Case Study: John McGavigan
Almost always the success of any business lies with the people. Where management have the collective skills, experience, vision and commitment to make a vision a reality.
Our investment and realisation from McGavigan Limited demonstrates that backing highly capable and balanced management teams and giving them the freedom to create, delivers positive outcomes for all stakeholders.
Watch Andrew Craig, Partner at Maven and Steve Mathers, Global Commercial Director at McGavigan, discuss how a strong partnership between the management team and investor is crucial to business success.
Steve Mathers: Well, the McGavigan business has been around for many many years it started in fact back in 1861 in Glasgow. We became involved in the automotive market back in 1974. We were the first company that developed a back illuminated dial plate and that became sort of the benchmark for the industry around the world, in fact at one stage we produced one in six vehicles in the world that had our components on.
The relationship with Maven started in 2011 and really what that facilitated was our ability to be able to internationalize and globalize our business. We had strong, pent up demand, particularly in the Asian markets and many of our customers who are global players were looking for organisations like McGavigan as they worked with us in Europe to be able to replicate what we do in Asia.
As a stand-alone business we couldn't have done it without that injection of capital. That growth capital, and what Maven provided was the financial catalyst to be able to do that and to be able to set up initially a factory in Suzhou in China, but as the journey has gone on we've continued to grow and grow and it's been the real cornerstone of our growth for the business.
Andrew Craig: I think what attracted us most as an investment opportunity was the management team. When I first went to meet David and Steve it was just clear that they had the experience but also the vision and real entrepreneurship but as well they saw an opportunity to take the business globally and internationalize it.
It became very clear that this was a trusted business amongst its customer base as well, seen as a problem solver there too as well so they would typically I think secure quite challenging projects to manage with our clients and that for us was a huge strength because you know they built up such a bandwidth within the team of knowledge about how to actually take on complicated programs and almost be like a solutions provider for their customers.
Steve Mathers: Unlike many funds with private equity the perception obviously tends to be money in and money out very quickly. The relationship with Maven is quite the opposite in fact we've been working with Maven for over 10 years.
I like their thoroughness around whom they're investing in not what they're investing in and the subtlety there is they spent a lot of time to understand what we were about as individuals and also the team that we had and also gave us the opportunity to look them in the eye as well because we didn't want to jump into a relationship which is going to be threatening or that's going to adversely affect what we're trying to do as a business. What we needed was a catalyst, somebody who was going to give us the financial resources but also be able to step alongside us and help us on that journey.
Andrew Craig: I think one of the key strengths for us is as a business unlike a lot of our competitors we've kept our regional model so we have people across the ground right across the UK so we're not just flying up once a month for a board meeting, we can be here on site and spend time with our teams which I think is a real competitive advantage too as well so it's getting that partnership and collaborative approach they're not meddling day-to-day so the team can feel they can make all the normal day-to-day decisions but working together to deliver that strategy over the longer term there too as well so kind of pushing and pulling each other. In terms of how you develop the business and the strategy, the challenge is very important but I think there's that mutual respect that was there from day one and that's something we try to foster with all our businesses.
Steve Mathers: What we found with Maven and Andy who's been on our board for ten years is he's been able to not only just come along with that financial support but has also played an active part in management decision making. Not to the extent where it's operational, it's more about an advisory or sounding board when we're looking at investments, changes or areas of development. What differentiated Maven from other organizations is we saw them investing in the people as us as individuals
Andrew Craig: So, I think it's about giving people the confidence to back their ideas because we want businesses that are going to be here not just for the short term but for the longer term so that's really important.
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Watch Robert Dowd, CEO at Yimba, and Alex Rothwell, Investment Director at Maven, discuss the importance of tailoring a funding package that works for the business now as well as its long term growth objectives.
Guiding our investee companies through familiar challenges
No matter the problem, big or small, our team aims to provide our portfolio companies with the resources and expertise required to help you scale and achieve your goals.
Misconceptions about Private Equity
Hear from some of our portfolio companies as they debunk the myths around private equity finance.
Spotting future potential in a business
Early stage businesses are rarely the finished article and so our team specialises in seeing beyond that and spotting the real growth potential.
The benefits of active portfolio management
We back people, not just businesses, and together we aim to enhance your business by providing the capital and expertise to help you accelerate growth.
Top tips for entrepreneurs looking to scale their business
Business leaders and entrepreneurs from some of our investee companies discuss their advice for preparing your business for growth.
What is the Finance Durham Fund
Learn more about the Finance Durham Fund and how it is transforming the financial landscape for growth focused businesses across County Durham
What is the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
Find out more about the equity fund which Maven manages and how it is helping ambitious North West businesses to fulfil their growth potential.
When is Private Equity right for your business?
Private equity is more than just an exit path, it can provide ambitious business leaders with the capital and expertise they require to accelerate their organisations growth.
Why are VCTs proving attractive to investors?
A look at how VCTs are enabling investors to access private markets opportunities to diversify their portfolio as volatile public market conditions persist.
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