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Celebrating 10 years at Grafton Banks Finance

5th August 2018

This September, we’re celebrating 10 years in business. As well as being excited about our future plans, we’ve been looking back at just how far Grafton Banks Finance has come in those 10 years.

Grafton Banks Finance in the beginning

Nigel Jeyes, Julia Jeyes and Alex Gregory set up Grafton Banks Finance in August 2008. All three had extensive recruitment backgrounds and shared a vision of a truly consultative recruitment company, offering exceptional professionalism and experience.

Grafton Banks Finance officially went ‘live’ in September 2008, in what has been described as one of the darkest times in UK economic history. Although the signs of a slowing economy were apparent, the team hadn’t quite envisaged the challenges that lay ahead for a start up!

However, their client and candidate-focused approach meant that, whilst other recruitment companies were losing client share and struggling to hold onto business, Grafton Banks made an immediate impact on the business community. The Grafton Banks approach was welcomed by local businesses and, within weeks of starting up, the team succeeded in making the first placement. And what great feedback from the first candidate:

“Considering the situation of it being the first placement, there was never any pressure, only great service, which is testament to Nigel and how Grafton Banks Finance do business.”

Building on this first success, Grafton Banks ended 2008 in profit, which in the economic climate was something of a miracle! Within a year of starting up, the business successfully tendered for the business of two of Sussex’s biggest businesses, which were major accounts for a small start-up. It was very much David and Goliath!

As the business progressed, feedback was unanimous – clients and candidates enjoyed working with the team, and trusted Grafton Banks to deliver. More contracts followed; it felt as though the local business community championed the business and wanted Grafton Banks to succeed as much as the owners did.

Although the economy was still stuttering, Grafton Banks was forging ahead and, in response to client and candidate demand, the team doubled from three to six consultants in 2010. An interim division and a part qualified division was set up alongside the existing senior qualified team, offering clients an all-round Grafton Banks recruitment experience.

The reputation that preceded Grafton Banks meant experienced consultants that enjoyed working in a consultative and people-focused way were also attracted to the business, growing the experience levels of the team.

Further expansion and huge milestones achieved

In 2012 Grafton Banks relocated to bigger offices in Sheridan House on Western Road, Hove to accommodate the growing team and the Public Practice Division was set up to service Accountancy practices across Surrey and Sussex.

The following year saw a huge milestone for the team, as turnover passed £1.5m mark. A small enterprise was growing into a successful, stable business, but Grafton Banks were very careful to retain the small business feel that clients and candidates valued, maintaining a focus on a personal touch partnered with exceptional levels of service.

In 2014, the business opened a second office in Reigate to meet client demand from the Surrey market. With the recession easing, these were exciting times for Grafton Banks, who built on the increasingly stable economy and enjoyed a short spell of catching our breath, until the UK rocked the foundations in 2016 by voting to leave the EU. A new prime minister, Theresa May, took to Number 10 and, rather controversially, Donald Trump, became president of the United States. The business expected more economic turmoil, but the economy has fortunately held fast for recruiters, and 2016 and 2017 were the best years to date for the business.

Another new division was created in 2017 to service the junior level of the accountancy market and the company expanded again to manage this market.

10 years established 2008

Which brings us to 2018

Whilst the word on everyone’s lips continues to be Brexit and the UK was absorbed with preparation for the introduction of new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), so far this year, we have achieved the launch of a brand-new search offering to our clients, with immediate success in the form of generated revenue, and also reached an impressive turnover of £4.5m.

Looking back at 2008, Nigel, Julia and Alex wonder if, had they known what challenges those first couple of years would bring, would they have risked all to set up in business? They believe the answer would still be yes! The satisfaction of creating and running a business, exhilaration of being so well thought of by clients and candidates, and still being profitable at the end of it, is exactly what the team dreamt of.

Although much has changed in the world since 2008, Grafton Banks has retained the ethos and ethics upon which it was started – people come first: clients, candidates and, importantly, our consultants. Our success is due to the people with whom we work, and how we work with them. Many of the people we dealt with in our first year of business are still clients and candidates, and all still use the same key words to describe the service they receive: excellent; listening; understanding. We are very proud to be seen as a business that clients and candidates enjoy engaging and partnering with, time and time again.

We will continue to work closely with clients and candidates to manage their career moves and help build businesses and have plans for further expansion. So, watch this space, and here’s to the next ten years!

If you’d like to speak to a recruitment team that focus on individuals rather than numbers, get in touch with us today to find out how our tailored services can help you.

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