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Sustainability and Growth
Marks Hall - hidden treasure in Essex Savings - you’re never too young to start a pension Sushi in Suffolk
GARDENS AND ARBORETUM
Partnership team . ............................................. 4 SPRING IS SPRUNG ................................................ 6 Budgets and Breakfasts ................................ 7 A Passion for Paintings ................................... 9 Sustainable sushi in Suffolk........................ 13 Year-end tax planning ................................... 14 Baby boomers and millennials.................... 16 An acorn of an IDEA ........................................ 18 Online portal provides speed and security for clients . ................ 21 Marks Hall ......................................................... 22 Tax and Sustainability .................................... 25 Planning for Organic Growth.................... 26 Fine art restoration ...................................... 28 what to do when your painting is damaged . ....................................... 28 The rising cost of van insurance.................................................... 30 Sustainable growth for Colchester Institute ..................................... 32 RAGDOLL .............................................................. 35 Protecting the next generation................. 36 I ROLL UP MY SLEEVES......................................... 37 A-Z FINANCIAL TERMS.......................................... 39 CHARITY EVENTS .................................................. 40 Micro Scooters................................................ 42
Scrutton Bland is a leading provider of accountancy, tax, audit, insurance, employee benefits and independent financial planning advice to both business and private clients. Our philosophy is to offer clear, professional advice and to find the most effective solution to meet the individual needs of each client. We are committed to delivering great client service and constantly strive to exceed the expectations of our clients providing a proactive and supportive service. If you would like professional advice on any of your business or personal finances please contact one of our professional advisers who will be delighted to hear from you. 820 The Crescent Colchester Business Park Colchester
Essex CO4 9YQ 01206 838 400 Fitzroy House Crown Street Ipswich Suffolk IP1 3LG 01473 267 000 Merrick Hill
MARKS HALL Gardens & Arboretum
Victoria Road, Diss Norfolk IP22 4HZ 01379 643 444 www.merrickhill.co.uk Milton Hall Ely Road, Milton
A striking heritage landscape of more than 200 acres in Coggeshall, Essex. Marks Hall has an enviable collection of mature trees from all the temperate areas of the world, including these striking Southern Hemisphere Wollemi pines. At the heart of the arboretum is the Walled Garden, with an inspired combination of traditional and contemporary planting. Enjoy home cooked food in our restored barn and browse the plant centre and gift shop.
Cambridge CB24 6WZ 01223 928 065
www.markshall.org.uk t.01376 563796 / 563116
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Scrutton Bland Group From1 April 2017, wewillwelcome fivenewFACEStoour Partnershipteam
Jason Fayers Tax Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01473 267047
Sharon Gravener Corporate Partner email@example.com 01473 267060
Sue Gull Corporate Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01473 267011
Nick Banks Business Advisory Partner email@example.com 01473 267073
Gavin Birchall Tax Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 838464
Dan Bligh Insurance Partner email@example.com 01206 838 419
Tim Long Financial Planning Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 838427
Luke Morris Corporate Partner email@example.com 01206 838466
Tim Mulley Insurance Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 838404
James Bolton Employee Benefits Partner email@example.com 01223 928065
Grant Buchanan Financial Planning Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 838436
Graham Doubtfire Tax Partner email@example.com 01206 838437
Tim O’Connor Corporate Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01206 838406
Simon Pinion Business Advisory Partner email@example.com 01206 838446
James Tucker Business Advisory Partner firstname.lastname@example.org 01473 267068
From 01.04.17 Scrutton Bland will become a Limited Liability partnership (LLP). The term ‘Partner’ is used to refer to a member of Scrutton Bland LLP. Registered number OC306266
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Spring is Sprung
Adviser looks behind the scenes at the annual Budget Breakfast, to find out how and why this flagship event takes place.
Budgets and Breakfasts
And it’s not just the countryside that’s experiencing a new period of growth. I n April Scrutton Bland will enter a new stage in its development as the financial services firm becomes a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). Following the example of many professional advisers in making the transition from an unincorporated entity to a LLP, the move will allow the Partnership team at Scrutton Bland to make operational decisions with more agility; and enable the management team to appoint new members with greater ease, attracting new talent into the firm and providing greater opportunities for promotion for existing staff. Having undergone a number of positive changes in recent years with the expansion of the Ipswich office into the Crown Street building, the relocation in Colchester to a purpose built office at Severalls Business Park and more recently, the opening of a new office in Cambridge, Scrutton Bland continues to go from strength to strength.
The expansion of the Partner team reflects the exponential growth of the firm, its services and employee numbers as Scrutton Bland continues to build its reputation as one of the region’s leading financial services advisers. The now 15 strong Partnership team will be headed by Jason Fayers, Tax Partner who takes up the mantle of Managing Partner from Tim O’Connor who comes to the end of his tenure after four years. Jason has been a Tax Partner at the firm since 2003 and will assume his new role on 1 April, spearheading the firm as it continues to develop new value propositions for clients and expand geographically throughout the region. The future is looking bright for Scrutton Bland, as we enter a period of inevitable change with the impending HMRC requirement for Making Tax Digital by 2020 and the challenges that the UK’s transition out of the European Union will undoubtedly bring. Scrutton Bland are not only in a robust position to support our clients, but have exciting plans for future growth.
In addition to Partner James Bolton who joined the business at the end of 2016 tasked with developing a specialist Employee Rewards and Benefits service, from 1 April Scrutton Bland will see a further five Partners joining the management team. Luke Morris joins Scrutton Bland from Larking Gowen as a Corporate Partner, bringing with him a wealth of experience in all areas of corporate finance. Gavin Birchall is promoted from within the Scrutton Bland Tax team alongside Graham Doubtfire . Gavin, is a non-practising solicitor with a specialism in transactional and property tax and Graham has a depth of experience in providing tax advice to business owners, individuals and families. Their appointments will strengthen yet further the firm’s commitment to developing its tax advisory services. Dan Bligh joins the Partner team to sit alongside senior Partner Tim Mulley strengthening the Partnerships insurance expertise. Dan has worked at Scrutton Bland for 13 years building up a robust client base and managing an expanding insurance team. Completing the Partnership team is Grant Buchanan who takes up the position of Financial Planning Partner. A Chartered Independent Financial Adviser, Grant represents an increasingly important focus for the firm for providing intelligent and tailored financial advice to individual and business clients.
For over a decade Scrutton Bland have been entertaining guests from across East Anglia at their annual Budget Breakfast event. Each winter the team at Scrutton Bland furiously plan for what has become one of the ‘must attend’ business events of the year. T im Mulley, Senior Partner at Scrutton Bland explains how the annual budget review has become one of the firm’s flagship events; “We have looked at other venues over the years,” “We start planning the event in December, ready for the March budget” explains Simon Pinion, Business Advisory Partner. “Every aspect of the event, from the catering to the suppliers we use has been thought through in terms of reflecting our commitment to businesses operating in the local area and hosting the very best event for our guests.”
Whilst the format of the event continues to be based on a review of the Chancellor’s budget, the team at Scrutton Bland are committed to keeping the event fresh and relevant.” Simon goes on: “Each year we have a theme. Often it is a topic based on current affairs, or something which people are talking about, or it might be something which relates to a specific message we want to convey. We strive to be a trusted adviser to our clients, and recognise that they will look to us to ensure that they are getting the very highest quality and up-to- date advice. The Budget Breakfast allows us to showcase both our expertise and the breadth of service we can provide to our clients.”
explains Tim, “but year on year the popularity of our Budget Breakfast just seems to grow. Finding a venue which can fit everyone in for a breakfast, with a car park large enough and in the right location isn’t easy!” With just under 300 guests gathering each year at the Ipswich hotel (formerly the Cameo) to enjoy a full English breakfast before listening to Scrutton Bland’s in-house team of tax, accounting and IFA specialists, the Budget Breakfast has become a significant event in the firm’s calendar of events.
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A Passion for Paintings
2017 looks set to be a bumper year for the staff at Scrutton Bland as the Chancellor delivers his last spring budget and looks ahead to his autumn statement in October, inevitably bringing with it another budget event. It looks like the teams will be busy over the summer! If you would like to find out more about the Scrutton Bland Budget Breakfast events you can email marketing@ scruttonbland.co.uk or visit our LinkedIn and Twitter pages where you will find links to the video recording of the event.
Once the teams have compiled their thoughts, the information is quickly collated into a presentation pack and sent to the marketing team ready to be shown at the breakfast. Tim Mulley reflects on how the event has changed over the years: “Whilst our role as professional advisers doesn’t change,” he says, “people, will always want to hear the professional reaction of their tax manager or IFA to the budget. What has changed over the last decade is the way in which we can get our expertise out to clients. In fact we now film our Budget Breakfast and post it online, meaning that we can reach more people than ever before. We understand that people work differently now, and with digital and mobile technology we are able to get the traditional great service we offer out to people, wherever they are.”
So, how does the breakfast come together? As soon as the Chancellor announces the date for the spring budget, the marketing, tax, accounts and IFA teams all mark their diaries and starting planning. On Budget Day (the day before the Budget Breakfast), the teams watch the budget presentation live on television, making notes as the Chancellor delivers his announcement in the House of Commons. They then spend the rest of the afternoon and evening - often burning the midnight oil analysing the contents of the budget and formulating their professional opinions on the effects the announcements will have on clients.
Running a successful art gallery in London’s Mayfair may seem like a dream job; surrounded by wonderful works of art and building up a client base of discerning customers. But like the proverbial swan which glides across the surface of the water whilst paddling furiously underneath, running a successful gallery is nowhere near as easy it appears. Adviser spoke to John Martin, whose eponymous gallery has been a fixture on the London art scene for over 25 years, about the pleasures and challenges of running a West End art business.
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When and why did you decide to set up your own gallery? I became hooked on painting in my early teens, not only learning to paint but visiting galleries and reading about artists constantly. It was an obsession that was well suited to my other major teenage preoccupation which was avoiding team sports (I was lucky to have a wonderful teacher who tolerated my absences so long as I hid myself in the drawing schools). Art became ‘the thing I was good at’, and in a sense it directed everything I did for the rest of my life. By the age of sixteen I had decided that I would have my own art gallery. Life becomes very simple when you know what you want to do and can pursue it.
What were the main obstacles that you faced when you first began (and do you think they still exist)? A gallery owner needs to know about business, accounting, law (contracts, leases), design, publishing, marketing, sales, entertaining, film, social media … an endless list of skills that I didn’t possess when I started at 23. With hindsight, I would not have survived more than six months had it not been for my business partner, John Thompson, who had enough confidence in me to let me open a gallery in Mayfair and who taught me everything about the practical side of the business and, most importantly, how to create an atmosphere in the gallery that was relaxed and unstuffy. The other lucky break was our timing. 1992, as some will remember, provided my new enterprise with an especially miserable recession; half the shops of the Bond Street were empty and landlords were willing to take on anyone who would pay the business rates. True, it meant I sold very little for a few years, but it gave me the time to make mistakes as I learnt to run the gallery as efficiently as possible and, above all, not to waste money. Today, it is a very different situation. Someone wanting to open a new gallery in a prime location would almost certainly need backers with deep pockets to get a gallery off the ground in a desirable London location, so the pressures are enormous. For younger galleries, it is a question of improvising as best they can – it can be done and the London art market still throws up brilliant, inventive galleries who can make their mark, but I wouldn’t like to start again.
You exhibit a wide range of contemporary art from around the world. How do you decide which artists to feature? It is always about a personal relationship with the artist. There are artists who may be commercially successful or whose work I admire, but if the relationship doesn’t work then there’s no point in trying to force it. Firstly, I have to be able to trust their integrity as an artist – that means their work comes before anything else; and they in turn have to trust the gallery, that we will stick with them if they want to change direction or experiment. I suppose the next important thing to notice if you visit the gallery or even just our website, is that we don’t have an obvious ‘house style’. We show abstract painting and sculpture, alongside figurative work – but for me, it is never about what an artist paints that matters, but rather, how they paint. The way the paint is applied is where the magic is, unfortunately it is also the most elusive aspect to try and describe, but it perhaps goes back to the personality and the integrity of the artist. I have to be able to find the artist in the marks they make and the way the paint is put on: it is a complete package, like recognising a voice.
What is the process for curating an exhibition? How do you decide where the works of art are displayed? It begins in the studio. Visiting the artist in the studio is one of the most exciting aspects of the job, and talking to them about the practicalities of the show is the first step in seeing how we need to present the work, write about it and display it. It also means that we tend to see each show as a collection of work, rather than individual paintings, and that means some of the most challenging work may be vital to the story of the show. We have to present the whole picture, not just the edited highlights. What would be your advice for someone interested in investing in contemporary art? Take your time and don’t buy anything for a while, just look and get a feel for the galleries and artists you like. Art fairs are great ways of seeing a huge amount of art in one place, and try to get to know other collectors and artists and talk to them about their own collection – I am always astonished how people are so reluctant to ask for advice. Advice is free and people always love giving advice! My other tip is not to collect alone – try and make sure you share it with your partner and that it becomes an adventure you share together; involve your kids too. It is amazing how much fun you can have and how easy it is to quickly become knowledgeable – that’s the moment you can start buying.
Which areas have you seen grow in popularity in recent years? As the art market grows and becomes more global in its outlook, there are now a myriad of areas in which you can collect and new artistic hotspots to discover. There are art fairs every week, in every corner of the planet and with this huge growth and confidence there seems to be strength in every aspect of the market. It is probably best not to worry too much about which areas are popular, as by the time they are popular, you are probably too late! How have Scrutton Bland’s services such as SBLive helped you with the administration processes which you and every business need to undertake every day? That’s a nice question, because it is easy to talk about the fun aspects of the gallery, without realising there is a huge amount of administration that goes with it, as in every business. It was always a chore but SBLive (and Xero accounting) have simplified the way we deal with our accounts and given us far more information about our finances –now we can anticipate the bumps on the road before we hit them! I’m a big fan. All photographs by Dan Weill John Martin Gallery is at 38 Albermarle Street, London W1S 4JG 0207 499 1314 www.jmlondon.com
SBLive is Scrutton Bland’s cloud accounting service which combines online accounting software with a range of professional advice to help manage the financial administration of a business. Simple to use, it automates a number of processes such as invoicing and expenses to provide real time reporting, which in turn enables easy management of cash flow, tax and VAT from any smartphone or tablet. Full training and support is provided as part of the SBLive package which can be tailored to the needs of the business. Contact email@example.com or call 0333 2347144 or see our website www.sblive.co.uk
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Healthy, convenient and hugely popular, sushi is a regular meal choice for millions of people across the world. But who would have thought that the largest sushi producer in the UK is actually located in the Suffolk countryside? ichiban (meaning ‘number one’ in Japanese) makes 500,000 packs of own label and branded sushi every week, which are then distributed to shops and supermarkets across the country, 364 days per year. T he origins of sushi can be traced back to south-east Asia where it was recorded in 8th century documents as a way of preserving fresh fish This uncompromising attention to high standards extends to ichiban’s factory and the local environment. Andrew Wilkinson, managing director explains: ”We are committed to becoming a greener company and have set a number of targets such as 15% carbon footprint reduction over three
One thing is for certain: given sushi’s continuing popularity after 2000 years, then the future for this forward-thinking Suffolk business is certainly bright and ichiban will continue to thrive. For more information about ichiban UK Limited please see their website at www.ichibanuk.com tel 01449 710910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org If you are going through a business development process, or if you need support or assistance with corporate finance issues then Scrutton Bland have a team of specialist advisers who can help with professional advice.
Originally part of an international conglomerate, ichiban was purchased by local entrepreneurs Bob and Trish Baker on 31 December 2013. Scrutton Bland’s Sue Gull was part of the corporate financial advisory team which helped start this new chapter in the company’s history. “The influence of Bob and Trish as locally-based owner managers has been profound,” says Sue. “They have worked closely with Andrew and the management team at ichiban and together they have created a sustainable and environmentally-responsible strategy which has had a huge impact on the business.”
ichiban’s commitment to the environment was recognised last year when they were named ‘Suffolk’s Greenest Business’ followed by being shortlisted in the East Anglian Daily Times’ Business Awards for the ‘Environmental and Sustainability’ category. “Our management team has worked extremely hard to implement a strategy which reduces waste and energy consumption,” says Andrew. “To be named as winner of the Greenest Business title, and finalist in the EADT Business Awards, is a real credit to them. We place great emphasis on educating our staff about our efforts, so it very much feels as if environmental awareness is part of everyday culture on the ichiban site.”
In its immaculate factory near Stowmarket, the heritage of this ancient cuisine is rigorously observed as the 450 ichiban UK staff all pride themselves on the high quality of the sushi they produce. Traditional Japanese production methods are used; all the rice is cooked in 5kg pots in individual ovens and every one of the nigiri blocks are topped by hand, which in 2016 amounted to over 21 million! The company has round-the- clock assessors at the facility, and maintains the highest BRC accreditation (Double A) as well as a five-star EHO food safety rating.
and meat in fermented rice. Over the years people started adding vinegar to their rice to aid the fermentation process and in the 19th century Japanese chefs experimented to create what is known as Edo-style sushi, which is the style that most sushi lovers would recognise today. The prevalence of Buddhism in Japan means that many people abstain from eating meat, using fish as their dietary staple; Japanese chefs are credited with being the first to prepare sushi as a complete dish, combining the fermented rice and preserved fish together.
years. In the last year we have invested £650,000 on a new woodchip biomass boiler to significantly reduce the amount of energy used to produce the 40 tonnes of cooked rice we require each week. We have also implemented a scheme to replace all 400 mostly fluorescent light fittings within the business to LED, as well reducing landfill waste by 23 tonnes (11%) combined with a water reduction of 25%.”
Contact Sue Gull on email@example.com or 01473 267000 .
Sustainable sushi in Suffolk
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The financial year end is approaching fast. If you haven’t already done so, these are some of the personal finance areas you should be checking: Year-end tax planning
Pension contributions The maximum pension contribution on which tax relief can be claimed in any one year is £40,000, but if funds are being withdrawn under a flexible drawdown arrangement, then the limit reduces to £10,000 and is set to reduce again to £4,000 with effect from 6 April 2017. This is intended to stop people recycling funds by claiming tax relief twice on the same contribution. In order to qualify for tax relief, the maximum personal contribution must not exceed 100% of pensionable earnings, though employer contributions would permit this limit to be exceeded. Carry forward Provided that the annual allowance for pension contributions has been used in full in any one year, it is permitted to carry forward any unused allowance from up to three previous years. The oldest unused relief must be carried forward first, and no allowance can be carried forward from years in which the scheme member was not a member of a registered pension scheme.
Pension lifetime allowance The maximum sum which can be saved in a pension scheme over the course of a lifetime without incurring tax charges is currently £1 million, having been reduced from £1.25 million on 6 April 2016. However, in the same way as with previous reductions in the lifetime allowance, it is possible within strictly defined limits to preserve larger sums by applying to HM Revenue & Customs for ‘protection’ before the tax year end on 5 April. ISA allowance The maximum amount which can be contributed to an ISA in 2016/17 is £15,240, but this will increase to £20,000 from 6 April 2017. Both spouses are entitled to their own allowance, but unlike the situation with pensions, an unused ISA allowance cannot be carried forward. So it’s a case of ‘use it or lose it’! Some providers now permit money to be withdrawn from an ISA and replaced in the same tax year without the payment being treated as a fresh contribution.
Capital Gains Tax It is worth checking to ensure that the £11,100 exemption from Capital Gains Tax is used each year by both members of a married couple to shield gains on investments which are not held within a tax- protected ‘wrapper’ such as an ISA. Child benefit The value of child benefit begins to reduce when recipients’ ‘adjusted net income’ exceeds £50,000 a year, and ceases to be available when it reaches £60,000. However, the value of adjusted net income will be reduced by the amount of any pension contribution, thus enabling child benefit to be reclaimed.
Personal allowance A similar principle applies to the personal tax allowance, currently £11,000 p.a. and expected to increase to £11,500 p.a. from 6 April 2017. When a taxpayer’s income exceeds £100,000 p.a., the personal allowance starts to be reduced, and it ceases to be available when income reaches £122,000. The effect is that income between these two levels is taxed at an effective rate of 60%. However, in the same way as with child benefit, the thresholds will be reduced by the amount of any pension contributions. Inheritance Tax Gifts can be made each tax year which will reduce the value of an estate for the purposes of Inheritance Tax. The annual exemption is £3,000, and if this is not fully used in one year the balance can be carried forward to the next. In addition, gifts up to £5,000 can be made by parents on the marriage of children, and £2,500 by grandparents. Furthermore, any number of gifts of £250 can be made without attracting tax. The most valuable exemption applies to outright gifts of unlimited value which are made to individuals (and not trusts) more than seven years before the death of the donor. Thereafter, these ‘potentially exempt transfers’ become wholly exempt from Inheritance Tax.
And finally If you’ve missed the 5 April deadline then get in touch with your financial adviser for guidance. Scrutton Bland’s financial advisers provide independent advice from across the whole market, and can guide you through the various options to find the best solution to fit your individual circumstances. Contact Gary Riches at 01206 838400 or gary.riches@ scruttonbland.co.uk or visit our website www.scruttonbland.co.uk
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Are you a member of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, typically born between 1946 and 1964? If you are then you may already have good pension provision from a defined benefit (final salary scheme) and with a bit of luck and some good planning you may be well placed for a comfortable retirement. Defined benefits, which provide a secure income based on salary and length of service, were introduced in the 1950s. By 1980, over 90% of pension savings were going into a defined benefits arrangement but the increasing longevity of the pension recipients coupled with poor investment returns made these arrangements too costly for employers, and they are now rarely seen in the private sector. P eople entering the workforce today (often referred to as millennials) can expect to work until at least their late sixties At just three weeks old, Elizabeth has now become Scrutton Bland’s youngest client and is potentially one of the youngest holders of a personal pension in the UK! To some this may seem a little extreme, but it is an Under current legislation, Elizabeth will not receive any state pension until she is age 68 at the earliest, so the flexible pension that Terry and Teresa have started for her could mean the difference between being able to retire, or having to work until her late sixties or possibly later!
before they will be able to draw their state pension. The recent introduction of auto enrolment employers pensions schemes and the Lifetime ISA were designed to encourage people to save for their retirement, but a recent BBC report highlighted that a 25-year-old today would need to put away at least £246 net of tax every month in order to get an eventual pension of £20,000 a year. Newly retired firefighter Terry Page and his wife Teresa from Dovercourt were both members of their respective employers’ defined benefits schemes and are now enjoying an active retirement. Recognising that the years ahead may be more financially challenging for their grandchildren than have been for them, Terry and Teresa wanted to do something a bit different for young Reuben, Katelyn and their newest grandchild, Elizabeth, who was born on January 7th 2017. Terry explained: ‘The idea of starting a pension plan for a child wasn’t something that had occurred to us when deciding how and when to leave a sum of money for our grandchildren. Michelle (our financial adviser) suggested the option of a flexible pension and we were immediately interested. It gives each of our grandchildren a good start to their pension pot and hopefully will give them more of a secure retirement, even though that is many years away.’
exceptionally efficient way to help save for their future, and an altruistic gift that will make a real difference to Elizabeth, Reuben and Katelyn in years to come. How they helped their grandchildren Terry and Teresa have together made a contribution of £2,880 to a flexible pension for each of their three grandchildren. The government will add a further £720 to each pension via tax relief at source, boosting each contribution to £3,600. For baby Elizabeth, if the £3,600 grows at a compound interest rate of 5% per annum, net of charges, she will have a pension pot of £8,663.82 when she reaches 18 years of age, which will give her a significant start to her retirement pot. If she retires at age 65, the same pot could be worth £85,823.64. If Elizabeth moved the funds into flexible income drawdown, drawing down the investment growth only, and assuming it grew at the same rate, this could boost Elizabeth’s monthly income by £357 per month. Note that these figures do not take into account the impact of inflation, which may erode the purchasing power of the funds.
Baby boomers and millennials and our youngest ever client! Michelle Groves, Independent Financial Adviser at Scrutton Bland has recently helped set up a flexible pension for a new client. Nothing very unusual in that - except that the pension holder was three weeks old!
Scrutton Bland’s independent financial advisers provide information and advice from across the whole of the financial market, and can guide you through the minefield of pension providers to find the best options for your individual circumstances. Contact Michelle Groves on
01206 838400 or michelle.groves@ scruttonbland.co.uk
Reuben, Katelyn and baby Elizabeth: Scrutton Bland’s youngest pension holders!
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An acorn of an
The old adage that great oaks grow from little acorns could have been written especially with Oaklore in mind. David and Alison Gray from East Bergholt set up the not-for-profit organisation in 2008 as a way of restoring the native environmental ecosystem. Their aim was to improve wildlife habitats whilst creating a cleaner and greener environment through planting areas of woodland in Suffolk and north Essex. T he first land they acquired in 2008 was in Ardleigh in Colchester, where there are now over 3,000 native British trees, some of which have Over the years the venture has incorporated new opportunities for tree planting, such as a scheme enabling the sponsorship of a memorial tree overlooking a wildflower meadow, the only such scheme currently Running your own not-for-profit organisation is an all-consuming and sometimes stressful process and it is important that you have the right support in place to allow you to concentrate on what you do best. At Scrutton Bland all of our business advisory, tax, financial advisory and insurance broking teams work together to ensure that all of our clients receive a fully supportive service.
operating in East Anglia. Other options for sponsoring a tree planting include celebrating a birth or a special birthday or anniversary, or simply the opportunity to create a special place to visit. For Scrutton Bland, sponsorship of the tree planting scheme began back in June 2012 as a way of helping to compensate for carbon emissions in the workplace. Since then over a hundred trees have been planted, mostly by schoolchildren (assisted by Scrutton Bland staff) who benefit from the opportunity to participate in some outdoor learning to find out about the ecosystem of insects, birds, plants and other wildlife supported by the native woodland. ‘It’s a way for the business to give something back,’ says managing partner Tim O’Connor. ‘There is an expectation for firms and their employees to interact with their local communities and environment, and working with Oaklore enables us to create a greener environment and cleaner air in a sustainable way whilst also educating the next generation about the importance of protecting their environment.’ For more information about Oaklore, or to find out about how to sponsor a tree – whether for business or a personal project – contact them at www.oaklore.co.uk or tel 01206 298182 .
been grown from acorns by school pupils. A few years later more land was purchased at Assington near Sudbury, which has been planted with a further 2,000 trees. All are native British species, planted as saplings and grown from seed native to the local area. The saplings are carefully planted seven metres apart, which gives them the space to develop naturally and to flourish without the need to be disturbed in years come. ‘It is important to us to plant native trees as a way of restoring some of the woodland that has been lost over the centuries,’ explains David, a landscape gardener. ‘We can offer oak, silver birch, hawthorn, hornbeam, cherry (bird and wild), small-leaved lime, beech, walnut, hazel, field maple, mountain ash, spindle and guilder rose. Planting trees makes a huge improvement for the environment: for every six trees planted will offset a year’s carbon emissions for a family of four.’
If you would like to talk to us about ways that we may be able to help your business, please contact Tim O’Connor at tim.oconnor@ scruttonbland.co.uk or 01206 838400 .
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Online portal provides speed and security for clients
Business communications are evolving. Only a few years ago, almost all transactions were made on paper, and sent out by post. The rapid evolution of digital technology has transformed the speed and efficiency by which we communicate, but at the same time the risks associated with fraudulent activity: hacking and cybercrime have increased. W ith regular newspaper stories reporting digital communications generated by businesses and individuals being This investment in secure technology provides a number of benefits to our clients: • Documents can be downloaded for review in advance of meetings Use our cybersecurity checklist (as recommended by our cyber insurance department) • Create strong passwords. One tip is to
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think of a memorable sentence about you which mixes up letters, characters and numbers, for example ‘When I was nearly 12 I broke my leg!’ which could become the password WIwn12Ibml! (Obviously don’t use this one!) • Protect your information on a need-to- know basis. It’s inadvisable to share usernames and passwords, and equally not a good idea to write them down. • If you do not have online expertise, then get professional advice on security. This will save you time and give you peace of mind. • Don’t open attachments from people or organisations that you don’t recognise. Clicking on a malicious attachment can install malware on your computer. • When shopping online, only use your credit card on websites with the prefix ‘https’. The ‘s’ indicates that the site uses secure protocols to encrypt data between you and the website. • Items like laptops and computer monitors are common targets for thieves. The real cost of stolen tech isn’t just the hardware, it’s the potential for lost data and identity theft. Scrutton Bland has a team of highly qualified, friendly and experienced IFAs who will work with you to evaluate your options, assess your risk profile and help design a personalised plan to enable you to meet your financial goals. For more information on financial planning or cyber insurance and security please contact Tim Long at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 01206 838400
infiltrated by criminals, the question of whether or not to send and receive confidential documents electronically can be a dilemma, and understandably so. However, if an independent financial adviser (IFA) has to wait until they meet their client face to face to see documentation, it may mean that valuable time is spent reading and assessing the paperwork, instead of ‘cutting to the chase’ to help clients find solutions to manage their finances. With this in mind, Scrutton Bland’s Financial Planning division will shortly launch a secure online portal for clients who wish to communicate electronically. This will enable documents to be easily shared, reviewed and signed whilst protected within a virtual ‘locked cabinet’ which keeps clients’ data safe.
• Electronic transfer of confidential data is more secure (for example it prevents the wrong person opening a letter sent by post) • Documents can be sent more quickly and easily than conventional paper based processes • Security arrangements are stronger and safer using a secure online portal procedure • Documents can be signed electronically Tim Long, Financial Planning partner at Scrutton Bland commented: “Quite simply it’s all about providing a swift and secure service for our clients. With traditional methods we have to look at clients’ documents with an inherent delay. The new system will enhance our ability to plan ahead, looking at circumstances ahead of meetings. We can review a client’s financial position, preferences and objectives and offer solutions in a quicker and therefore less costly way.”
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F I N A N C I A L P L A N N I N G | S C R U T T O N B L A N D | 2 1
The Marks Hall Estate in Coggeshall extends to over 2,200 acres of some of Essex’s most beautiful countryside and comprises a historic and picturesque collection of farm holdings, residential and commercial property, semi-natural ancient woodland, coniferous woodlands, and parkland. Marks Hall is perhaps one of the county’s hidden treasures. At its heart is a world class arboretum: a stunning collection of trees from all over the temperate world. T he name Marks Hall refers not to the ‘hall’, but instead to the Saxon name of Mercheshalle, which was listed in the Doomsday Book. Marks Hall After the war the scars of military activity at Marks Hall were compounded by the demise of the mansion house and dereliction of the gardens. Left empty after the troops departed, the fitments of the house were put on sale and the great oaks, which had been so cherished by Thomas Phillips Price, were felled, presumably for the value of the timber. The deer park was overgrown, the walled garden was a tangle of weeds and the lakes were silted up.
was occupied as a private estate over many centuries with many changes to the dwellings on site. Archaeological digs have unearthed evidence of a medieval hall that was later replaced with a more substantial brick building during the Tudor period. By the Jacobean era the mansion had a three- storied front elevation and later additions included the crenellations, which gave the house a distinctive appearance. Thomas Phillips Price, an MP from Wales, purchased the property at auction in 1897. Phillips Price had an immense passion for the place and in particular for the majestic oak trees. He noted the exceptional size and beauty of this timber, which he acknowledged had been preserved with great care for centuries. In his 1927 will, Thomas Phillips Price bequeathed the estate ‘upon trust’ for the nation, to be used ‘for the advancement of Agriculture, Arboriculture and Forestry for ever’. He died in 1932, leaving a life interest for his widow, and on the death of Mrs Phillips Price in 1966 the estate reverted to the nation. The intervening years had not been kind to the estate as both the house and the grounds were used as a base for 3000 personnel from the RAF and the US Air Force during the Second World War. By 1945 the estate had become peppered with prefabricated military units and a network of concrete roads, some of which are still visible today.
2 2 | S C R U T T O N B L A N D | S E C T O R arboretum in the heart of Essex Marks Hall – an international Sarah Edwards of Marks Hall explains the background to the estate, and how a trust set up by the former owner in 1927 has protected the land for the nation
In 1966 work began to preserve the future of this once great estate. ‘It is a long time since I saw so much dereliction and destitution on one estate’ was one comment by an agent for the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. However, despite the alarming level of dilapidation, real potential could be seen in the landscape. Marks Hall began to be talked about as a potential arboretum. This perhaps, could be a way to fulfil the wishes laid out in the trust of Sir Thomas Phillips Price.
Photograph by Bryan Shaw, scuplture by Lucy Kinsella from Marks Hall Sculpture 2015
Mr and Mrs Phillips Price
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Tax and Sustainability Within the business community there is an increasing awareness of the need to act with sustainability in mind; in other words to take responsibility for the impact that our actions will have on current and future generations. Graham Doubtfire, Tax Director explains some of the ways that businesses and investors can maximise their tax efficiencies through the use of environmentally-efficient equipment and innovative business practices.
Photograph by Bryan Shaw
But the work doesn’t stop here. The forward-looking vision for Marks Hall is to respect the heritage of the estate while developing a restorative and inspiring landscape that is good for people, plants and wildlife. As general manager, Rebecca Lee notes, “Driving awareness and encouraging visitors is vitally important to support the future of the Marks Hall Charitable Trust.” This summer sees the second Marks Hall Sculpture Exhibition, from 29th July to 10th September and sponsored by Scrutton Bland. The aim is to bring art into the landscape at Marks Hall, with over 300 pieces of work from over 40 different sculptors in a vast range of materials. Laid out as a sculpture trail, the exhibition encourages visitors to view the environment in a new and engaging way, revealing unexpected views and sightlines at the same time as increasing an understanding of the work undertaken by the Trust to protect this special place and ensuring it is enjoyed by generations to come.
Firstly a Charitable Trust was established in 1971, followed by an extensive programme of renovation, clearing and landscaping, aimed at creating an arboretum of national significance, with scientific and educational value. At first the arboretum was only open to ‘persons with a special interest in arboriculture’, but in 1993 Marks Hall opened to the public and is now an exceptional arboretum and gardens, visited by over 40,000 people every year, supported by 900 annual members and an industrious team of over 80 volunteers who ably assist the staff team. Arboretums are often referred to as ‘museums of trees’ and the site at Marks Hall today is an internationally important collection of trees from all temperate areas of the globe. They are mass planted in geographic zones within a heritage landscape, and include rare and unusual species such as the Wollemi Pines from Australasia.
Using green technology If you are working with energy-efficient and/or renewable technology there can be substantial tax benefits for your company. You can claim capital allowances when you buy energy efficient or low or zero-carbon technology for your business. This reduces the amount of tax you pay, and in some cases such as wind turbines or solar heating panels, this could be 100% of the cost of these which could be set against your income. You can claim ‘enhanced capital allowances’ (a type of first year allowances) on your tax return for the following energy and water efficient equipment: • energy saving equipment listed on the HMRC energy technology product list, for example certain motors • water saving equipment (provided that it is on HMRC’s water efficient technologies product list), for example water meters, water-efficient toilets and taps • plant and machinery for gas refuelling stations, which can include storage tanks and pumps • gas, biogas and hydrogen refuelling equipment • Some cars with low CO 2 emissions
Research and Development projects
Tax efficiencies through supporting younger businesses For those looking to help small early stage businesses, then a Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (or SEIS) may be one option to consider. A SEIS is designed to help small companies raise equity finance by offering tax reliefs to individual investors who purchase new shares in these companies, and who hold those shares for at least three years. The SEIS scheme can offer 50% income tax relief of the cost of the shares to investors, who have the satisfaction of supporting young entrepreneurs who may have been unable to get support from more traditional funding routes such as banks. If you would like to benefit from Scrutton Bland’s tax planning expertise then contact one of our professional advisers for a no-obligation chat. With almost one hundred years of advising businesses across the region, we can
Enhanced Corporation Tax Relief is available to companies if an R&D project “seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or capacity in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty – and not simply an advance in its own state of knowledge or capability”. If your company and the project both meet the necessary conditions then tax relief can be claimed in your Corporation Tax return. There are specific guidelines which give detailed information on the definitions and processes businesses would need to make a claim.
Photograph by Bryan Shaw, work by Laury Dizengremel, from Marks Hall Sculpture 2015
For more information: www.markshall.org.uk or tel 01376 563796 Scrutton Bland have extensive
experience in advising charities, trusts and not for profit organisations across East Anglia and the South East. We provide audit and accounting provision, insurance and financial advice and aim to provide a joined-up and straightforward approach which saves time and resources for your organisation. Please get in touch on 01473 267000 or 01206 838400 or see www.scruttonbland.co.uk
provide a straightforward and cost effective solution to your tax needs. Call Graham Doubtfire on 01206 838400 or email
• new zero-emission goods vehicles
Marks Hall mansion
Photograph by Jerry Harpur
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