Adviser - Spring 2016

Adviser/ history

At the 2015 Scrutton BlandAGM Neil Hewitt brushes up his target technique

Managing partner since 2013, Tim

O’ Connor joined Scrutton Bland in 2002 and is seen here on his first day as a partner in April 2004

Scrutton Bland’s office in Colchester

played against Scrutton, Goodchild and Sanderson. Former partner Robin Twinn remembers: “We had to include the senior partner Geoffrey Lockhart in the team. He fielded in the slips so he did not have to run a lot (not because he could catch, which he couldn’t) and batted early but did not score many (if any) runs, whereas Scrutton Bland had John Davey in their team who deserved his place. Otherwise, we were not too bad and did beat other teams. We also had a very successful mixed hockey team at a time when, I believe, we had three members of the Colchester Ladies’ team working for us”. In more recent years a wide variety of games have been organised for the AGM, which have taken on a more inclusive approach. Eric Bland finally retired in the late 1980s, and with his departure the Colchester Permanent Building Society work ceased, as that part of the business merged with the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society. I n 1990 after just over 70 years of business, and with some clients who had remained with them for the whole of that time, the two firms of Scrutton, Goodchild and Sanderson (in Ipswich) and Bland Fielden (in Colchester) merged to create Scrutton Bland. Their geographic range now covered Suffolk and north Essex, with branch offices in Ipswich, Colchester, Saxmundham, Diss, Witham and Frinton-on-Sea. Services included accountancy, tax, audit, corporate finance and independent business advice across multiple sectors ranging from agriculture, transport and distribution, construction, education, charity, medical and many more. The new century brought fresh changes as Scrutton Bland consolidated its position in the financial services

sector and enhanced its credibility within the global financial field. Merrick Hill, a well-known local insurance broker based in Diss, was the fifth acquisition to the Scrutton Bland group in 2004. In 2006 Scrutton Bland became a member of Nexia International, a worldwide network of independent firms of accountants, which enables the firm access to international referrals and high-level technical input for complex tax and audit issues. In 2007 Scrutton Bland Limited joined the Willis Commercial Network, part of Willis Towers Watson, the fourth largest insurance broker in the world. T here were physical changes to the firm too as the Ipswich, Diss and Colchester offices all moved to new premises. Merrick Hill moved to a more convenient office space on the outskirts of Diss, and in February 2007 the seventy or so members of staff in Colchester relocated to a brand new open-plan office building in Colchester Business Park. In 2014 Scrutton Bland’s Ipswich offices were moved to what had been the old Churchill insurance building, now developed to create an impressive 15,700 square foot premises on four floors. The newly-named Fitzroy House (called after the adjacent street) is located on the site of Ipswich’s Temperance Hall, built in 1839 as a venue for the town’s societies and discussion groups under the auspices of the teetotal movement which aimed to persuade the population to abstain from alcohol. It is an appropriate nod to Alfred Scrutton, Methodist teetotal founder of the original Ipswich part of the firm, who would surely have approved of the successful development of the group.


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