Published: Aug 03, 2020
Focus: NPIF Maven Equity Finance
Paul Leyland joins Maven as an Investment Manager for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) Equity Team bringing with him extensive SME experience spanning Investment, M&A, Accounting and Taxation and will be responsible for new investments across Greater Manchester and the North West of England.
We spoke to him about his previous history and how he’s found the time with the business so far.
- What was your previous experience before joining Maven?
Prior to joining Maven, I spent six years with North West based investment and advisory business, Seneca Partners, initially within their Corporate Finance department before helping establish their Private Equity division in 2018. Most of my experience spans Investment, M&A, Accounting and Taxation. Joining as an Investment Manager at Maven, I’m now responsible for new investments across Greater Manchester and the North West of England.
- What has it been like starting at Maven during this season?
It hasn’t been particularly straightforward, but the entire Maven team have done everything they can to make the process as easy as possible. Meeting the team virtually, trying to arrange diaries to ‘meet’ everyone was easily done due to the great technology we have, they’re a great team and were keen to help bring me up to speed. Due to lockdown everyone is now much more familiar with video conferencing, I think it will definitely become the business norm for initial meetings as it enables you to be more flexible and meet businesses from across the whole of the NW virtually. We have regular teams calls amongst the office and wider business, so I’ve been quickly getting to know all about the NPIF portfolio.
- What have you found enjoyable so far?
It’s been great to hit the ground running, with interesting investment opportunities to appraise from the get-go. I’m already in discussion with a couple of businesses that would really benefit from having Maven as an investment partner, I’m really looking forward to getting my first deal underway.
- What has been your highlight since joining?
Reconnecting with my professional network has been insightful - everyone has had their own challenges throughout lockdown (both at work and home!), so it’s been interesting to hear how they’ve coped and their plans for getting back on track.
- Did you expect to find a new role during the COVID pandemic?
We’d been in discussion for a little while ahead of lockdown, but I assumed that any recruitment would end up being put on hold. However, the demand for capital hasn’t gone away, entrepreneurs often thrive in challenging times and the lull in activity has given some founders time to reflect internally, revisit their business plans and better position their businesses to raise investment as restrictions lift.
- What’s your typical working day like? Have you started on any interesting projects?
A typical day starts with coffee and catch ups with the office over Teams, debriefing on recent activity since the last call. I’ll have numerous calls throughout the day, a combination of professional advisors and businesses looking to raise capital. I’m currently in early stage discussions on a couple of projects – assessing the opportunity, financials and market and collating information to enable me to prepare an investment case.
Paul’s appointment follows the milestone achieved by NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund having supported 49 SMEs’ by providing over £33 million and helping create over 415 new jobs since its inception. The fund’s positive impact on businesses in the North West Region is already evident, fuelling the growth of ambitious SMEs across a wide range of industries, and supporting a significant number of jobs.
NPIF Maven Equity Finance is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, in collaboration with the British Business Bank. The Fund is designed for small businesses that need equity finance to grow and can invest £50,000 - £2 million to support start-up and established companies based across the Northern Powerhouse aiming to create jobs and contribute to the economy.