Popular figure retires from King's Lynn business after almost five decades
A familiar King’s Lynn face is retiring from one of the town’s longest serving businesses after nearly 47 years.
Clive Dodds, managing partner and chairman of directors at accountancy firm Stephenson Smart has worked with more than 900 clients during his illustrious career, some of whom have been on the books since the day he set foot in the King Street office.
Born and bred in Norfolk, Clive 66, has seen the 100-year-old company expand from its flagship town office into multiple locations throughout Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, all of which he was instrumental in developing.
Clive began working for Stephenson Smart on June 15, 1974, after his father suggested a career in accountancy when he finished his further education in Liverpool.
He said: “When I started my first job was for C R Lake, an ice cream business, whose accounts I had to hand stitch together with a needle and thread. Everything had to be done by longhand and it took forever.
“We had two sheets of double-sided paper that we stuck together. The clients name was on the front, the inside would have the profit and loss and the back would be the balance sheet.”
Clive was made partner in 1984 before the first computer was even introduced, and as the years passed his position took him all over the world, with work in South Korea, The Philippines, Australia and The Bahamas, where he assisted with a sale of a stately home in Lincolnshire.
Aside from his role at Stephenson Smart, Clive will be known by many for his charitable work.
He has been involved with Festival Too as treasurer and chair and is also the local chairman of The Prince’s Trust, trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and trustee of Open Road, a charity supporting young people to find a vocation.
“On the first day at work I rang my best mate to tell him how it was going, and I remember saying, ‘I’ve got another 45 years of this’. I’ve actually nearly worked 47.
“The reason I’ve always stayed is down to everything really. It’s been an amazing journey; the clients have been incredible, and I’ve had some really lovely emails and letters from them about my retirement. The staff have also made it very memorable.”
Clive’s role of managing partner will be filled by Michael Andrews, who is the company’s second longest serving partner, while Clive will continue to act as a consultant for the next three years to support new partner Dan Jastrzebski.
He plans to spend part of his retirement at his Spanish home when conditions allow, as well as enjoy some live sport.
He said: “The company is in a great position for Mike to take it forward. Stephenson Smart has grown significantly in the last 20 years and I’m proud of that.”