A FORMER accounting trainee has a new, leading role within Armstrong Watson’s corporate finance team.

Darcie Rae joined Armstrong Watson in 2007 before becoming a chartered accountant in 2014, working in the audit team.

She then moved on to the firm’s corporate finance service line in 2015.

The corporate finance team provide strategic advice on transactions to help small and medium-sized family and owner-managed businesses grow, either through acquisition or finance raising, and help people exit their businesses, through trade sales and management buy-outs.

Darcie brings plenty of experience to her new senior role having been involved in seven completed transactions in the last 10 months, including the sale of Integrity Office Limited, a Carlisle IT solutions company, that was taken over by Eco Communications Limited, a nationwide firm operating in Cumbria and Scotland.

Darcie said: “There are some fantastic businesses in and around Cumbria. We want to grow the Corporate Finance team even further and to be recognised as the leading firm in the county for selling your business or making acquisitions.

“Whilst many strategic decisions have been delayed or put on hold during the pandemic, we are seeing more movement now. There are lots of opportunities for businesses in Cumbria looking to buy or sell and being able to advise and help with those transactions is a really exciting prospect for the team.”

Richard Gibson, Head of Corporate Finance said: “Recognising the talent we have within the firm is integral to our growth. Darcie has built up a strong reputation as she has progressed to her senior management position.

“She builds trusting relationships with clients and essentially becomes an extension of their internal teams. Working closely with clients for such a long period of time, that relationship is absolutely key.

“Darcie’s success - and that of the wider Corporate Finance team - lies within the knowledge and experience of the local market, an insight that results in the best outcomes for clients.”

Darcie’s promotion has come at a time of exceptional growth for the Corporate Finance team and follows the appointment of Corporate Finance Partner Chris Archer in Leeds, who is one of five distinguished recruits to have joined Armstrong Watson in what has been a record year.

Despite the pressures of the pandemic, the top 30 firm has continued to recruit, invest in its people and expand across the North of England. Last year the business moved its West Cumbria base to larger premises in Cockermouth and most recently doubled the size of its Hexham practice with the acquisition of Patricia J Arnold & Co last month. Meanwhile, the recruitment of the next generation of accountants and advisers is well underway.