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Meet The Team

The M&A Team consists of highly experienced business professionals, who can help you identify and cover all the areas that are critical to success.

David Croydon: checks the cultural fit, with particular emphasis on the operational and sales and marketing alignment.

Roger Davies: checks the cultural fit, with particular emphasis on human resource issues: structure, reporting, employment contracts, pensions, etc.

Specialist Support: we also have an extended team of specialists to help us (and you) deliver a smooth post-acquisition transition in areas such as operations, utilities, IT and other areas where difficulties often occur. James Shand and Bob Bradley, who biogs appears below, are examples of the quality of our associate specialists.

Together, we’ll tip the odds of M&A success in your favour. We bring the critical eye of objectivity to your merger and acquisition plans, using our knowledge and experience to help you avoid the common pitfalls that beset so many deals.

The imperative of the ‘deal’ will be subject to a rational critique of the likelihood of long-term success – and what actions are necessary to ensure that success: our fee structure is not predicated exclusively on the absolute necessity of the deal, but on its genuine likely contribution to your business’s long-term growth.

Biographies

david croydonDAVID CROYDON - For 15 years David worked in marketing departments of various corporations and international companies, in support of direct sales forces. For the next 5 years, he moved to the agency side of the fence and worked in sales promotion/direct marketing/ advertising; then set up his own ‘through-the-line’ consultancy in Oxford, which he ran for 13 years (achieving £6M turnover and circa 35 staff) before selling out to an American multi-national. David therefore has in-depth experience of most business sectors, both FMCG and B2B.

Following his company sale, he has spent over a decade working with business owners to deliver growth strategies that help them achieve their personal and business goals, generally in one of four distinct areas: general growth strategies and plans; franchising as a specific means of achieving rapid business growth; mergers and acquisitions; and exit strategies.

His strong belief is that the principles of marketing and business management remain the same, irrespective of product or market sector (his business was called Marketing Principles), though obviously his experience of the service sector gives him a particular edge there.

He has written a book of his experiences co-founding, growing and eventually selling that business – part memoir, part comic novel, part business handbook, called “The Unprincipled” – which he self-published through his own imprint, Hilltop Publishing, in 2012. He joined the M&A Team because his own experiences of selling Marketing Principles led him to believe that the current system is fundamentally flawed.

He is a strong team player (a zillion years ago, he played rugby for Saracens for 10 years, and believes he still holds their all-time points-scoring record.)


roger daviesROGER DAVIES - Roger’s working life started with Barclays Bank before a change of direction into a sales role. Business Development management positions followed before a move into the Head Office of a company buying businesses across the UK to create the leading national distribution provider to the hospitality industry.

Roger worked directly with the business owners to convert their company to the systems and processes of his acquisitive employer, giving him great experience in the complex world of post-acquisition planning and delivery.

More than 40 companies were acquired over a three year period. Some were closed, 32 were recognised under ISO 9002, which Roger led. This included cultural changes and massive training programmes, which opened out into the field of Human Resources.

Roger’s last corporate role was as Head of HR for the retail logistics arm of The Unipart Group based in Oxford, where he led the HR strategy for 2200 employees and up to 2500 temps across 9 UK sites. This was fast-moving, non-stop and hands-on involvement with all areas of HR, including TUPE legislation; the impact of transferring employees between companies and the physical opening, closure and transfer of sites.

He strongly believes that HR is a framework for delivering business growth and change, led by honest communication which engages employees in the journey that the company is taking, so that the whole business is prepared and ready for action from Day One.

A keen rugby follower (Wales, London Welsh and Oxford Quins), Roger plays tennis and real tennis (both to an incredibly inconsistent standard) in his spare time.


james shand Our first associate, JAMES SHAND FCA CF, is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 23 years of commercial experience. He has worked with entrepreneurial SME owners and managers as Finance Director for the last 18 years, enabling them to deliver successful growth.

James worked for the Schering AG and Hoechst AG multinationals for 6 years, which operated rigorous group reporting and control mechanisms. He also has strong experience as Finance Director of a Venture backed company, Test Valley Water Plc and also public company experience when he was FD of AIM-listed Screen Plc.

James now operates as a Virtual Finance Director, providing part time FD services to ambitious SME owner managers. He relishes being a deal maker, having enjoyed being part of 17 successful deals, comprising 12 acquisitions, 3 business sales and 2 management buyouts (MBOs) across many sectors, including manufacturing, retail, service sector, technology and software. In 2008, James was awarded the ICAEW Corporate Finance Qualification in recognition of his achievements in negotiating and completing deals.


BOB BRADLEY, our latest associate, is a specialist in running high value-added service businesses, having run 5 such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive.  His last corporate role was with Computeach International, a £16M, 200-person family-owned business, having previously run Xpertise Group plc, an AIM-listed company which he grew from £4M to £12M in 3 years through both acquisitions and organic growth, and QA Training, where he was responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

Bob brings a wealth of experience in the M&A field. He is currently following a portfolio career providing entrepreneurial business leaders with mentoring and non-executive director support, areas we find need particular focus during the crucial days and weeks just before and after completion.  He also founded and chairs MD2MD, a group of MDs that work together to support each other in achieving their business and personal goals.

 


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