Great Britain

Rapidly-expanding firm moves into new offices

ANTI-money laundering pioneers SmartSearch have moved into new offices in Ilkley following a rapid expansion.

SmartSearch’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) verification platform is used by more than 3,000 businesses across the world. Last month, the company was named one of Yorkshire’s fastest growing businesses following a 150 per cent increase in pre-tax profits in just a year.

As a result of its success, staff numbers were rising too, and the company’s cramped offices in Guiseley just couldn’t keep up said Martin Cheek, MD of SmartSearch.

“We have increased staff from seven to 90 and were in a situation where new starters were being shoehorned in. The lack of space was starting to affect productivity and morale.”

An internal project team was set up to address the issue, and it was decided that they would move into Mayfield House, a new-build scheme in Ilkley.

“We needed to ensure that the new office would be able to accommodate our future expansion, but it also needed to enhance our culture and values, and give something back to our loyal staff,” said Mr Cheek.

So after a lengthy consultation process where they met with nine fit-out companies, SmartSearch chose to work with Opus 4.

“It was imperative that we found a partner who would make both a professional and emotional investment in our business,” said James Dobson, marketing director at SmartSearch, “And Opus 4 were the only people who fully understood how much our staff mean to us.”

SmartSearch took two floors of Mayfield House, room for its 90 staff to eventually grow to 250. Work began on the project a year ago while the fit-out started in January. The first floor has a social hub for staff to work and play in a relaxed atmosphere and includes a quiet lounge and a games area with game consoles, a pool table and table football. The kitchen is all built around a central island and there are a range of different styles of meetings rooms and break out areas. SmartSearch has also installed a fully equipped gym. Upstairs is the reception, the boardroom, meeting rooms and a training room with a punch bag!

The fit-out project took 11 weeks to complete and staff moved in on March 26.

John Dobson, chairman of SmartSearch, said: “The purpose of investing in this new office was to leave a legacy by creating a workplace that would attract talent and push our business forward even further and now I know we’ve succeeded in achieving that.”

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