On our Rainmakers platform this week – Sumer’s Warren Mead exclusive

We’ve had a real run of exclusives for you on Rainmakers over the last few weeks.

Warren Mead, founder of accountancy sector consolidator Sumer spoke about his ambitions and lessons learned and which most recently bought the Stoke-on-Trent practice DPC, taking their hub count to eleven.

It comes off the back of an interview with Andy Gregory, the chief executive of BGF, who spoke to us after an exhilarating awayday with his team.

The former classical musician is as thoughtful as he is ambitious. He’s also very usefully mapped out for our Rainmakers readers just what makes BGF different in a very crowded and ever changing investment landscape.

This is on top of last week’s first where we brought you the very first sit down, anything goes, nothing off limits interview with Jonathan Boyers since he dramatically walked out on KPMG 18 months ago, and is now shaking up the M&A market with US disruptor Alvarez & Marsal as Head Of Corporate Finance for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

For two hours we talked through a range of issues, politics, the economy, sport and music, weight training, but mainly business and particularly corporate finance.

And why it’s all over for the Big Four in corporate finance.

It’s for our Rainmakers subscribers, it’s the kind of fresh, detailed and genuinely insightful content we are committed to bringing you. Don’t miss out. Subscribe today.

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Since launching in the North in March, Rainmakers has been well received, building a vibrant community who enjoy more detailed and lively approach to key issues affecting the regional M&A market.

From this week, TheBusinessDesk.com’s journalists across the country will be contributing stories and insights from their contacts.

We get lots of press releases where someone does a deal and everyone is “thrilled” or “delighted”. But Rainmakers looks to go further.

We also bring analysis of the volatile funding and advisory world – where private equity backed consolidators and major new entrants have shifted the tectonic plates.

We have taken readers behind the scenes of the last year at the key people who worked on the now cordial relationship between the Labour Party and the private equity world.

Rachel Reeves with Lucie Mills

Other recent topics of interest on Rainmakers have been – is the whole process of doing a deal just too slow and inefficient?

We’ve also looked at a couple of recent venture capital deals that appear to have bucked the trend and secured investment.

We’ve got TWO robust read for you this week, both designed to shed some light on some important UK deals.

First, the background to the likely private equity takeover of financial services success story Hargreaves Lansdown.

Our editor on the ground in the South West, Michael Ribbeck, keeps a close eye on the business founded in a spare room in the posh suburb of Clifton.

It’s a story with real sauce and intrigue, and two founders who aren’t short of an opinion, including one calling their successors “useless”.

You can almost imagine Brian Cox adopting a Lancashire accent to play Peter Hargreaves in Succession 2.

PLUS: We’ve got the back story to a new £2.2m investment by Foresight and Northern Gritstone reads like the premise of the next James Bond movie.

We have included a deep dive into the investment strategy of private equity investor Inflexion, in the light of their backing for global fitness business Ultimate Performance.

The link to that subscriber only piece is here.

We regularly take a closer look at some of the trends in the professional services market.

Other recent highlights have included a confessional from entrepreneur Jo Sellick who told his story about the profound sense of detachment and loss of purpose as his golden handcuffs loosened and his five year earn-out from selling the Sellick partnership to French services group Samsic.

Also, in readiness for the release of Welcome to Wrexham on Disney Plus, we shared the prequel story about how the oldest football club in Wales was briefly owned by a couple of Cheshire-based developers and ended up in a perilous state. And you’ll learn what a Dismal Jimmy is. What a tale.

We ran a big piece on the trend for carve out the week before, which has been the topic of much debate.

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Here’s now this is works

On Friday, free to everyone who signs up, we’ll pull out a few of the completed deals from that week and look under the hood a bit more. We might even have an educated guess at some of the prices paid on all of the “undisclosed” prices on deals we get to hear about.

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Try it out with a 14-day free trial

We have built RAINMAKERS on the well-established Substack platform, making the content easily and quickly available in an unfussy and elegant interface.

We have also been supported commercially by Grant Thornton.

Dan Rosinke, national head of transaction advisory at Grant Thornton, said: “We are supporting the launch of Rainmakers across the regions. Despite the challenging market conditions, we saw some outstanding deals across the region in 2023 and an increase in the number of processes in play in the second half of the year. This, coupled with pent up supply and demand for deals and private equity with capital to deploy, is setting the scene for a more buoyant M&A landscape in 2024.”

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Thank you to those who have subscribed to Rainmakers. 

We believe in good journalism that is worthy of your support. If you haven’t signed up yet, please share this story Rainmakers so we can grow the message further and wider.

The insights and commentary we share with you are rooted in the trust we have built in the business community. 

If you have something you think we should look at, then either reply to this newsletter or email michael.taylor@thebusinessdesk.com. 

 

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