Walji & Co began from humble beginnings. In 1982, after having trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton, Shabbir Walji decided to go it alone. Shabbir was working as a manager with a regional sized firm in Hampshire and although offered partnership with him, he declined in favour of going it alone. To his fortune, his secretary left with him and Shabbir started out practising from his lounge in his home in Chandler's Ford. His first investment was a typewriter bought with the monies received from a tax refund from the then Inland Revenue. Fortunately, Shabbir had a loyal following of half a dozen or so clients that moved with him. Amazingly, all those clients are still with the firm today - 30 years later!
Before long, Shabbir bought a property on Leigh Road which he moved into in 1983 together with the few staff that had been brought on board. One of those was a young 16 year old, pink-haired apprentice called Tracy who started out as an accounts trainee. 30 years later, Tracy is still going strong and well established as one of the firm's highly efficient Client Managers.
In the early days where accountants were unable to advertise their services, Shabbir quickly formed a winning partnership with his bank manager Steven Street of Barclays, referring clients to each other and assisting clients with buying, selling and other deals that were rife in the 80's. The deal frenzy days of the 80’s were followed by the severe recession of the 90’s and interest rates reaching 15%. The focus of the firm shifted to helping clients navigate through the tough times by restructuring affairs and negotiating terms with financiers. The economic cycle once again shifted in the 2000’s but the quality, care and assistance to clients remained.
In 2008, the firm welcomed a new Partner – Reza Hooda from Price waterhouse Coopers. Reza had worked with PwC for 6 years, specialising in providing tax advisory services for owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs and private companies. This skill set was highly beneficial to the clients of Walji & Co who benefitted from both Big 4 expertise and small firm personal touch. Reza has been instrumental in the growth of the firm since his arrival whilst maintaining the focus on providing hands on, added value solutions to owner manager’s and their businesses.
Throughout the last 30 years, Walji & Co has enjoyed tremendous loyalty with clients and staff alike with second and third generations of client families coming on board. This is no doubt down to a personal, hands-on approach with clients. The ethos has always been to treat client's business like our business - what would we do in those shoes is a question we ask when presented with any challenge. We are fortunate too to have a great and loyal team of client managers that display high levels of dedication in delivering excellent client service. Meeting expectations is not enough at Walji & Co, we must exceed them.