“…they enhance our own offering through their high quality, impartial advice and services.”

Cepec Career Management describes its services as “person-centred”, a phrase underlining the continuity of an approach that began with its launch in the 1970s as one of the UK’s first outplacement providers.

Back then, founder John Flouch recognised the value of counselling in navigating the emotional journey that begins with redundancy, acknowledged in the organisation’s original name: the Centre for Executive Professional Employment Counselling.

Since then, Cepec has gone on its own journey, including a seven-year period that began in 1999 as part of recruitment giants TMP Worldwide group. Since 2006, it has been independently run by joint managing directors Jane Lea and Giles Brady, delivering services through a team of consultants across the UK from its London HQ.

Jane’s commitment to quality service is absolute – to the point where she says: “I don’t employ anyone as a consultant unless they are professionally qualified and have been through redundancy. Unless you have felt and experienced it, you find it very difficult to empathise” – which is why Birchwood’s relationship with Cepec has been so successful.

Joint projects have included working with staff affected by the high profile merger in 2007 of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission into the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Jane says: “We began working with Birchwood more than15 years ago, after we realised that an awful lot of people were taking redundancy, but, as a result of bad advice, were making the wrong decisions in terms of what they were going to do with pensions and so on.

“Some people leave organisations with more money than they have ever had in their lives, so what they do with it and how they manage it is really important. Through Birchwood’s financial seminars, workshops and one-to-one meetings, we can cover everything from what benefits people might be entitled to to short, medium and long-term investments and how to avoid unnecessary tax.

“The workshops give people a chance to bounce ideas off each other, which is psychologically good, while the confidential one-to-ones are where they can get down to the real nitty-gritty. Birchwood provides the facts people need to make informed decisions, which is so important – we want to make sure people don’t look back and regret missed opportunities.

“At Cepec, we have very high professional standards and Trevor Simms and his team at Birchwood are equally professional in their own field. We share a great deal of common ground with Birchwood – responsiveness, for example, employing good people and training them well – and they enhance our own offering through their high quality, impartial advice and services.”

Please note that Birchwood Investment Management does not have any interest in any particular outplacement company.

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