HURST blazes a trail with new Vistage Inside leadership development programme

Independent accounting and business advisory firm HURST is blazing a trail with a new leadership development programme for 12 of its rising stars.

HURST is the first accountancy firm headquartered in the north to launch a Vistage Inside programme for future leaders.

Vistage, with 45,000 members worldwide, is a global leader in personal development and advisory groups for CEOs, key executives and leadership teams, providing insight, fresh perspectives, peer advisory groups, coaching and mentoring.

The two-year Vistage Inside programme combines tailored workshops with speaker sessions, insight papers, webinars and one-to-one coaching.

HURST’s bespoke Developing Leaders initiative is being delivered by Victoria Gee, former managing partner at executive search company Warren Partners, in her role as the founder and chair of a Manchester and Cheshire Vistage CEO peer advisory group.

The programme began this month with a full-day workshop and a talk by award-winning speaker, business author and ‘corporate athlete’ Brad Waldron on the key habits of highly-effective leadership.

Chris Stewardson, the HURST partner who is leading the programme for the firm, said: “The partners firmly believe it is essential to equip our developing leaders with the commercial, client and people skills to ensure the continued success and growth of the practice.

“Several of the HURST board have benefited from Vistage membership for some time, and we are now bringing Vistage to a wider group of people in the firm who are developing into a leadership role. The group is very excited to be working with Victoria to assist with their self-development and look forward to putting their learnings into practice.”

HURST focuses on advising entrepreneurial owner-managed businesses with turnover of £10m and above across all sectors. Clients include Kinaxia Logistics, M&I Materials, Beechfield Brands, Duerr’s, Oliver Valves, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Krones UK, Creamline Dairies, Arighi Bianchi, Scapa Group and Hyde Group.

Victoria said: “HURST’s senior leaders have seen the value of developing their skills and knowledge in partnership with our organisation, and it’s great to see the firm taking an impressively proactive approach to developing its leaders of the future and investing to ensure they continue to meet the expectations of its entrepreneurial client base and team.

“The practice has a fantastic culture, a great reputation and a strong position in the market, which all set it apart, but its leaders understand they cannot be complacent as they compete to attract, retain and grow their talent.”

She added: “We provide an environment where people can learn and be challenged in an open, supportive way that’s aligned to the culture at HURST.

“Our aim is to ensure that they are not only great technical accountants but also rounded leaders who understand entrepreneurs and the challenges and opportunities they face, and who are equipped to have the right conversations at the right time.

“As the first accountancy firm headquartered in the north to have launched a VI programme of this kind, it’s extremely exciting to be working with HURST and helping to bring on its next generation of leaders.”

Andy Perkins, managing director of international operations at Vistage UK, said: “The partnership between HURST and Vistage is a great example of our mission in action.

“Through this collaboration we’ll be able to support HURST to do more of what’s important to the firm – focusing on personal and business growth, supporting its people to become better leaders who make better decisions and achieve better results, as well as placing the values of trust, challenge and care at the centre of everything they do.

“We know that better leaders have a positive impact on their companies, families and communities, and we are thrilled to be supporting HURST in its continued growth plans and developing its leadership talent of the future.”

HURST is due to move its head office to a new flagship development in Stockport in the spring to accommodate its growing team. The firm is taking 11,000sq ft at 3 Stockport Exchange, the latest phase of a £145m project by Muse Developments and Stockport Council.

HURST is taking a 10-year lease and will occupy the entire fifth floor at the building. It has been based since 1998 in Tiviot Dale in Stockport town centre, but has outgrown those premises. The new HQ will give the firm scope to expand from 120 staff to around 170, which it aims to achieve over the next three years.