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We are BR: An interview with Philip Newbold

A blog written by our new Transfer Pricing Director, Philip Newbold, as he reflects on his early days at Blick Rothenberg.

At Blick Rothenberg, we put our people and client relationships first. To celebrate the diversity of both we will be showcasing some of our people and clients over the coming months as part of our We are BR campaign. Delighted to kick off with a blog written by our new Transfer Pricing Director, Philip Newbold, as he reflects on his early days at Blick Rothenberg.

“I really should have felt a little more nervous. Day three in my new job and I was sat on a client call with our CEO. In truth I wasn’t. From my first day at Blick Rothenberg, my first day in advisory, I had been on client calls and had confirmation of what had made the move into practice feel not only desirable, but something I just had to do in my career. Not only could I do this, but I could do this extremely well – and to be honest the Transfer Pricing advice I was giving was much better than any I felt I had received during my lengthy career in the financial services and technology Industries.

“If I take a step back and look at myself shortly before interviewing with Blick Rothenberg, it was not an obvious match up – superficially anyway. I was over 40 and had never been in practice before. So despite my wealth of Transfer Pricing industry experience, making this move required, from both myself and a potential future employer, imagination and ambition.”

From the moment I had arrived at Blick Rothenberg I felt that I had made the correct move.

“I had briefly thought about looking at larger practices, but their lack of focus and ultimately ambition in the SME market was anything but encouraging. My own experience as a client of some of the larger practices was underwhelming; the advice often felt standardised, the client focus ‘sub-optimal’ and the output impossible to implement. When I reflected on the very reason my career in Transfer Pricing took off, it was because a former employer asked me to return to help fix Transfer Pricing, not so much because I understood Transfer Pricing but because I understood the business line. Client focus, knowing how the client works and what works for the client, is key to a successful outcome.

“I’ve always been a great believer in ‘the art of the possible’ in both life and business and hence understanding how the client works and what works for the client are the only way to produce sensible and moreover pragmatic advice.

“Going back to that call on day three, I should also have been nervous about meeting and working with the CEO, but I wasn’t. From the moment I had arrived at Blick Rothenberg I felt that I had made the correct move. Everybody appeared to be pulling in the same direction and focused on productive and pragmatic output.

“Any enterprise requires a mix of skills and backgrounds to create synergy. In an accountancy practice a mix of skills are similarly needed, some from the Big 4, some who have spent all their careers at the practice and yes some, like myself, from Industry. When I joined Blick Rothenberg as their Transfer Pricing Director, as I was interviewed and quickly integrated, it struck me that Blick Rothenberg, unlike many larger practices, wasn’t seeking to hire in their own image, but rather that of their clients. My move into practice did take mutual imagination and ambition – qualities Blick Rothenberg has in abundance.”