A holistic approach to business and personal success through succession planning

16/06/22 “My ambitions for my business were far more modest than Mazars helped us achieve.” Malcolm Little, CEO, Advanced Dynamics.

Advanced Dynamics is a Yorkshire-headquartered engineering business supplying bottling, labelling and specialist machinery to the manufacturing industry. CEO Malcolm Little founded the business in 1998 and grew it to a team of 8 people turning over £2.7m by 2018. An introduction from Malcolm’s network to Mazars led to the start of a strong strategic partnership which unlocked its untapped potential. Advanced Dynamics has since grown to 20 people with turnover of £5.5m in less than four years. And it’s not stopping there.

The business

Shortly after being introduced in 2018, Mazars business advisors, Shaun Mullins and Natalie Wright completed a comprehensive business assessment using Mazars’ platform, Optimize. This enabled them to measure Advanced Dynamics’ business efficiency and operational capabilities, benchmark them against competitors and assessed market opportunities.

It became evident that the business had significantly underestimated its true value potential.

Shaun Mullins

Malcolm didn’t realise how rich Advanced Dynamics were in value creators in relation to their competitors, and how commercially advanced their solutions were in the market. We highlighted the possibilities and created an ambitious growth plan to capitalise on these strengths.

Shaun Mullins Partner - Audit POB North - Leeds, United Kingdom

The personal

Having invested over 20 years of his career in Advanced Dynamics, and worked hard to build a strong family-like culture, the owner wanted to set the business on a growth trajectory that would enable it to remain competitive in another 20 years’ time. This remains an important personal legacy. The key to achieving this goal would be through succession planning.

The Mazars team identified the gaps in expertise which were required, advising Malcolm and Tom Smith, Advanced Dynamic’s new Managing Director, on opportunities for future business development. Tom had been with Advanced Dynamics for five years, and remains instrumental in both the success of the business to date and its future growth. Mazars recognised this, and guided the business to fairly remunerate Tom for his ongoing drive and commitment to the challenges ahead, introducing a tax-efficient reward structure, which included releasing some of the owners’ equity to them.

On a personal finance level, Mazars have realigned the owners’ position with that of the business. While the owner has no plan to retire, by releasing equity in the business to its successor, cash has been released to allow the owner to personally de-risk, whilst funding a higher quality of retirement for many years to come.

The two [personal financial planning and tax planning] were functioning separately before. We’ve integrated them over time, significantly reducing both business and personal tax.

Natalie Wright Head of Family Business

The future

The business potential that Mazars’ analysis identified four years ago has become a financial reality today. Advanced Dynamics and Mazars have worked together on their next plan, to grow the business to over £10m turnover. In harmony, a succession plan, so critical to the owner’s needs, is now in place. A future leader for the business is in place, and the owner recognises this change will deliver on both the legacy and culture that they worked so hard to build.

Ultimately, the right solution for Advanced Dynamics was one that delivered both for the business and the owner’s personal needs.