On the 31 March 2020, we bid farewell to three long-standing members of the George Hay family; Nick Willis, Keith Middleton and Nico Rodenburg.

It’s safe to say that none of us could have envisaged their departures during such unprecedented times, but it presents us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on the years past and create a renewed focus for the future of the practice.

With a combined 136 years of service, Nick, Keith and Nico have all been instrumental in the development of the firm, to this point.

Nico worked at George Hay for 41 years; a ruthless efficiency and commitment to giving his clients a first-class service made him a highly respected member of the local business community, and our team.

On retiring, Nico said: “After nearly 41 years and about 67,000 chargeable hours, I can say that I’ve enjoyed my time at George Hay.

“The job has been interesting; the highlight for me being meeting and learning to work with many different characters.

“I am grateful for the many friendships established with my clients, and to the colleagues I have worked alongside at George Hay, over the years. I will be sorry to leave but will do so with fond memories.”

Keith’s legacy is undoubtedly the Letchworth office. In 1982, the firm wanted to expand beyond its Biggleswade base and with Keith being sent to run the new venture, its success was assured.

He joined George Hay in 1968 and was a Partner in the firm between 1997-2017, before stepping down to take on a consultancy role. Keith is well respected locally and his ability to give tailored, insightful business advice earned him a great reputation.

“I feel incredibly proud to have played such an active role in the firm’s expansion” said Keith.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many individuals over the years who have become friends as well as clients, which is testament to the personal service George Hay offer.

“Advising businesses and supporting them with their growth and development has been very rewarding and I am extremely sad to be leaving it behind.

“I do, however, have every confidence that George Hay will continue to be the premier accountancy firm in Beds, Herts and Cambs, going forward.”

Nick joined the firm in 1977, became a Partner in 1987 and in 2011 became the head of our ‘family’ when he took on the role of Senior Partner. It is true that he has dedicated his entire working life to supporting and developing George Hay.

Nick said: “My time at George Hay has been a major part of my life and I shall always remember, with a smile, the people I have met and worked with. It is people that make what we do so very important and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of it.”

Following Nick’s retirement, Barry Jefferd will now take over as Senior Partner in the firm. On the changes in the practice at this extraordinary time, Barry says: “It is a great shame that we have been denied the opportunity, as a result of the current Coronavirus outbreak, to celebrate in person our colleagues’ service and commitment to George Hay.

“All in their own ways have put their mark on the firm and on behalf of everybody at George Hay, I would like thank them for the years that they have dedicated to practice.

“Although the firm has undergone significant change, with three long-standing members of the team having retired at the end of March, we look to the future with a renewed focus on maintaining our position in the market-place and giving our clients the very best service.

“We are lucky to have a strong team of professionals behind the George Hay name, over a quarter of whom have been with us for over 20 years and, even in these challenging times, we have still been able to grow our team, with the addition of five new faces this year.

“Nick, Nico and Keith will be sorely missed by their clients and colleagues, but their retirements also mark an opportunity for more of our fantastic team to come to the fore and continue to provide the first-class and personable service that we pride ourselves on.

“We wish them all the very best for long and happy retirements.”

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