In our latest customer spotlight, we speak to James Sleight of PKF GM about why Gilbanks was the perfect choice for their Leeds base.
Tell us a little bit about your business?
We are a restructuring and advisory business with offices in both Leeds and London.
In Leeds we look after a wide range of clients, predominantly SME owner managed business, assisting with financial stress and business continuity. We now also provide advice and guidance on fraud to assist clients prevent, detect and prosecute fraudulent activity.
We provide straightforward, empathetic advice and help our clients navigate difficult situations and resolve financial challenges.
Our team comprises insolvency practitioners, accountants and fraud specialists that have a wealth of experience across a broad range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, technology and property.
The business started in Leeds nearly 50 years ago and I am proud to be part of its continuing growth and evolution here in Yorkshire. We are also a part of the PKF International network so we have access to a more extensive network of skills and expertise to support our clients in any sector and in any geographical setting whilst still retaining a local and personal touch.
How have you managed your team’s use of your workspace during the pandemic?
I think the firm was well prepared after having invested heavily in the preceding year to allow for remote working eventualities. As a result of this we were able to get everyone set up at home within a couple of days.
We are not short of space, however and continue to be able to accommodate people coming into the office (when required/permitted) and ensure they are space safe.
The team at Gilbanks have been invaluable during this time, in particular when we had no office presence. They were quick to offer assistance in areas where we needed support such as dealing with post and other administrative functions.
As the regulations surrounding the pandemic have changed over the last 14 months so has our approach to workspace. Good communication and flexibility continue to be key to managing my team’s use of the office and can’t thank Gilbanks enough for their contribution to this. The covid secure measures that have been put into place will help our team and visitors feel comfortable returning to the office when guidelines change.
Having said all of this, I know the team can’t wait to be able to see one another again at the office, which has been sorely missed by all.
What are the most important things for you when considering a productive workspace for your team in Leeds?
Our move to Gilbanks was after a short period of time outside of Leeds city centre and location was therefore key for us. Leeds has a close professional network and being based within it was of primary importance when we considered our last move. Furthermore, Gilbanks has tried to create a business community within its own offering and the configuration and set up here has helped promote this. The attraction of this certainly influenced our decision making and it certainly has its own unique atmosphere that I have not encountered in other offerings.
Finally, front of house and communications are also really important to us and we want our office space provider to be seen as an extension of our own business. It is the first and last impression clients will see of us when visiting and therefore fundamental to our brand and offering. Nothing to do with the view from my desk!
What has been your clients’ perception of your office?
Warm, friendly, professional and amenable.
I think everyone who has been to visit has been impressed with the facilities, meeting rooms and executive lounge and all have commented about how they have been well looked after by the front of house team.
The set up puts visitors at ease and when your visitors are comfortable getting to know them and understanding their business requirements is made a lot easier.
Can you tell us a little bit about the other businesses / people you meet at One Park Row?
We have a wide variety of people from all kinds of backgrounds come to see us. These can range from professional contacts in the wider business community to discuss work sharing opportunities, clients to discuss issues facing their business to stakeholders in formal restructuring meetings.
All have liked the coffee and the welcoming environment and the kettle is always on for a chat.
One Park Row is also home to many intermediary firms we work with regularly. It’s great to tap into that community without needing to leave the building. The conversations around the coffee machine are one of the things I’ve missed most over the last year. You can’t underestimate the impact of those spontaneous connections.
To find out more about PKF GM please visit www.pkfgm.co.uk or contact James Sleight, Head of PKF GM’s Leeds office on 0113 244 5141.