Obtaining the chartered accountancy qualification seemed like a great way to keep my options open at the time as I wanted to work in finance but wasn’t sure in exactly what capacity.
I worked in property sales for a while after leaving university which taught me lots of things which have helped in my career but I always wanted to work in finance in some capacity eventually, so I applied to KPMG and got accepted onto the chartered accountant scheme there.
I worked at KPMG for about ten years before joining MHA MacIntyre Hudson. After qualifying at the KPMG Milton Keynes office, I moved straight into corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions (M&A) as I had by then decided this was the area where I wanted to specialise. During this period I worked for over two years in KPMG’s Moscow office, having read Russian and German at university, and then for another year the Middle East. In both locations I worked with international clients looking to develop a presence via M&A in Russia and the Middle East respectively. It was really interesting and I learnt a lot. Then my wife and decided to start a family so we returned to the UK and after a year or so back here I was approached by MHA MacIntyre Hudson to head up their embryonic M&A team. I really liked the culture portrayed by the partners that I met, many of whom are still my colleagues today, and also found the idea of developing something from scratch really quite exciting, so I made the decision to leave KPMG and joined the firm in late 2001.
Probably a lack of knowledge as to how businesses are valued and what can be done in the short, medium and long term to increase the value of a business. Given that a business is probably someone’s most valuable asset, alongside property perhaps, it surprises me how quite a few business owners are unaware of the key things to focus on to increase the value of their business asset. I am however always very happy to try and point them in the right direction once they ask.
Get through the exams as quickly as you can. They are really very tough. Once you’ve done that then spend some time working out in which area of finance you want to work and then go for it. Always be prepared to ask questions – you learn a lot more and it shows that you’re interested.
spending time with my wife Sue, preferably on a beach somewhere.
Some Like It Hot (Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe).
Liverpool FC don’t always win.
someone who showed passion and who put fairness and loyalty very high on his list of priorities.
arriving too early for meetings (yes that is a joke).
what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet (Anne Frank, I believe).