digital globe

Southern Comfort

Posted On: 30th January 2018
From BTG to Land of the Free

Not only is BTG Global Advisory a great way for our member firms to provide multidisciplinary advice across multiple geographies; it’s also an exciting proposition for our employees. In recent months, a number of colleagues have taken the plunge and experienced working wanderlust in the far reaches of the world. We caught up with one of them – BTG Advisory Manager, Nick Welch – who is on secondment from our London office to GlassRatner in Atlanta, USA.

From the City in London to the place dubbed ‘The City in the Forest’, Nick provided a fascinating glimpse of life on secondment in America’s Deep South.

How long have you been working for Begbies Traynor? And where are you usually based?
About five and a half years, since June 2012. I am usually based in Canary Wharf, London.

How long have you been working on secondment?
Just under a year – since February 2017.

How long is your secondment?
18 months.

What made you decide to apply?
Because I wanted a new challenge in my career, on a personal level, and greater exposure to business valuation which is a huge practice in the US vs. the UK.

Describe your average day
I get up around 6:30am, exercise at the gym or pool in my building. Take the 10 minute walk to the office and arrive between 8-8:30am. I write my plan for the day, record my time for the previous day and catch up with emails.
After this I’ll catch up with the team that I am working with on particular projects before setting to work on my goals for the day. Specific projects currently involve Purchase Price Allocation Valuations for Healthcare Acquisitions, Financial Due Diligence for new lending to a Gaming business, Sell-side Advisory for a Retiring Cosmetics Training School and Litigation Support Papers for damages claims against a Vacation company.

What’s the biggest difference you’ve seen between how we work in the UK and where you work now?
It’s hard to generalise on a national level because individual companies and sectors are so different, but there are nuances I have experienced since my arrival; for example, how meetings are conducted, file documentation, legal and accounting treatments and the attitude to vacation in the US.

What’s the culture like?
In my experience so far, the American business culture is very positive; the people are proud, committed and hard work is duly rewarded.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt since you started your secondment?
I have been fortunate enough to work alongside an expert in Business Valuation with 30+ years of experience. My understanding and technical Business Valuation ability has been significantly enhanced during my secondment.

What’s the best thing about living where you do now?
It’s hard to pick just one thing but it has to be the energy and excitement I feel about Atlanta as a young and growing city with lots of new people and Corporate HQs arriving from all over, opportunities for business, meeting new peers, the growth in the film industry in Atlanta and, being Delta’s hub, logistics for travel.

How do you like to relax?
There’s a lot to do here in the city of Atlanta and in Georgia generally. I mainly spend my free time hiking in the mountains, going to local music and film festivals, visiting other local cities, dining in new restaurants (of which there is a diverse selection in Atlanta). Or if I choose to keep it ‘low-key’ I just relax at my apartment by the pool with friends.

What do you miss most about the UK?
That’s easy – my family and friends. Particularly my three-year old twin nieces. I miss them terribly but, although it is no substitute for the real thing, we FaceTime regularly which helps.

What would you say to someone who wants to apply for secondment?
If your current circumstances permit and you like people, learning and to challenge yourself – do it. Without question.

If you could work anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
San Diego. It’s beautiful and close to Hawaii!

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