Leeds financial planning firm Progeny plans hiring spree amidst international expansion efforts

Leeds-based professional services firm Progeny is looking to increase the size of its workforce by one-third in the coming months, CEO Neil Moles has told The Yorkshire Post.

Mr Moles said the multi-disciplinary firm, which brings together independent financial planning, asset management, tax, HR and private and corporate legal services, hopes to employ around 800 people by the end of this year, up from the current 600. Around 250 of its staff are based in the Leeds area.

He said expected increase in workforce is due to come about from a combination of the firm’s acquisition strategy and new hires, with around 45 vacancies at the moment.

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It follows the company reporting figures for the first half of 2023 which showed revenue increase by £10m year on year and EBITDA increase by £900,000 over the same period.

Progeny CEO Neil Moles, pictured at the offices at Tower Square, Leeds. Picture taken by Yorkshire Post Photographer Simon HulmeProgeny CEO Neil Moles, pictured at the offices at Tower Square, Leeds. Picture taken by Yorkshire Post Photographer Simon Hulme
Progeny CEO Neil Moles, pictured at the offices at Tower Square, Leeds. Picture taken by Yorkshire Post Photographer Simon Hulme

Earlier this year, Progeny completed the acquisition of international wealth management company The Fry Group as part of its strategy of targeting British expats as new clients. In addition to four UK offices, The Fry Group has offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Belgium and 191 staff.

Progeny was officially launched in Leeds in 2016, bringing together The Lawrence Scoffield Group (where Mr Moles had been the managing director), Mark Burns Legal Services and Progeny Private Law.

Mr Moles said: "As a business ever since we started we have grown quarter-on-quarter. The last 12 months have seen that accelerate significantly not only in the numbers in terms of the results but also the overall growth of the business. What H1 has seen for us is international growth.

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"Leeds has always been the main site for Progeny ever since we started in 2016. We have moved premises to facilitate growth and a year ago took more room in the Tower Square building so we are now effectively over three floors.

"As a business we are about 600 people in total – with acquisitions and growth plans that is probably going to hit 800 by the end of the year.

"What we created is different from what is out there at the moment. We are combining professional services into one environment for a client to give that one piece of advice not five different pieces. Bringing that together under one roof has really changed the way the industry operates.

"We’re seeing a lot of referrals from existing clients because of that.”

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He said the company has a “very strict criteria” for acquisitions.

“Anything we acquire cannot dilute what we have created. It is like getting married – you have to have something in common because if you don’t it doesn’t last very long.

"When you go through that initial diligence process, you have to make sure there’s something in there that links you as a business and you share a vision for the future around doing good things for clients.

"Our typical client is one that would have complex needs, that could be a business owner with legal needs, tax needs and may need wealth management needs. What we’re looking to achieve with clients is becoming their long-term partner for their legal, tax and financial needs.

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"We’ve become a global business from humble beginnings in Leeds. We are growing organically which is a true measure of success. To have clients refer their friends to you, to have other business users refer their colleagues to you is a true validation of what you’ve built.”

Mr Moles says he is particularly proud the company has made 33 internal promotions in the first half of this year.​

Recent changes saw Caroline Hawkesley appointed to the new role of UK Managing Director, having previously been Chief Operations Officer.

Mr Moles said seeing staff develop their careers with the company is among the most rewarding aspects of his job.

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”There are two things I enjoy the most. One is when I go and see clients and you see the lightbulb moment where we have made complex things simple and it takes their fear away and they understand it. That gives you a huge sense of delight.

"The second is seeing youngsters progressing through the business – seeing 33 promotions this year is just outstanding.”​​​​​​​

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