HIRING 61 staff, WMS Solutions is the largest financial services employer on the Gold Coast.
The company experienced mixed results in FY10, having dropped slightly in both turnover and bottom end profits.
Partner Aaron Lavell (pictured) says the reduction in profit was a ‘deliberate strategy’ that allowed the firm to retain its staff. The result is the ability to cater for the inevitable market upswing, particularly in property and tourism.
“We have tremendous depth in our service offerings to those two sectors and we believe long-term they will remain the pillars of the Gold Coast economy notwithstanding the present challenges of the high Aussie dollar and limited development funding,” says Lavell.
“We made the decision to take a hit in our profits in order to retain our tight group of staff that will be essential to our growth when the market picks up. To try and mitigate our exposure, we have been pushing our high end tax services, particularly regarding the unpaid trust distributions issue via my partner Stephen Holmes, and business health checks for our SME clients with some success.”
The multi-lingual skills of 11 staff has also helped WMS win significant contracts with Asian investment clients looking for property assets on the Gold Coast and in mining-related areas.
Further opportunities will arise for the Bundall-based company as it expands its investment services accreditation and enters a JV partnership with a New South Wales audit specialist firm.
“Historically we have undertaken minimal audit activity and in our opinion there is a large gap in the market between the ‘big four’ option and the smaller players. We see this meeting an element of the market unable to secure debt funding,” says Lavell.
“We are also in the process of obtaining our Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) which will enable us to prepare independent expert reports and market sophisticated investor equity raisings.”
Working with both ASX-listed and private companies, the AFSL will allow WMS to market its financial services to high-end investors that are exempt of time consuming ASIC regulation procedures.
Top Companies Profile 2011: WMS Solutions
Partner: Aaron Lavell
Revenue ’10: $8.4 million
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