It's been a busy couple of weeks here at ForrestBrown.  As things start to slowly wind down in the lead up to Christmas we wanted to take the opportunity to welcome a new member of staff onboard.  Mark Smout has recently joined us as Business Development Manager to look after our growing sales and marketing activity, and take a little of the pressure off the technical team, giving us the opportunity to focus on R&D tax work.

Mark studied Public Relations at university, before moving to Bristol after his graduation.  He worked in B2B publishing for a number of years across a number of technically focused business sectors, before joining the Telecoms & Media division of Informa plc, where he delivered conferences focused around VOD, IPTV and ‘Connected Living’ technologies.  He left Informa to join Hurricane Media Ltd, a Bristol-based video marketing startup, and over the past five years helped to develop an enviable client list, including some of the world’s leading marketing and communications agencies, as well as some iconic global brands including Canon, BMW, Peugeot and Barclays.

Mark already has a good understanding of the creative technology space in which we operate. His industry knowledge and consultative approach have already helped to identify a number of areas where companies were failing to maximize the value of their R&D claims.

After a few weeks to settle into the role Mark commented “The breadth of the opportunity is clear, whilst larger companies are often well aware of the scheme, and on the whole are already claiming against the vast majority of eligible R&D expenditure.  It tends to be smaller companies, who are frequently still making significant investment into R&D who are; either unaware of the scheme, believe the claims process will be complex, or most frequently, simply don’t believe the development work their business carries out will be eligible.  I’m looking forward to helping to dispel some of these common misconceptions and offering SMEs access to specialist advice to recoup their often significant, R&D expenditure.”

Simon Brown, ForrestBrown MD said “There are a significant number of companies that qualify for R&D tax credits, yet are not currently claiming under the scheme. Mark’s knowledge of marketing agencies, digital development companies, as well as telecoms, media and entertainment businesses is well aligned with some of the industry sectors in which we’ve had greatest success, we’re excited about what he’s going to bring to the team”.

In his spare time Mark enjoys baking, cycling and going to the gym (well he promises he’s going to start going again in the New Year) and he’s frequently found staring at an iOS device.