The MGroup Partnership has been helping Oxfordshire businesses for over 90 years.
The firm was founded in 1928 and formerly called Miell and Company – that’s where the ‘M’ in MGroup comes from! Over the years, it has helped thousands of businesses to succeed and thrive, supported hundreds of accountants through to qualification and listened and adapted to the needs of the market.
The rebranding to the MGroup reflected the expansion of the firm from solely an accountancy practice to an organisation offering a collection of services satisfying the majority of needs of their clients.
The firm provides support across four specialist service areas:
• Business Accounting & Tax
• Personal Finance & Tax (through independent financial advisers)
• Accounts systems Implementation, support & integration (Sage, Xero etc) and
• Business Purchase & Exit
The firm’s focus has always been client care and having a friendly, knowledgeable and approachable team and, as it grew, there was a move from premises in central Oxford to offices at 287 Banbury Road in Summertown. The location in Oxford has led to a prevalence of international clients as many overseas businesses choose Oxford as a location for a UK presence, stemming partly from the academic strengths of the city.
Looking to Expand
The Partners have always had a strong affinity for West Oxfordshire, particularly as all four now live in the area. It has its own unique vibe and community. Strategically, they decided they would like to play a larger role in the area and turned their attention to Witney as well as Oxford.
An economic snapshot was taken of the area in January 2015 by CAG Consultants in association with Ramidus Consulting. They noted that West Oxfordshire was very strong in manufacturing, engineering and agricultural firms and that in 2013, 35% of jobs were based in Witney. Distribution and retail accounted for 23% of jobs in Witney, with growth projected in sectors such as hospitality, entertainment and computer-related activity. All sectors where The MGroup has clients and expertise.
“Witney is a thriving area, boasting world-leading high-tech manufacturing companies and globally recognised brands, right through to the vibrant independent shops which form the lifeblood of our high streets. We are blessed to have a close-knit and supportive business community with well-established networking and outreach events which help guide and inspire our businesses to success. ” Robert Courts, MP for Witney & West Oxfordshire.
It was in 2012, a year before the examined data in the economic snapshot, that the vision to have more presence in West Oxfordshire started to take shape. The practice was approached by a well-established Witney-based firm of accountants whose Partners were considering retirement, called Petersons.
At the time, Peterson’s partner Peter Hellawell commented “We have been looking for a local practice that is able to continue to bring a high-quality service to our clients.”
At that point the MGroup Witney office was opened so the presence in West Oxfordshire commenced. In 2016 the firm was approached by agents for Mark O’Brien, who practiced in Chipping Norton, and then in 2019 for Bowman and Co, in Burford. In each case, the Partners were looking to retire and wanted to find a firm who shared their values, was committed to the area and would look after their clients.
One such client, Nicholas Blakemore of Wychwood Homes and a resident of West Oxfordshire for 30 years, says: “The MGroup has been instrumental in helping us expand and develop our business in West Oxfordshire. The area offers great infrastructure, a vibrant business community and is bringing a growing young dynamic population, who are looking for an attractive new home designed for individuals.”
As the firm expanded, there was a need for larger premises and The MGroup is now based in Witan Way in what is known locally as the old Sage building.
Supporting the Area
It has always been important to The MGroup to play an active role in the community.
In West Oxfordshire, The MGroup has a key role in the WOBAs (West Oxfordshire Business Awards) and has sponsored the Employer of the Year Award for three years now.
“Looking after clients and employees is fundamental to our values and the way we operate” Peter Smith, Partner who oversees the Witney office “that is why we sponsor the award and invest our time to recognise other local companies that share the same values.”
As well as supporting various local community and charity events, the firm has also been a strong supporter of Charlbury-based charity Special Effect. In Oxford, the long-standing support of Oxford United continues.
Recently OxLep and Abingdon & Witney College secured significant investment (£4m Local Growth Fund) to build an Advanced Engineering and Technology Skills Centre and The Agritech Innovation Skills Centre. Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford near Chipping Norton and the RAF development at Brize Norton and Carterton have attracted more tourism, glamour and a younger age profile to the area. The plans for the Bugati Museum at Enstone Airfield look set to continue the trend.
Robert Courts MP stated: “West Oxfordshire is not a large district in economic terms but its economy is very resilient.”
There is a lot of positive expansion happening across the whole of Oxfordshire, and from both Summertown and Witney the Partners will continue to support and adapt to changing client needs.