Financial recruiters back in the black after spectacular turnaround

Betsy Williamson, founder of Core-Asset
Betsy Williamson, founder of Core-Asset

TALENT finders for Scotland’s vital finance sector have recorded their best ever results – during 12 months which saw them turn a loss into a half million pound profit.

Recruitment and headhunting firm Core-Asset Consulting’s most recent results show it has achieved more than £500,000 in net profit in 2018/19 despite recording a loss of £88,550 in the previous financial year.

Founder and managing director Betsy Williamson, said staying faithful to the firm’s core specialisms had helped it to enjoy its most successful year since it was launched in 2005.

She said: “The results speak for themselves and to say I am proud of what the team has achieved doesn’t even begin to do them justice. Delivering profits of this scale a year after recording a small loss really puts it into perspective.

Louise Powrie ,Betsy Williamson and Mike Stirton – image supplied

“Although we were in the red in the previous year, that was the only loss we have posted since I launched the company. I was never any doubt that it was a blip and I’m delighted we’ve now recorded our best ever year.”

Core-Asset will shortly be submitting its 2018/19 accounts to Companies House, which will show around a 45% increase in turnover and post-tax profits in excess of £500,000 for the financial year 1 July 2018-30 June 2019.

This comes after the firm reported a loss (after tax) of £88,550 in the financial year 2017/18 on a turnover of £9.98m – the only time the company has made a loss.

The first half of its only loss-making year was affected by reduced levels of recruitment activity. However, that prompted a round of efficiencies and cost cutting, while the market also picked up in the second half of 2017/18.

The company’s focus on consultant productivity and cost control carried through into 2018/19 and Betsy added: “We are now in better shape than we’ve ever been to meet the challenges the financial sector, in particular, is facing.”

From the outset, Core-Asset carved its reputation within Scotland’s globally renowned asset management sector. However, the success of its model allowed it to expand across the wider financial services market. It now boasts dedicated accounting and finance teams and also works in Scotland’s thriving legal sector.

Throughout, Betsy has ensured that Core-Asset applies the same intensity and disciplines more historically associated with executive search throughout all of its recruitment, including contingency.

This means that its teams can fully understand client briefs thanks to being intimately associated with their specialist sectors and – by combining that with the latest tools and systems – can source the exact talent to thrive in the role.

She added: “We’re at a pivotal point in time in Scotland as many of our traditional home-grown firms and brands are disappearing.

Image supplied

“Instead – and across most of our disciplines – it is the multinational “supertankers” at one end and the boutique independents at the other extreme that are flourishing.

“By specialising, we’ve been able to keep closely attuned to the changes and the challenges, working with our clients to provide long-term valuable employees or short-term solutions.

“We’re also fairly lucky because our clients are our candidates and our candidates are our clients. So If I’ve got an MD job or a Chief Operating Officer job, the people that I would recruit for are the people that are my candidates.”

Formed in 2005, now 30-strong Core-Asset was born out of Betsy’s desire to take the best of her experience of large corporate recruiters, applying the focus on infrastructure and training to a more sector-specialised business.

It proved both an instant and enduring success, with the business securing market dominance north of the border.

That is despite its clients being at the sharp end of the 2008 recession, with demand for recruitment dampened throughout. As a result, Core-Asset emerged an efficient and well-honed operation, quickly developing into a multi-million-pound turnover business.

A mother to a son and daughter, Betsy is passionate about fostering female entrepreneurialism and enabling teams to thrive while managing family commitments.

Betsy added: “As the business has matured, so has our core leadership team – and we’ve realised that the onus is on us to give the next wave of talent the tools, responsibility and trust to develop quickly and consistently.

“It’s given us a brilliant platform going into the new decade and we look forward to taking on the challenges along the way.”