25 June, 2008 – Time to ‘celebrate’ the city’s skills
Simon Oldfield, the new chairman of business network pro.manchester, has called for a celebration of the entrepreneurial skills among the financial and professional sector in Manchester.
A partner at Ernst & Young, Mr Oldfield said firms should follow the example of those with ‘phenomenal drive’ who had built international businesses from local practices.
He also said enterprising professionals were seizing the advisory opportunities provided by growth areas such as Islamic finance, sovereign wealth funds and other investors looking to build their presence in the UK.
Mr Oldfield, a married father of two who lives in Bramhall, added: “Whenever entrepreneurship is mentioned, it tends to be in the context of corporate success, and the fact that many professional service firms are also pretty good at creating and building successful businesses often gets overlooked.”
The 43-year-old, who heads Ernst & Young’s transaction support division, has succeeded Prof John Arnold at the helm of pro.manchester.
Speaking at the organisation’s annual lunch, he hailed a year of progress, which saw membership reach an all-time high of more than 280 firms.
He said that many members were not in fear of doom and gloom credit crunch headlines seen over the past few months.
“Rather, they are actually positive about the progress they expect to make over the next year or so,” he said.
Firms were making `excellent progress’ to exploit the opportunities created in global markets such as advising on floats by overseas companies and on property investments abroad, he added.
Mr Oldfield began his career in 1985 and joined E&Y in 1989. He led an investigation into Factory Records for its bankers which led to receivership and the closure of Manchester’s legendary Hacienda nightclub.
“I have always felt guilty about my role in a setback in the development of music and youth culture locally, but have tried to make up for it since,” said Mr Oldfield, treasurer of Stockport Youth Orchestra.
Source: Manchester Evening News