2018 has been a fantastic year for HMT and we would like to thank you all for your continuous support and contributing to this outstanding year.

Corporate finance activity in 2018 was extremely buoyant in the Thames Valley with high levels of both fund raising and M&A activity. As leading advisors to entrepreneurial businesses in the region, we successfully completed 32 deals last year with a total deal value in excess of £350 million which allowed us to increase our turnover by over 50%. We have advised businesses operating in a wide range of sectors including manufacturing with the MBO of UAP Ltd, digital media with the fundraising for Channel Mum and the investment in Smyle Media, business services with the acquisition of Interact Training Group, logistics with the acquisitions of Parcel Hub, Mail Workshop and Sparks Ecommerce Group by Whistl, telecommunications with the secondary buyout of Indigo-Belcom and education with the fundraising for Waterbear.

Against a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty, there are those predicting an imminent global financial crash at a scale worse than 2008. However, this is not a view shared at HMT and with the benefit of a strong 2018, we have made the decision to invest heavily to ensure that we continue to expand our support to businesses and business owners. Whilst there could of course be some bumps on the way in the short term, as for example Brexit unfolds, we have been in the Thames Valley for 26 years and continue to take a long term view.

Despite strong demand for the best people, we have been able to strengthen our team with a number of senior hires. In response to a significant increase in fundraising and M&A activity in the TMT sector, we have established a specialist technology team within corporate finance led by new partner James Thomas and Charles Laughton.

As a corporate finance boutique, we are unique in that we have specialist transaction delivery teams who can support a transaction covering all of the four key disciplines of due diligence, debt advisory, financial modelling and tax advisory. Odhran Dodd has recently joined as a partner to head up and strengthen our debt advisory offering and we will be making two further announcements very shortly on our expansion of other specialist teams. Whilst we pride ourselves on genuine partner led delivery, it is essential that they are supported by high calibre professional staff and we have recently recruited three exceptional chartered accountants from the Big 4.

In the seasonal spirit of giving back to the community, we have decided not to send Christmas cards this year again but to make a donation to our charity of the year The Chiltern Centre, for which we have raised fundings throughout December with our Advent Calendar on social media.

All of our team at HMT wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year and we look forward to working with you in 2018.