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23 Aug

23 August 2016

Spotlight on … Rachel Horner: FirstPro Finance Professional 2016

Rachel Horner is Director of SFB Tax Solutions, part of the SFB Group.  She set up the business unit in 2014 in response to a localised need for specialised tax advice.

How did it feel when your name was announced as the winner?

It was a complete surprise.  I hadn’t expected it but I was absolutely delighted.

The response I got was lovely.  People were very kind and I had plenty of congratulations.  It was a really good feeling.

Tell us a little about your career.

I trained with one of the Big Four before going in-house to work for a FTSE Top 50 company, an international hotel group. I then moved back in to practice working with smaller businesses. It meant I had a really wide range of tax experience, from big corporate issues to those facing smaller businesses and their owners.

At the large corporate end you’re doing exciting big ticket, fast paced challenging work while working with owner managers is personal and incredibly satisfying.  I love the combination.

Can you tell us a little about your team?

You’re only ever as good as your team and mine is superb.  For the size of our firm we have an almost unique level of expertise able to provide really complex tax advice.

What are your ambitions now?

I want to grow the tax practice at SFB.  I started with a small advisory team two years ago and we’ve since transformed ourselves into a sizeable practice.  I want to continue to grow, taking on more staff and servicing more clients.

I also want to use the tax practice to win more clients for the SFB Group as a whole.

What do you think is the state of the Coventry and Warwickshire economy?

There is plenty of opportunity and we have some great businesses in our region.

Geographically we’re really well placed and have some real advantages over other parts of the country.  We don’t have the high costs of the south but can access London easily; it takes us less than an hour to get there already and with HS2 it will get even ‘closer’.  We’re also incredibly accessible to other parts of the country.

The biggest barrier we face in my work is perception.  Too often people believe they can only get the expertise we offer from London firms.  The result is they pay far more than they need to; we can offer it here, with higher levels of service and at far greater value.

What do you do outside work?

I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic.  Spending time at the gym is my way of unwinding.  I’m also a cinema buff and I love to travel – I always try and make it somewhere exotic!