Farewell To Mike....But He's Not Going Far!
Mike Nicholas retired as a director of Simpson Wood at the end of December 2015, although he remains as a consultant. We asked Mike to look back on his working life, and these are the bits he has agreed we can publish!
Mike's working life began in 1972 at Eaton Smith & Downey solicitors where he worked alongside Bill Thompson (Probate and Trust manager). Mike worked there for 5 years and learnt a great deal from Bill and his fund of wartime stories!
"Bill was very much my mentor in early years - I owe him a lot"
In 1976 Mike left Huddersfield for the bright lights of the big city, moving to Booth & Co solicitors in Leeds. They had a very good private client team covering a mix of probate, trust, wills and tax planning work.
It was interesting and challenging work and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Leeds
After 25 years Mike was well established and had no inclination of moving on, until the fateful day in 2000 when he had a drink in the pub with Giles Cliffe (Mike's brother in law and former partner at Simpson Wood). Giles was telling Mike how Eric Lord, who specialised in private client and trust matters was due to retire, and Simpson Wood were having awful trouble trying to find a replacement.
"Giles wondered if I knew anyone suitable in Leeds..... he clearly had no idea what I did for a living!"
Mike was invited to come and meet with the partners and they seemed to hit it off straightaway resulting in him joining in October 2000 on Eric Lord's retirement.
"It was a big decision at the age of 48 after working in Leeds for 25 years - but one I have never regretted."
Eric was a very tough act to follow but Mike inherited (excuse the pun) a great team at Simpson Wood. Nichola and Joy have worked with Mike since he joined and he is grateful for their hard work and unwavering support.
"Thanks to the current directors and former partners - we are not just business associates but also good friends."
Mike was also instrumental in the major achievement over 10 years ago of establishing Simpson Wood (Financial Services) Limited which under his chairmanship and with the guidance of Neil Duthie as managing director has grown steadily and is now a significant part of the business. SWFS has grown within this time from being solely Neil to now a magnificent seven! This expansion adds to the services available to clients to give them a whole round financial service.
"I also need to thank my wife Jane for all her love and support over the last 44 years......she is the only reason I finished up in Yorkshire."
Mike originally grew up in Derby, so is not a Yorkshireman but did the next best thing - married a Yorkshire lass. Given that his 2 daughters have provided him with 6 grandchildren at the last count, he has done his bit for the Yorkshire population!
"I would like to thank all of my clients for their loyalty and support over the last 15 years. It has been a great pleasure to get to know them. Client loyalty is one of the great strengths of Simpson Wood. We do not and hopefully never will undervalue our debt to you"
"I have always enjoyed my work and my job. I have worked with and for some terrific colleagues and professionals, and on behalf of some wonderful clients.... how could it have been any better?"
Everyone at Simpson Wood wishes you all the best for the future Mike.