Grapevine: BKK rebrands and expands to capitalise on thriving economy

Seamus Buckley, John Kiely, Fiachra Kirwan, Fearghal Collins and John Flynn, partners in BKK, the newly rebranded and financial advisory firm, with offices in Cork and Kildare.

Newly rebranded financial advisory firm BKK is ready to capitalise on a number of opportunities in Ireland’s vibrant economy, notably a lot of activity among tech startups.

Cork-based Buckley Kiely & Co, which started life in 1977 as an accountancy practice, has this week joined forces with Kildare-based FinCAS Ltd to become BKK.

In recent years, the combined entity has arranged funding in excess of €50m for a diverse portfolio of clients.

BKK has more than 40 years’ experience in delivering expert advice and strategic support to entrepreneurs and business pioneers across a range of industries.

In the 1980s, Buckley Kiely & Co founder Seamus Buckley worked on acquisition deals for engineering and manufacturing SMEs. Tech is currently very active.

“We have a lot of second generation entrepreneurs who are exiting startups and reinvesting in other new early stage tech businesses,” said Seamus Buckley.

“There is not a lot of capital available, and it is difficult enough for this sector to attract investment, but it is positive to see some of those exiting taking the opportunity to reinvest in promising startups that are at a pre-venture capital investment stage.

"Having their names attached will certainly help attract the interest of Enterprise Ireland and the VCs.

“There is also a lot of activity among traditional businesses that had suffered during the recession. A lot of business owners had got caught up in the property bubble, but that has resolved itself to an extent.

"Some of these business owners are reaching retirement age, so it’s really important for them to get value for the business they’re selling.

It’s a one-time shot for a lifetime of work; it very important for us to get it right for them. It’s a bit like the character in the movie Field of Dreams, ‘build it and they will come’. With us, it’s do it right and a lot of good things will follow.

BKK also advises clients on currency, one area where companies can try to offset Brexit impacts. Last year, BKK joined forces with John Finn of Treasury Solutions and fellow advisory firms Gilroy Gannon, RBK and McInerney Saunders to launch TheTreasuryHub.ie.

BKK advises clients on tax, accounts and auditing, sourcing finance and succession planning, among other services.

The rebrand will cement BKK’s reputation as a broker of substantial corporate finance arrangements.

Arguably one of the best kept secrets in Munster business, BKK is credited as the hidden hand behind some of the country’s best-known business success stories.

Current and previous clients include Irish-Sino-US product design firm PCH International and digital verification success story Trustev, sold in 2015 to TransUnion LLC for some $44m (€39m). A selection of client testimonials accompany this story.

Reflecting on the rebrand to BKK, founder Seamus Buckley said that while the practice would continue to deliver its core service suite it was appropriate to begin thinking — and communicating - as more than a team of accountants and taxation experts.

“Since 1977 we have grown and evolved with the demands of the market and to answer the challenges facing our clients,” Seamus Buckley said.

“Today, as BKK, we find ourselves in the enviable and exciting position of acting as mentors and corporate strategic advisors for companies at all stages in the business cycle; from start-ups on the fundraising trail to mid-sized firms looking to successfully scale, and established names needing a trusted partner for long-term stability.

“We’re proud to be seen as the ‘go-to’ for entrepreneurs and enterprises who need expertise, honesty, loyalty and a shared sense of belief in their business. It’s the right time for us to reflect this in our name and identity, and to communicate clearly the range and the depth of our expertise.”

FinCAS founder Fiachra Kirwan brings significant experience working closely with innovative companies, which will be invaluable in BKK’s current wave of work with tech SMEs. He is a chartered accountant with over 15 years’ experience.

Mr Kirwan becomes a partner of the newly-named BKK, joining founding partner Séamus Buckley as well as partners John Kiely, John Flynn and Fearghal Collins on the firm’s senior management lineup.

Also coming under the BKK umbrella are the entire FinCAS team, bringing to 45 the number of BKK accountants, consultants and financial professionals, to be split between Blackrock, Cork, and Maynooth, Co Kildare.

“I am delighted to welcome Fiachra and his entire team in joining the BKK family,” Séamus Buckley said.

“It is a pivotal time for the company, and for me personally, as we position BKK for strategic growth and take on the challenge of competing at a national level.

“Fiachra’s depth of expertise and his experience of the entrepreneurial mindset make him a fantastic match for BKK, and we look forward to a bright future together.” For his part, Kirwan said the merger of FinCAS Ltd and BKK has served to strengthen the hand of both firms in meeting the opportunities of the years to come.

“I’ve long been an admirer of the work done by Séamus and his partners in the practice, and shared connections made our formally combining forces something of a natural evolution,” Kirwan said.

“I’m extremely excited — as are all of FinCAS — to become BKK and to be plan for a productive future for our clients. As we speak we are finalising a number of major deals on behalf of clients which we look forward to sharing details of in the coming weeks and months.”

A word from BKK’s clients

“The partnership with Seamus Buckley began in 1996, when I initially formed PCH International. In the early years, BKK fulfilled the role of managing the setup and administration of the company, enabling me to focus on business development. We maintain close involvement with BKK and use their extensive experience and expertise. Their advice is invaluable, as it is based on years of co-operation, integrity, and success.”

— Liam Casey, PCH International

“BKK was an invaluable partner to us at every stage of the development of Trustev, and went the extra mile to assist us in the start-up phase. The team is made up of real experts in their fields, which gave us great confidence and comfort that our affairs were well looked after. I recommend BKK to every IT start-up I know!”

— Pat Phelan, former CEO, Trustev

“Having recently worked with BKK on a key project, I can confirm they brought expert advice, strategic thinking, paid great attention to detail, went beyond the call of duty, and shared their wider network to ensure success of the project. The people are a pleasure to work with, as they are very client-focused.”

— Pat Casey, Swyft Energy

“BKK has been of tremendous support to us. I couldn’t imagine doing it without them!”

— DC Cahalane, Republic of Work

“We have been using BKK outsourced payroll, bookkeeping and management accounts services since we opened in Ireland in 1997. The longevity of the relationship is testament to their quality of service and the relationship we have built with them.”

— Sean Foley, Cypress Semiconductor Ireland

“BKK were an essential part of helping us to build our expansion strategy since 2013, and also raising funds to implement that strategy. I will continue to work with them for Fairy Door or any other business I am involved in. I cannot recommend them highly enough.”

— Oisín Barry, The Irish Fairy Door Company

“Through boom and bust, BKK has continued to help keep us profitable and they are a great source of positive encouragement. Nothing is too much trouble. I would recommend BKK without hesitation to anyone in business or thinking of starting a business – they are professional, knowledgeable, experienced and will go the extra mile.”

— Tom Bryan, Toss Bryan, Fermoy

“BKK supported me through a company buy-out. I was reassured all throughout the process that the team had the relevant knowledge in order for the deal to be completed in the most efficient way. I would certainly recommend BKK to anyone looking for strong financial support within their company/organisation.”

— Christine King, Castle Homecare

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