An experienced and approachable Finance Director who has a passion for working with a portfolio of growing SMEs. Steve works with several early-stage tech businesses and has helped them raise their first significant investment.
Steve works closely with the VC community and has helped a range of businesses raise their first significant investment. Steve also understands the challenges that SME owners face when they are trying to expand. He ensures his clients are ready to present to investors and secure that all important investment.
Steve helps business owners to work effectively with investors to the mutual benefit of both founders and investors.
The investment journey is not plain sailing and Steve can help with all the key challenges such as cash flow management, investor communication, business strategy, profitability/cost reviews and value growth.
Steve qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Manchester with KPMG and, after qualifying he joined a UK-wide department store chain where he held a number of roles. He then moved into international retail, as finance director for new business start-ups in Russia and India.
Steve returned to the UK and has held a variety of FD/FC roles in customer facing businesses such as fashion retail, cinemas, bingo, estate agency, property development and children’s day nurseries.
Steve’s portfolio career with EFM has seen him help a range of businesses raise their first significant investment. Steve works closely with business founders, VCs, and angel investors to ensure the business is moving in the right direction and flagging up when corrective action needs to be taken.
Steve’s current portfolio comprises the following sectors: SaaS, software engineering/projects, engineering consultancy, estate agency, commercial property, the performing arts, and biotechnology.
Over the course of his career, Steve has delivered:
Business Planning- Prepared a range of complex business plan models leading to successful fund raises for several early-stage SMEs.
New Business Set-Up- Established overseas operations in India and Russia for UK companies including roll out planning, local recruitment/training, joint venture partnering and divestment planning.
Cash-Flow– Detailed cash flow planning to support major investment cases. Cash burn/cash out calculations for VC backed business. Cash flow projections to support follow on investment and debt funding.
Due Diligence- Assisted a VC with a detailed due diligence report leading to successful investment. Reviewed management business projections to support follow-on investment during the pandemic.
Finance Systems- New software implementation to facilitate remote working of entire client finance team including training, report design, multi-level approval systems and financial performance dashboards.
Exit Planning- Preparations for an exit via an Employee Ownership trust (EOT) including financial modelling and EOT fund raising.
Buy/ Sell Business- Disposal negotiations of an Indian company to major conglomerate. Sale of a bingo chain to a listed business.
“EFM are efficient, quick, and really nice and personable. You feel like they really care. They always like to help; they’re a resource even if it’s beyond the scope of what they’re doing for you. Steve has helped us to raise investment; it’s looking positive. EFM introduced us to people who can help in all areas; they’re really supportive. We were looking for a while to find someone for our financial support and they understood right at the start that we don’t have a lot of cash and that they actually want to help you”.
Lucy Buckley, Co-Founder, Dr Fertility Limited
The business comprised a chain of 12 family-owned cinemas. The business prided itself on excellent customer service and was reluctant to take the “human factor” away from the way it operated. The IT systems were not integrated with the head office thus meaning that each cinemas trading results had to be telephoned through at mid-night to an answerphone and the managers had to provide a long message giving the takings for each particular film. This film data was collated manually by the film booker and relayed to the head office at the end of the week. Each site had two sets of software – one for selling cinema tickets and one for product sales such as popcorn and soft drinks.
This mode of operation meant that the head office didn’t know which films were taking money until the end of the week…