Three ex-partners of the Willows Veterinary Group have launched North Star Vets, a new veterinary group which will give vets an opportunity to own a stake in their practice without any capital investment. 

MsRCVS Sean Cleary and Richard Thomas, and accountant Jane Platt have opened their first practice, Burford Lane Vets in Cheshire, and now plan to open 10 more practices over the next five years, two in Spring 2022

Burford Lane Vets is headed up by Pieter De Villiers MRCVS, who has become an equity owner, supported by a team of nine vets, nurses and receptionists.

Sean said: “Our vets benefit from our many years of clinical, financial, human resources and procurement experience and have the opportunity to add the finishing touches to a state-of-the-art practice, where no expense has been spared on the fit out and equipment.

"Everything from finding a property, negotiating the lease, fitting out the practice and health and safety is taken care of.

"It means our equity partners can enjoy being fantastic vets and reap the financial rewards that brings, and we are here to support the practice and take care of all the administration, procurement, marketing and everything else that goes into running a successful business."

Sean added: “We have benefited from the shift in the industry that saw veterinary groups acquired by large corporate businesses.

"However, this has inadvertently made it difficult for the next generation of vets to follow the traditional route of buying into a practice as they progress from a junior role to partner, as corporate interest has pushed the values of practices to unaffordable levels for most vets.

"We want to bridge that gap and give a leg up to vets who want to be masters of their own destinies, without the difficulty of starting from scratch or having to find a huge initial investment.”  

Sean says he thinks there are a great many vets who would like to launch their own practice.

However, starting from scratch is fraught with risk, expense, and complexity.

Sean added: “Our innovative model helps great vets set up in business as leaders of their own practice and our unique offering is already attracting interest from high-calibre individuals.

"We would encourage any colleagues out there who feel they would like to join us in our new venture to get in touch via our website.” 

Sean concluded: “The business acumen we have built up over our many years of working in the industry enables us to provide practical support, mentorship and guidance for vets through every step of the process, and that’s something we’re passionate about.

"The directors will be working across all practices to provide support whenever it’s needed. We are in it for the long haul, not just the initial set up stage, and we will become a part of every practice that opens.

“We take a real pride in being the solution to fix the broken practice ownership model and North Star Vets will empower ambitious vets to enjoy a better and more successful future, which in turn will translate into the standard of care our clients enjoy.”  

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