Grant Thornton opens new St. Albans business space

03 April 2015

Grant Thornton has opened a new business space in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, with the aim of providing business leaders in the region an "innovative and open" venue. The new premises offer executives and managers the opportunity to meet, network, and work together.

The launch of the new space follows Grant Thornton’s strong growth in Hertfordshire, the county with the eighth highest employment rate in the UK amongst business professionals, explains Jeremy Read, UK partner at the accounting and consulting firm. “Our new space is designed to build on this, combined with Grant Thornton’s dynamic, forward thinking approach, to create an entirely new concept for our county’s businesses.”

Grant Thornton launches new St. Albans business space

Innovative office space
The new St Albans premises, which are located in Hertfordshire at Churchill House, Upper Marlborough Road, offer business leaders an alternative to the regular office experience. “When most people think of an office they imagine people sitting at desks, in front of their laptops, writing reports. Here in St Albans we’ve deliberately steered away from that to create a space where our people and clients can connect, have open and insightful conversations in a relaxed atmosphere and develop stronger relationships”, says Read.

The new space includes a CEO room – the advisory has more than 10 CEO Rooms across the UK – for board level meetings, a business lounge area, a theatre with 30 seating places for larger meetings and presentations, and noise-cancelling booths to enable private and undistracted conversations.

Read concludes: “We look forward to regularly welcoming clients and other local businesses to share this with us because they like the space - but most importantly it gives them access to conversations with relevant, interesting and insightful people.”


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”