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S&W: We’ve seen a clear increase in acquisition opportunities

By Kani Talabani
21 February 2022
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There has been a clear increase in available funding and acquisition opportunities for technology clients, particularly with private equity money, says Rebecca Combes, Head of Tax Services in Smith & Williamson’s (S&W) Southampton branch, while discussing the firm's sponsorship of the Science and Technology Company/South Coast Tech Company category for the South Coast Tech Awards.

Combes (pictured) adds that where clients are already well adapted to digital solutions, support for growth is always available. She expects this trend to continue and will, in turn, push the boundaries of how consumers behave.

The South Coast Tech Awards is described as the leading event in the region’s tech industry calendar. The ceremony gathers the region's most successful vendors, distributors, service providers, resellers, Tech buyers and IT teams. to award the most innovative people in technology.

What has been your main motivator to sponsor the South Coast Tech Awards?

We work with a great many technology companies, both in the region and across the UK, and are keen to support emerging technology businesses and their management teams in order to further strengthen the technology sector in the Solent region.

What kind of qualities does a company need to take home the Science and Technology Company/South Coast Tech Company award from this event?

What we’d like to see is a strong business idea and a sound strategy, coupled with an ambitious and enthusiastic management team who are keen to work towards sustainable growth.

What were the challenges your company faced during the pandemic and how did you overcome them?

Thankfully, many of our processes for delivering good client service were already fit for remote working so that transition was fairly simple for us. That meant we could focus more on engaging with our teams and with our clients, to support them personally and professionally.

Our key challenge has, as for many others, been talent attraction and being able to bring in enough good talent to deliver the increasing volume of work we have. People have clearly been reluctant to change jobs during what has been an uncertain time for many.

Can you name some of the recent trends in the technology sector in the Solent and South Coast this year?

We have seen a clear increase in available funding and acquisition opportunities for technology clients, particularly with private equity money. Where clients are already tech based or have adapted well to a digital solution, then support for growth is out there.

What do you expect will become of these trends in the short and medium term?

Our sense is this trend will continue; clients can push the boundaries of how consumers behave and interact with businesses going forward, so the opportunities for growth seem endless. Investors get excited about this and seem willing to take greater risks for a potentially much greater reward.

Why do you think it is important to highlight the successes of those in the Technology sector?

We’ve seen during the past couple of years how important technology is for our daily lives, both in the workplace and at home. A technology business is often borne from a desire to improve an element of society or provide access to recreation, and the people behind a technology business work very hard to make it happen. This should be celebrated.

To find out more about the South Coast Tech Awards, visit our events page.