GED AND LES CLOCK UP INCREDIBLE 110 YEARS AT JACK ROSS

When Ged Lanigan caught the bus to his new job at a Manchester accountancy firm, King George VI was on the throne and Winston Churchill was Prime Minister. Rations for meat were cut to 18d a week and the state of war with Germany was formally ended.

Fast-forward 57 years and while Britain may be very different, Mr Lanigan is still working at Jack Ross Chartered Accountants, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. And together with fellow Jack Ross accountant Leslie Jacobs, 69, the pair have worked at the company for an incredible 110 years! They both joined the firm as article clerks aged 16, Mr Lanigan in 1951 and Mr Jacobs in 1955, and later went on to become partners.

Over the years the pair have built up a degree of trust with their clients that is second to none. So much so that they are asked for advice on matters far beyond the number crunching world of accountancy, including where to go on holiday.

“I’m almost an adopted family member,” said 73-year-old Mr Lanigan. He is now a consultant at Jack Ross and still looks after the finances of his closest clients. “Many of the clients are really quite good friends, I have acted for many of their families, children and even grandchildren. I enjoy the close relationship and to see the children grow up and become business people,” Mr Lanigan said.

Mr Lanigan is proud to have worked with company founder Jack Ross, whom he described as “fierce, very bright, a very good manager and a first class accountant”. He survived a potential take-over after Jack Ross died in 1980, by a rival firm. Mr Lanigan’s loyalty in the end proved crucial. “I said ‘What about the other partners?’ and when they went away to think about it I decided we were better staying as we were and the takeover was averted,” said Mr Lanigan.

Jack Ross moved from John Dalton Street last year to a new city centre location at Barnfield House, on The Approach, Blackfriars Road. It is not the only change the men have had to deal with. “The biggest change for me was computerisation,” Mr Jacobs said. “I used to do clients’ personal tax returns by hand. It’s taken a lot of work off my hands.” A keen golfer, Mr Jacobs, who lives with his wife Reeva in Broughton Park, Salford, said he enjoyed being his own boss and will stay as a consultant at Jack Ross until he is 75.

Mr Lanigan, who has four sons and lives with his wife Rita in Gatley, Stockport, will be a consultant for around two years. He juggles his work commitments with being chairman of a catholic charity and a governor of St Bead’s College in Manchester. And while over the next year the future of the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, looks unstable, and Britain has a Queen rather than a King, one thing is certain – for the time being, Mr Lanigan and Mr Jacobs will still be looking after people’s money at Jack Ross.

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