Private equity investment is a shared journey, where both the investor and the business receiving funding work together to achieve a common goal and help drive the business forward.
At Maven, we recognise the importance of having a genuinely local presence so we can forge a strong working relationship with each investee management team we work with. We ensure we have a good local profile and regional market knowledge so that our investment team is able to effectively support the management teams we work with.
We caught up with Dean Cox and Gavin Bell, dedicated Investment Managers for Cheshire and Warrington to help explain how their expertise and experience can benefit local businesses based in the area seeking funding and support to grow.
Dean joined Maven in September 2019, he’s a qualified solicitor who previously worked in M&A, Legal and Corporate Finance roles where he has advised management teams, institutional investors, and large corporates. He’s worked with many small businesses to help management shape and achieve business goals.
Gavin joined Maven in September 2016 and has over 10 years of experience in Private Equity. Prior to Maven he was responsible for both new investment activity and fundraising for small businesses at a number of private equity fund managers. Gavin has worked with many businesses to help secure a funding solution for the continued growth of the company.
1. What are your roles at Maven? What do you do for local businesses?
As members of the investment team our principal role is to source and complete new investment opportunities in the North West, specifically across the Cheshire and Warrington area. One of the most exciting aspects is meeting fantastic founders and management teams who are often leaders in their field and are looking for their products/solutions to have a positive impact on the world.
Post investment, we attend board meetings and help shape the strategy of investee companies. The opportunity to sit on boards with founders and experienced NEDs is fantastic and as investors we learn as much from the management teams we work with as the management teams learn from us.
2. What do you think are the advantages to growing businesses operating in Cheshire and Warrington?
Cheshire and Warrington has a rich history of developing successful businesses particularly in the technology, financial services, and travel sectors. We are excited to offer funding options in a region where there is a high-quality talent pool.
Local businesses such as cloud-based accounting and payroll software, My Digital Accounts and leading energy services business, Aberla are already benefitting from NPIF - Maven Equity Finance to support business growth and create jobs across the region.
3. What would you say to a business that is put off by taking on investment and would prefer to grow their business organically?
There are a lot of unfounded negative opinions on Private Equity. As investors we are not looking to “take over the business” or run the day to day operations, our role is to support the senior management team at a strategic level, accelerate growth and ultimately enhance shareholder value for all.
Our aim is to give management teams a stable platform for the continued growth of their business, in the knowledge that they have a supportive investor backing their development plans and providing strategic and commercial expertise.
4. What do you think are the main obstacles to accessing finance to grow that businesses face today?
Historically, there has been a funding gap for businesses between seed and series A particularly in the North of England. Businesses at that stage of maturity struggle to obtain traditional debt due to serviceability concerns and equity funding outside of London has generally only been available for more mature businesses. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund was created to address the geographical barrier for businesses in the North that fall into that “gap”.
COVID-19 will also undoubtedly impact on access to funding over the next couple of years as an ability for a business to function remotely will become a key consideration in any investment thesis.
5. What’s your top tip for a business that’s looking to raise funding?
Advanced preparation! Any management/founder team seeking to raise funding should only meaningfully engage with potential investors when they have prepared a robust 5-year business plan which clearly sets out the roadmap for growth. We would also urge them to be realistic in their forecasts to ensure that they do not get off on the wrong foot with potential investors.
6. As a national company, what other funding and support opportunities does Maven bring to Cheshire and Warrington?
Due to Maven’s national reach we have an extensive network of portfolio companies and advisors. We leverage this network and encourage our portfolio companies to engage with one another not only to cross-sell relevant products/services and opportunities but also to share their experiences of scaling/growing their own businesses as often the challenges faced by early stage businesses are similar irrespective of sector. We see cross portfolio engagement as a key benefit of partnering with Maven.
Raising equity may be suitable for businesses with growth aspirations, and the right investor can help a business achieve its objectives in a sustainable way. Maven has a proven track record of working closely with management teams in ambitious business to drive growth and create value. If your business is in need of finance to help unlock its growth potential, NPIF Maven Equity Finance may be able to help. Contact Maven’s local team today on 0161 233 3500.
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