International accountancy network ETL has opened an operation in Cambridge UK to work with the technology sector and a thriving SME business community across a range of industries.The Cambridge office is being headed by Grant Hawthorne, CFO with Cambridge Temperature Concepts since 2010. He was also MD of the Great Eastern Investment Forum.
The network also has major operations in London and Berlin but the broader group is worldwide. It intends to use the Cambridge operation as a springboard to further growth across other UK locations.
The globally connected network features more than 750 partner firms providing audit, tax, legal and business consulting services – including payroll – to mainly small and medium sized enterprises.
Hawthorne said the Cambridge team would probably be up to 10 within a year and 20 or so within two years. Hardcastle Burton in Newmarket, which is also part of the ETL network, will be an integral part of ETL's UK expansion plan.
Hawthorne said that the seamless collaboration of hundreds of ETL offices and more than 6,000 employees creates effective and constructive synergies and brings advantages for clients and partners.
ETL has grown its regional coverage massively in recent times – Cambridge being the newest in the network – with the aim of offering client companies clients integrated advice on cross border activities as required.
The new Cambridge office – aptly for a firm for whom all the world’s a stage – is at Shakespeare House in the city centre.
Hawthorne told Business Weekly:“I'm thrilled to be heading up the ETL office in Cambridge and think that the vision and goals that we have set sit well in the current market conditions.
“Why Cambridge? is a very valid question. First and foremost ETL has some existing client links within the region, giving us a natural starting point.
“But the ETL group also saw Cambridge as the ideal place to launch UK operations given the city’s reputation as a centre of excellence in so many fields and one of the most important technology centres in Europe – if not the world. Our aim is to grow the group within the UK from here and I think it's a great location for that.
“We realise that building a presence in Cambridge will take time and this is where the long term backing and commitment from ETL International is so important.
“Having the resources and expertise from the ETL group behind the Cambridge office will be very important to our, and our clients, success. ETL Cambridge is not just looking to be a service provider to the business community but to be part of that community - actively supporting and being involved where we can.
“We already have some feelers out and there are a few interesting initiatives and projects we are looking at, but it's still early days.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: (From left to right) Walter Schmidt, managing director ETL International; Grant Hawthorne, head of Cambridge office; Maria Arizti, senior partner ETL International; Filiz Adali, business development, ETL International. Pic by Howard Guest.