Published: Mar 11, 2022
Focus: NPIF Maven Equity Finance
In January 2022 Maven opened an office at Avenue HQ St Paul’s Square, situated in the heart of Liverpool’s bustling business and commercial district. We caught up with Investment Manager, Paul Leyland and Investment Associate, Tom Morgan, part of Maven’s local team dedicated to Liverpool city region, to explain how their expertise and experience can benefit local businesses in the area looking for funding and support to grow.
Paul joined Maven in July 2020, he's a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has spent six years with North West based investment and advisory businesses working in Corporate Finance and Private Equity. At Maven he works with local businesses to help them achieve their growth goals.
Tom joined Maven in 2017 after working in the private equity recruitment market in Manchester. He works with Paul and the local Maven team to support businesses applying and raising finance.
1. What are your roles at Maven? What do you do for local businesses?
Paul joined Maven in July 2020 as an Investment Manager. His experience spans accountancy, taxation, corporate finance and private equity. His day to day responsibilities involve identifying interesting investment opportunities across the region and ultimately delivering growth capital investments into these companies.
Tom is responsible for supporting Paul and the local investment team on NPIF investments across the region working, he helps local businesses identify and secure growth funding to support their expansion plans.
2. What do you think are the advantages to growing businesses operating in Liverpool city region?
We’ve seen a lot of activity in the immersive technology space recently, with Liverpool City Region now being globally renowned for its output. This sector is creating a hotbed of talent in both creative and technical skills. There’s great access to a range of opportunities with access to a new ports and logistics infrastructure and attractive skills pool all playing a part in making the region a great place to work and live.
We’ve already supported a number of businesses across the region including global innovators Liverpool ChiroChem, a chemical technology business that produce chiral small molecules for biotech/pharmaceutical R&D. The Maven NPIF investment was able to fuel the company’s growth aspirations as they made significant steps forward in their industry.
SaaS recruitment platform Redwigwam is a local technology business who developed an AI powered platform that connects flexible workers to employers. The Maven NPIF investment will support the firm to grow its team and further develop its platform.
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 many misconceptions about what private equity means to SME business owners, with many reluctant to ‘sell equity’ however investment partners bring more to the table than cash alone. We partner with the businesses we invest, leveraging our experience and networks to help these businesses succeed.
We will look to support businesses operating in sectors we understand and where we have a proven track record of delivering results for owners and investors alike. This means that we are often able to introduce potential customers and can provide help with sector issues we understand, and other investees have encountered.
4. What do you think are the main obstacles to accessing finance to grow that businesses face today?
Lack of preparation, we meet many founders who are passionate about their business and its potential, but there’s no plan. That entrepreneurial spirit is great but it’s hard to invest in ideas alone. We like to see a well thought through strategy. We look for businesses with clear potential for growth and excellent management teams who want to develop professionally. The quality of the management team, and our ability to build a collaborative relationship with the team, is of the utmost importance in our assessment of the chances of success of a business.
5. What’s your top tip for a business that’s looking to raise funding?
Speak to us! You might be considering fundraising or are ready to receive investment… we’re always happy to talk, share insights and make introductions, even if we don’t ultimately invest.
6. As a national company, what other funding and support opportunities does Maven bring to the Liverpool city region?
Maven has established a track record of consistently delivering strong growth across our portfolio, through a combination of commercial acumen, wide sectoral knowledge and a well-established professional network. Our experienced team across the UK has a wide range of professional and commercial backgrounds enabling us to work in close partnership with our investee companies. We are also able to call upon the skills and knowledge of our network of Executive and Non-executive Directors to complement the existing senior management team where such a need is identified.