Reeves is a firm with ambition. The paint is barely dry in their plush new offices in Crawley High Street, and already they are changing all their signage. Reeves is no more. Say hello to Kreston Reeves. I am sitting with the Chairman, Clive Stevens, and the Partner for International Services, Shirley Smith, and the obvious questions are: ‘Why?’ and ‘Who exactly is Kreston?’ Clive is very happy to answer both questions.
“About 25 to 30 years ago, we joined a network called Kreston, which is now the 13th largest industry network in the world, with 200 firms around the world. We are one of the major members, we attract a lot of work from Kreston, and we give a lot of work to it.
“I was the Chairman of Kreston for seven years until last year. I’ve been a member of the Kreston International Board for about 15 years now. It’s been something that’s been quite close to our hearts.
“I think we’re the largest firm that is branded as Kreston. So, we like to think we are taking a lead.”
At the heart of the move is the realisation that business is increasingly a global concern. Business clients deal more and more with other countries or foreign companies looking to work in the UK. Being part of a global network offers huge advantages. The company already has a sizeable client base outside of the UK, approximately a tenth of their business.
It is good to hear that ten per cent of your business is in exporting, I tell Clive. “Well, I suppose you could put it as exporting. Maybe we should get an award for exporting!
“In the South East, we do have people from the States wanting to use England as a base for European operations. Equally, we get a lot of people from the Low Countries or France who are either buying businesses here now or escaping high tax rates, and we’ve benefitted from that.”