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Partner Profile – Nigel Fry, Milsted Langdon

9th July 2013

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Nigel Fry joined Milsted Langdon in 1993, becoming a partner in 1995. He is based at the firm’s Taunton office.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Is there anything you DON’T like about it?

I enjoy the variety. I’m a general practitioner first and foremost, one moment I could be sorting out a tax return and the next moment worrying about IFRS disclosures and then trying to understand the consequences of the latest server upgrade. In terms of dislikes, I don’t like it when everything comes together at once and I have too many balls to juggle as I worry I may let someone down. Whilst part of the job, I don’t get much pleasure dealing with conflict or delivering bad news.

What was your first job? Where else have you worked before your current job?

Other than having a paper round, my first real job was with Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) inBristol, which I joined after graduating from university in 1985. I spent eight years there, during which time I had a six-month secondment to Coopers’ offices inNewcastle,New South Wales,Australia. My wife and I met at Coopers and we both got a secondment together. I also spent three months working for an accountancy firm inVirginia,USA, as part of an undergraduate scheme in 1984. I joined Milsted Langdon in 1993, becoming a partner just over two years later.

Why did you decide to become an accountant?

I have a physics degree fromBristolUniversity, so I originally wanted to use my physics in science as I have a strong leaning to numerical and mathematical problem solving. However I got a taste for accountancy while working inAmericaand changed direction. Accountants are also much more interesting people!

Do you have any particular areas of expertise? What would you say your strengths are?

I am a general practitioner and enjoy providing general and tax advice to my clients. However, I specialise in advising listed companies, having done my first company flotation 17 years ago. I now head the listed companies division as well as the corporate finance department at Milsted Langdon. In terms of strengths, I like seeing things through the client’s eyes and trying to come up with commercial solutions to commercial issues.

I also have a 15 handicap at golf.

What is your greatest professional achievement so far?

My broadest achievement is being associated with Milsted Langdon for 20 years and playing a part in helping it grow from 10 employees in one office to 170 employees across four offices. On a more personal level, I managed to save a client so much tax that he was able to buy a Bentley. It’s a long time ago now but I came third in the West of England in my professional exams which, at the time, made me feel good..

What do you hope to achieve in the year ahead, both professionally and personally?

Professionally, I would like to grow the corporate finance side. Personally, I would like to play a sub 80 round of golf.

What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work? Any favourite holiday destinations?

Driving my kids to all their activities seems to be my biggest hobby at the moment. I also like watching football, rugby – oh, and golf. In terms of holiday destinations, I like to go somewhere different every year. I enjoy travelling around Europe by car, because I can drive to the south of France, then 200 miles later I can be in the Alps in Italy, then drive another 200 miles and be in Austria, and so on. I think it’s amazing how much changes in such a short distance.

If you were not an accountant, what other job would you do?

I would have been a scientist of some sort, probably a nuclear scientist.

If you could go back in time and offer advice to yourself when you were just starting out in the profession, what would you say?

Firstly, believe in yourself. Secondly, I should never have cancelled the golf membership. Thirdly, I was born and bred in Sheffield so my last piece of advice would be not to worry about moving from the centre of the universe i.e.Yorkshireto the South West – their accent isn’t that bad!