North East accountancy practice, Baldwins, has expanded its Wynyard-based team with the appointment of three highly experienced directors.

The ambitious firm, which prides itself on always looking for opportunities to grow its service and its team of experts, has employed Julie Gilhespie as corporate finance director, Sarah Hale as audit director and Greg Hare as tax director.

Having each previously worked in at least one of the big four accountancy firms, the new employees bring with them over 40 years’ experience, which they are looking forward to imparting on their colleagues, during what is an exciting period of growth for the firm.

Julie, from Middlesbrough, spent more than 20 years with Deloitte corporate finance, where she was charged with overseeing a wide range of projects, including mergers, acquisitions, disposals and management buy outs.

She also gained experience raising funds off a number of significant infrastructure projects, largely involving the public sector, such as hospitals, schools, waste facilities and energy projects.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of developing the firm’s corporate finance services in the Tees Valley, as well as working with the exciting opportunities we have to help North East businesses deliver their potential and deliver sustainable growth both to Baldwins and the region as a whole,” said Julie.

“The firm is continuously growing, which is the reason I joined, and I’m excited to be getting started on working with colleagues to ensure we are recognised as one of the best financial advisory firms in the Tees Valley.”

Sarah, from Brotton, started her career at Ernst & Young, where she remained for 10 years working in the audit department, before making a move into industry, in a role as the Group Financial Controller of a large, private company in Durham.

Taken on with the aim of helping to develop a finance team consultancy service, she’s eager to use the knowledge she gained away from practice to bring a new perspective to Baldwins, during what is a crucial time for the firm.

She said: “It’s a really interesting time to join the firm because of its growth nationally.

“I’m going to use my time spent in industry to identify real-time issues faced by our clients and the wider business community and help them solve them.

“This could be anything from coaching individuals, to implementing new accounting systems. I can do this having been there myself, which is quite unique for someone in my position.”

Tax Director, Greg, has worked around the UK and the far East, including Hong Kong and Singapore, during the years he spent working as a manager and senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young respectively.

His new role will see him provide a full range of tax consulting services to businesses, their owners and private clients, including esoteric planning issues and investigations work.

“It’s rare for someone to have such a broad knowledge of tax and I’m proud to be able to provide top class tax services to the region, without people having to go outside of the North East,” said Greg.

“It’s exhilarating to be part of larger growing firm with great aspirations and in my role I have the opportunity to positively shape a firm that is capable of delivering the right services to local businesses at the right time, from start-up to achieving ultimate plans.”

The trio of appointments forms part of Baldwins’ regional plan to better serve the region’s businesses and follows the formation of a North East board, announced at the start of the year.

Speaking about the latest employees to join Baldwins, North East board member and director, Martin Baber, said: “We are constantly on the lookout for great talent to add to our experienced team, so when the opportunity of employing knowledgeable people like Julie, Sarah and Greg came about, we acted fast to secure them.

“It has always been our intention to build a regional powerhouse here in the Tees Valley and therefore these new starters fit with our regional plans.

“The arrival of three highly experienced individuals, on top of the acquisition of SV Bye further south of the region, signals the future is continuing to look very bright for Baldwins in the North East.”

Baldwins Accountants is one of the largest, independent accountancy firms in the UK with 34 offices and over 800 staff. The firm specialises in accountancy and business advisory services, including corporate finance and specialist tax advice to all businesses from start-ups to mature companies, across a broad range of business sectors.

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