The Latest News from Wrexham Business Professionals

Private pension changes are a ticking timebomb

NEW rules allowing people more flexibility in how they take their private pension pots are a “ticking timebomb” for some. That was the warning from top pension adviser Richard Costain to over 50 members of Wrexham Business Professionals (WBP) when he addressed their latest technical event at the town's Ramada Plaza Hotel. WBP is a group of highly skilled professional firms of solicitors and accountants working together to raise the profile of expertise that exists in the region and beyond. They have regular updates on various technical issues concerning their firms from visiting experts. Mr Costain, of Newlyn Financial Management Ltd, has been working in the financial industry for over 30 years and regularly advises professionals on the intricacies of the pension system. Along with Medwyn Edwards, of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management Ltd, he had been invited by WBP to give an explanation on changes to the pension system introduced by Chancellor George Osborne last April which are the most radical in almost a century. The two experts explained that now, for the first time, people have a choice of how to take their pension nest-eggs – either in the form of a traditional annuity which pays them an income for the rest of their life, a lump sum payment or a drawdown where amounts can be withdrawn as they are needed, just like a bank account. But Mr Costain, who gained experience with Barclays Bank and Prudential Assurance before becoming an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) in 1990, warned over one aspect of the pension changes which he predicted could affect a number of people later in life. He said: “This is my own personal view and I’m not giving it on behalf of my company but there is a ticking timebomb where people who are going into care later in their lives are concerned. “Before these changes they would have had an annuity to help them pay for their care fees but if they...... more ›

Let's copy the magic of Disney - but with real castles

Conjuring the same marketing tactics as the magic of Disney could put Wales on the world map as a top tourism destination - with the added bonus of having real castles. That was the message of Ken Skates, the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, when he addressed a meeting of an influential group of business leaders in Wrexham. Mr Skates, who is also the AM for Clwyd South, was the keynote speaker at a meeting of the Wrexham Business Professionals at the town's Ramada Plaza Hotel. The group of is made up of highly skilled professional firms of solicitors and accountants working together to raise the profile of expertise that exists in the region and beyond. Members at the packed meeting also heard from Manon Antoniazzi, Director of Tourism, Sport and Heritage for the Welsh Government, how Wales is bidding to attract more visitors from countries such as Germany and the USA. According to Mr Skates, tourism in Wales had just hit a new high, with latest figures showing the country had attracted a record-breaking 10 million visitors in the past year – the best performance since the present recording system was set up in 2006. It was vital to build on this success story and he suggested Wales could look at the approach used by the Disney global entertainment giant when it came to marketing its top attractions. He said: “If there’s one company that is superb at selling its ideas and selling its brand it is the Disney Corporation. “When you visit their theme parks you are presented with very distinct worlds, for instance the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Hollywood Studios. “The image of each of them is as a safe place, a place for fairy tales and place for dreams, and I think we could look at Disney’s marketing principles when we’re thinking about Welsh branding and promoting what Wales does best to the world. “However, I’m not saying...... more ›

Make Wrexham the capital of North Wales

Top businessmen call for Wrexham to become North Wales regional capital A campaign has been launched to secure official recognition for Wrexham as the regional capital of North Wales. The call came from a trio of top local businessmen at a meeting of the influential group, Wrexham Business Professionals, that's made up of the town's accountants and solicitors Around 80 key figures from area’s business and financial community came together in the Catrin Finch Centre at Glyndwr University for the latest meeting of the group. Amongst guests were the patriarchs of two of Wales’ top bakeries, both based in Wrexham – Alan Jones, chairman of the Village Bakery and Philip Gerrard Jones, chairman of Gerrards Bakery. They pointed out that Wrexham is the largest town in North Wales by some distance and is home to the biggest industrial estate in Wales and the second biggest in the UK. The successful duo also referred to a Royal Mail survey showing that the LL11 postcode, which covers a large part of Wrexham county borough, has been named in the top 10 most desirable places to live in Wales. The study, undertaken for Royal Mail by the Centre for Economic and Business Research, calculated the most desirable areas by looking at factors like good schools, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, the availability of affordable housing and average commuting times. Taking some of the top spots were Bradley, Brymbo, Brynteg, Bwlchgwyn, Coedpoeth, Cymau, Ffrith, Gwersyllt, Gwynfryn, Llandegla, Minera, Rhosrobin, Stansty and Tanyfron. Alan Jones, whose family firm has three bakeries in the Wrexham area and was named as Wales’s fastest growing in 2013 and Wales' fastest growing manufacturer last year, isn't surprised by the findings of the survey. He said: “Over the past few years companies such as mine have seen some amazing growth and the new access road to Wrexham Industrial Estate has given us an even greater advantage. We also have so many other important...... more ›

Savvy students are the business

Team from Prestatyn High School win place in UK final A group of business-savvy students from Denbighshire beat off stiff competition from nine other teams to challenge for a UK title. The team of six from Prestatyn High school won the North Wales regional heat of the national business and accounting competition organised by chartered accountancy body ICAEW. They will now go forward to represent North Wales in the UK final in Birmingham in June. The event at Coleg Cambria's campus in Northop, Flintshire, was supported by the college and Wrexham Business Professionals, made up of local accountants and solicitors. The aim is to bring schools, colleges, students and employers together to develop key employability skills in young people, and improve awareness of a career in chartered accountancy. Assuming the role of ICAEW chartered accountants, the students had two hours to analyse a business situation, before presenting their ideas to a panel of top business professionals. Lord Barry Jones and his wife Lady Janet Jones presented the awards to Prestatyn High and the runner up, which was one of the two teams from Coleg Cambria taking part. The Prestatyn team included Ben Armstrong and Callum Jones, both 18, along with Lewis Blackshaw, Grace Larter, Elizabeth Miller and Erin Oliver, all 17. Elizabeth Miller said: “We all really enjoyed the competition. It was fun and I think we all learnt a great deal about team work and how to work under real pressure when time is against you.” Erin Oliver added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won. I actually want to be a chartered accountant once I have completed a maths degree. “I have to admit I was a bit shocked when it was announced we had won, I wasn’t expecting it as the competition was so tough and the standard so high.” Melanie Christie, ICAEW Regional Director North West, said: “We were really impressed with the team’s performance and shrewd thinking. "These budding business advisers...... more ›