often smaller businesses and start-ups) are more vulnerable and less likely to have bought cover.

Business Loan protection

What is it?

It’s a type of insurance policy for businesses. It will help pay off business debts if the owner/debt guarantor dies.

Critical Illness cover option is also available.

Who is covered?

Anyone who has guaranteed the debts – usually the owner, but can be a partner or director of the business.

Who benefits?

The business, because debts are repaid at a difficult time.

Other blogs in this series are also available:

1: Tax efficient life cover
2: Shareholder Protection

Contact us

For further information on the content of this blog, please contact Nathan Douse on 01772 821021 or email nathan.douse@mooreandsmalley.co.uk 

The purpose of this blog is to provide technical and generic information and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice.

This article was originally written by our colleagues at MHA Tait Walker.

Business Protection: Shareholder Protection

In second instalment of our Business Protection blog series, we look at shareholder protection.

What happens if a business owner dies?

The death of a business owner can have a profound impact on the foundations of a business, with both short and longer term implications for both the stability and viability of that business.

Continuity of the business is crucial; a business often represents not only the livelihood of you and your family, but also that of your employees and stakeholders.

How does the business carry on?

Apart from the emotional impact of a business partner dying; the stress involved with running the business in the aftermath can be severe. Dealing with the loss can be traumatic enough, without having any uncertainty or even disputes over how the company carries on. The family of the deceased will be dealing not only with the shock and grief, but may be concerned about their financial future, especially if the business was the main income and asset.

As a shareholder, would you wish to retain control of the business?

Probably yes.

After the shock, what would you want to happen?

  • For as smooth as possible transition through the tough time ahead; “Business as Usual”.
  • For family and fellow shareholders to be looked after to avoid financial uncertainty.
  • For a clear plan of what happens next, who remains in control: – a Succession Plan.

How could you achieve this?

A Shareholder Protection Insurance (SHI) ensures a succession plan is in place.

What is Shareholder Protection?

Essentially it is an insurance policy that safeguards shareholders or partners and hopefully allows them to retain control of the business.

What does it do?

It pays out a lump sum upon death (or critical illness) of an owner.

It provides:

  • the company funds to buy the shares from the family of the deceased shareholder.
  • the family the ability to sell the shares for a fair value in a tax efficient and pre-agreed manner.

Who benefits?

Both the ongoing owners and the family:

  • business continuity to the ongoing owners of the business
  • financial security to the family or beneficiaries

It provides company directors with peace of mind; knowing that they will have the necessary funds to retain control over the company.

  • The BUSINESS can return to normal as soon as possible; the shareholders retain control of their business without the strain of finding funding. Uncertainty is avoided.
  • The FAMILY are financially compensated for the loss of a (potentially major) breadwinner. They can walk away with what they deserve.

How does it work?

During the development of the succession plan and Shareholder Protection Insurance (SHI) shareholders will have pre–agreed how the holdings will be allocated. The SHI will reflect this via a series of legal agreements. If a shareholder dies (or suffers a serious illness) everyone knows how the shares are to be managed.

Broadly, it can be set up in 3 main ways**:

  1. Own life plans under business trusts – with each shareholder taking out a plan on their own life.
  2. Life of another plans, owned by the shareholders.
  3. Company owned plans to buy back shares – the company takes out the insurance policies on each ‘life’.

** These methods can be complicated and have differing tax implications; it is important to discuss the best solutions for your individual business.

Why consider Share Protection?

If a business owner dies with no share protection then their share in the business will in all probability be passed to their family. This means that the surviving business owners could lose control of a proportion or, in some circumstances, all of the business. The family may want to sell, and if the remaining shareholders haven’t the funds to buy, then they could even sell to a competitor. More unlikely, but possibly, the family may choose to become involved in the ongoing running of the business. Consequently, the surviving owners are losing the control they had. A share protection policy can help avoid these issues.

Other blogs in this series:

Tax efficient life cover
Business loan protection

Contact us

For further information on the content of this blog, please contact Nathan Douse on 01772 821021 or email nathan.douse@mooreandsmalley.co.uk 

The purpose of this blog is to provide technical and generic information and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice.

This article was originally written by our colleagues at MHA Tait Walker.

Exit planning considerations for the road haulage sector

The road haulage sector accounts for approximately 77% of all goods moved (c3.7 million tonnes) in the UK. The sector is highly fragmented with the largest player in the market having only a 5% market share, and approximately 85% of businesses having fewer than 5 staff.

The above creates significant opportunities for consolidation, and the Corporate Finance team at MHA Moore & Smalley have advised a number of businesses in relation to their acquisition and exit planning strategies.  

This blog focuses on the key factors which should form part of an exit planning strategy in this sector. Based on our experience the key areas to consider include the following:

Management team

In common with other sectors, acquirors will typically attach more value to those businesses which have strong management teams, and therefore a lower degree of reliance on the exiting shareholders.

This is particularly important in the highly competitive road haulage sector where customer relationships are often critical (and contracts can be difficult to obtain).  Strong 2nd tier management will provide continuity to an acquiror, and therefore lower the perceived risk profile of the potential acquisition.

Management Information

It is important to ensure that acquirors are presented with management information which is sufficiently detailed to enable a clear understanding of the business to be obtained.

The Information Memorandum provided to acquirors should also contain a financial projection. This projection  should set out the projected short and medium term financial performance of the business.

The projection should clearly outline the potential financial impact of future opportunities, and should be accompanied by supporting assumptions. The assumptions provided will need to include clear explanations for significant variances between the projected performance and recent trading performance.

When forming a view on the valuation of the business, acquirors will consider the degree to which they are prepared to take into account future opportunities. Providing the above information  can significantly increase the weighting  which an acquiror will attach to future performance, thus resulting in a higher valuation of the business.

Effective cost control

Effective cost management  is important to the success of road haulage businesses, particularly because one of the main expenses is fuel, the price of which can be volatile.

Fuel prices impact on road haulage to a greater degree than other forms of transport (due to current limitations on vehicle fuel efficiency). Therefore management should ensure that customer contracts incorporate automatic adjustments for changes in key input prices such as fuel.

It is also important to ensure that other costs, particularly those which are subject to less uncertainty, are clearly understood and tightly controlled. This will provide a buffer for unexpected fluctuations in costs such as fuel, which are subject to more uncertainty. C

Consider obtaining long term sales contracts

Acquirors will typically apply a higher valuation multiple to those businesses with future earnings underpinned by contracts.

Environmental factors

Operators are increasingly  subject to regulations on vehicle emissions (such as the Euro VI emission standard). Acquirors will therefore expect owners to be aware of their current vehicle emissions,  to enable the impact of future changes in regulations to be understood

Management should also consider obtaining 3rd party green accreditations as a way to differentiate the business. For example some operators have obtained the Carbon Trust Standard, and obtaining such accreditations can help to enhance the reputation of the business.

Technology

It is important to ensure that the business keeps abreast of key technological changes (such as advanced route planning software to maximise fuel efficiency) and ensure that technology is implemented in the most appropriate way for the business.

This will ensure that the business benefits from improved efficiency and increased profitability, therefore increasing the valuation of the business.

The above are just some of the areas which should be considered as part of an exit planning strategy. If you would like to discuss further, please contact Ian Waddingham from the Corporate Finance team at MHA Moore & Smalley on 01772 821021

Optician firm focuses on succession and growth

Optician chain David H Myers has completed two significant deals as part of a succession planning strategy that has introduced new blood to the management team, while developing the business.

The chain, which operates branches in Southport, Penwortham, Leeds, Churchtown, and Lytham, sold a substantial minority stake in its Churchtown branch to Rob Lowther, who already owned a major shareholding in the Penwortham practice.

The deal will see Rob taking on management responsibilities for operations in Churchtown, in addition to his ongoing role in Penwortham.

In a second transaction, incoming director Paul Jones has acquired a minority stake in the Lytham practice from each of the owners, David Myers and Ian Brooker.

The Lytham deal will enable Paul to work with Ian to drive the ongoing expansion of the Lytham business.

David, who founded the business in 1979, said: “These two transactions are pivotal to our succession planning and growth strategy. The first deal allows Rob to take on a remit for managing our Churchtown practice as well as his role at Penwortham, while the second means Paul will step up at Lytham to assist Ian in a management role that will enable the further development of the branch.

“Just as importantly, the two deals will generate resources to fuel our ongoing expansion programme and we are currently in discussions with owner-managers of optician practices regarding potential acquisitions.”

David H Myers has received corporate finance, transaction services, tax and succession planning advice from the team at MHA Moore and Smalley.

Partner Damian Walmsley commented: “David H Myers is a successful and ambitious optician business that is managing to implement effective succession planning, while also developing the management team and creating sufficient resources to continue its expansion programme. I have every confidence that the business will continue to succeed.

David Myers added: “We have been working with the team at MHA Moore and Smalley for many years and have been consistently impressed by their friendly, yet professional approach and willingness to truly understand our business and its needs going forward.”

Open Banking Changes within Quickbooks

Open Banking regulations have been introduced in the UK.

In line with these regulations, QuickBooks is upgrading its bank feeds. Existing connections will be switched off and replaced with a more stable process which will give you a better experience.

Once these new feeds are ready, we’ll ask you to log in into QuickBooks and authorise the new feeds. This will allow your data to keep flowing into QuickBooks without interruption.

The new feeds will give you more control, improving the process and making it more secure.

Please note, for security reasons, the connection will need to be re-authorised every 90 days. If you have further questions about Open Banking, you can find more information on this FAQ on the link HERE