Our Blog

  • A day to value 21 Mar 2016

    The days of financial engineering are (mostly) behind us. Today, growth companies - whether backed by private equity or not - have to find, engineer, accelerate and communicate the value they are creating. And, as over 100 guests at The Contemporary FD event heard last week, the finance director has a key role in all those dimensions. "Finding a balance... Read more

  • All about the margins 29 Nov 2015

    The secret to running a business in a crowded marketplace? The equation is simple: you either steal market share - usually by killing margins. Or you find something someone else has missed - meaning you learn to play in the margins. And that’s what The Gym, recently floated at a value of £250m, has done. And it... Read more

  • A new kind of politics 29 Sep 2015

    Jeremy Corbyn, eh? Labour's new leader is something of a mystery. Somehow he's managed to flummox the right-wing press by not being a foaming-at-the-mouth Trotskyite when he's made rare media appearances. And far from scandalising business, many of his ideas have recieved a positive welcome from various industrial bodies. (It's true that some businesspeople and some... Read more

  • Cash (but not cashflow) 21 Jul 2015

    Finance execs at growth companies are exhorted to follow the cash. It's good advice: whether or not you're servicing debt, generating cashflow frees up funds for investment and instills a discipline in the business that both current backers and future acquirers will value (often with enhanced multiples). But what happens when you generate cash and you're not... Read more

  • Cross pollenation 2 Jul 2015

    There are some subjects that keep coming back into management fashion, no matter how often they've been reheated or how long ago they emerged. That's not to be overly critical: the world turns, pendulums swing this way, then that - and often, each new iteration of a well-worn cliche brings something new. So it is with "... Read more

  • Thinking the worst (and doing their best) 19 Feb 2015

    We’re an unforgiving bunch. People seem ever-ready to ascribe the worst possible motives to other people’s actions, while pretty much always having perfectly good excuses for their own human failings. This is particularly true in the business world. It’s perfectly possible to criticise the goings-on at Tesco, for example, without singling out any individual... Read more

  • Embracing the unpredictable 12 Jan 2015

    Twitter really can bring out the worst in people. No, not in the sense of encouraging them to say horrible things, or start “trolling” people. I mean displaying to the world their limitations - and sharing things that, perhaps, require a little more nuance than 140 characters allows. Example: there’s a “community of leaders” called... Read more

  • Great time last week at the BVCA Annual Gala Dinner 15 Dec 2014

    We all had a great time last week at the BVCA Annual Gala Dinner which we sponsored. As a team we are all now officially members of the Clare Balding fan club! She was a fantastic after dinner speaker and truly inspiring  individual.  

  • Finance: the sexy department 16 Oct 2014

    A lot of people sneer at accountants. Without wanting to rehearse the tired clichés, words like boring, grey and conservative tend to spring to most people’s minds. (Even when the profession is being targeted for its involvement in history's greatest atrocities.) And we say: those people are stupid. The news over the past few weeks... Read more

  • In the spotlight 16 Sep 2014

    Two big advantages of running a private equity (PE) backed business have traditionally been privacy (mending companies is hard when you have the public spotlight on you); and expertise (smart, engaged investors are better than public shareholders or even family members and ensuring the business was heading in the right direction). They’re both worth seeking out, of course,... Read more