“I aim to build long-term relationships with management teams and entrepreneurial business owners that are challenging the norms in their market place, and I ultimately support them in growing their business.”
I predominantly focus on finding and making new investments, but I also sit on a number of boards of our investees, which gives me the post investment perspective that is so important.
Livingbridge can add considerable value to management teams as they take their businesses through a growth trajectory, based on our experience of similar investment and sector situations along with access to a talent network that can be tapped into to assist in a variety of strategic scenarios. A great example of this was the investment we made into Luxury for Less, a fast growing online bathroom products retailer. We partnered with the two original founders and helped them navigate the inevitable growing pains of a business that had expanded so rapidly in the two years immediately prior to our investment. This involved using our network to strengthen the senior team filling in many of the gaps from CFO through to IT director. It was this type of added value that attracted the founders to Livingbridge in the first place, having seen what we had achieved with other similar online propositions. As well as Luxury for Less, my other recent investments have included Upper Street Events, Mortgages Made Easy and BoilerJuice.
After graduating from Nottingham University, I spent the next 12 years as a corporate finance adviser at Andersen, Deloitte and latterly as a partner at Ernst & Young, heading up its midlands corporate finance business. I have always operated in the mid-market with a significant weighting towards private equity related transactions. This experience has been bolstered by a complete change of tack in 2009, when I joined a pharma services business as MD. The next three years were spent professionalising what was almost entirely a sales-led business culture into an environment with a balanced strategic direction more suited to a changing pharma marketplace. Working on the other side of the fence has given me an empathy with management teams that can sometimes be otherwise lacking. I now understand the ‘on the ground’ challenges of turning strategy theory into reality.
Outside of work I spend my time reliving past sporting glories through watching my two boys, albeit I manage to find time for a few triathlons and cycling sportives each year, and a healthy dose of skiing and golf thrown in.
When you’ve spent a lot of time and effort building a business, it’s natural to be uncertain about selling it. On the on...