We are delighted to have completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge on Thursday 13th July 2023 in support of Crohn’s & Colitis UK. Thank you to everyone who has supported us, so far, we have raised over £2,655. This is an amazing achievement by all the team and we appreciate all the support we have received. The Yorkshire Three Peaks was challenging but we got through it together and the tired legs were worth it for such a worthy cause.

If you would like to donate, please use the Just Giving link below.

Springboard CF is fundraising for Crohn’s & Colitis UK (justgiving.com)

Thank you.

We are delighted our Director Matthew Guest has been awarded the ‘Rising Star’ award at The Business Desk Rainmakers awards.

Matt is a key member of our team having been with us for 8 years. In that time he has been involved in a number of our most significant transactions – this is fantastic recognition for all of his hard work and is richly deserved.

We are also proud to have been nominated in the following categories:

Corporate Finance Team of the Year

Private Equity Exit
Phoenix Equity Partners and LDC exited their investment in Forest Holidays, as it was acquired by Sykes Holiday Cottages.

TheBusinessDesk.com’s Rainmaker Awards




Written by James Bailey, Partner

In the world of sports, few figures have achieved the level of success and admiration as Pep Guardiola, only further enhanced by Saturday’s treble success. Known for his innovative tactics, exceptional leadership skills and relentless pursuit of excellence, Guardiola’s achievements offer valuable lessons that extend beyond the realm of sports. In this blog, we look at what business leaders can learn from Pep Guardiola and Manchester City’s continued success.

A shared vision and common purpose

Guardiola understands that success is not solely dependent on individual talent, but rather on building a cohesive and collaborative team. He places great emphasis on team chemistry, effective communication, and a shared vision.

Business leaders are responsible for communicating the big picture, ensuring team members are on the same page and understand the strategic plan. Every successful team needs a vision that is well communicated and each individual needs to understand the role they play. Businesses should set common goals but give employees the freedom to achieve them through day-to-day individual creativity just as players are given the freedom to use their initiative on the pitch.

Preparation & planning

Guardiola’s meticulous attention to detail and dedication to preparation have been integral to his success. He places great importance on analysing opponents, understanding their weaknesses and tailoring his tactics accordingly. Similarly, business leaders should emphasise the significance of research, data analysis, and strategic planning. By understanding their market, anticipating challenges and identifying opportunities, leaders can make informed decisions that drive growth.

In any team you need to empower individuals and trust them to do the roles you have brought them in to perform. Trust between individuals comes from training and preparation. Coaches can’t get out on the pitch and play, so they set the game plan, communicate, motivate and then let their team go to work.

Whilst it’s not as possible for a business team to constantly train and prepare, we often see people being too busy with their day to day and not enough time being spent on preparation and planning. Guardiola’s meticulous approach serves as a reminder that success often lies in the details.

Recruiting a diverse range of talent

There is no doubt that Manchester City have assembled a team of highly talented individuals with a diverse range of skills, but with one thing in common, they share the vision, passion and hunger of Pep Guardiola and the wider Manchester City board. Company leaders must analyse in detail which positions are critical for their growth and develop a detailed profile for each to ensure they build depth and diversity into their teams.

In a club such as Manchester City, whilst Pep is the leader, there is no doubt that the success achieved is not down to Pep alone. Building the right support team around you, the ‘back-room staff’ is also critical in business.

Adaptability and innovation

During his years of managing top clubs, there is no doubt that we have seen consistent traits in Pep Guardiola teams. However, we have also seen him innovate and he has revolutionised the game by introducing new tactical systems, reinventing traditional approaches and taking advantage of technological advances in sport.

Pep has also shown great skill for continually developing individuals, placing them in different roles and positions to get the very best performances from them, keeping them motivated and fresh. Often when new players have come into the Manchester City squad, they have not necessarily performed at their best in the first season, Pep then helps them to adapt and fit into the wider team and allows them time to adjust.

However, with the arrival of Erling Haaland, we have seen how Pep has also adapted his tactics and changed how the rest of the team play to get the best results out of Haaland as an individual.

Whilst a clear vision and strategy is key, a business, like a football team needs to be able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and trends. Businesses that fail to innovate or adapt, may lose their competitive advantage or see a deceleration of growth if they are slow to adopt emerging trends and technologies within a fast-changing business environment.

Continual and gradual improvement vs shake-up

Across the seasons that Pep Guardiola has led Manchester City, we’ve seen him use the tactic of gradual improvement with tactical tweaks initially to changing his strategy with a big shake up to keep his squad fresh and hungry.  Out went four players in Jesus, Sterling, Zinchenko and Fernandinho who had been so integral to the club’s recent success and in came Haaland, Alvarez and Akanji to replace them.

The lesson for business here is that gradual improvements will drive change over time but also don’t be afraid of larger scale changes to drive forward.


Sport leaders such as Pep Guardiola provide not only lessons on how to improve, perform and achieve, but how to do this over the long-term in a way that is effective and sustainable.

Business leaders can learn vital lessons from the world of sport about setting goals, sharing vision and purpose as well as balancing short-term performance with long-term growth. With the right preparation, by building diverse teams and by embracing innovation and adaptability leaders can navigate an array of challenges and achieve long-term success.


The Springboard Team will be taking on The Yorkshire Three Peaks on the13th July 2023 to raise funds for Crohn’s & Colitis UK. This charity is close to our hearts as Ryan, our office manager’s brother, has suffered with this from the age of 9. We are keen to raise as much money as possible for this great charity and would appreciate if you can donate any amount big or small.

The Cause

Crohn’s & Colitis UK are the UK’s leading charity for Crohn’s and Colitis. They work to improve diagnosis and treatment, to fund research into a cure; to raise awareness and to give people the hope, comfort and confidence to live freer, fuller lives.

Unfortunately Ryan’s condition was severe meaning all treatment eventually stopped working resulting in him needing bowel removal surgery and a stoma fitted in August 2021.

After recovery from his bowel surgery and adapting to the huge change in his life, Ryan was slowly but surely starting to live a normal life until he was diagnosed with Liver Cancer in January 2022. This all stemmed from his prior diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis.

Despite all his challenges, Ryan has been so positive throughout and we are so thankful to say the tumour was successfully removed and in February 2023, Ryan was given the initial “all clear”. He has recently celebrated his 27th birthday, is now thriving in work and beginning to live a normal, happy life as he deserves.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a 24-mile (38.6km) round trip walk, which includes 1585m (5,200ft) of ascent, to be completed in under 12 hours.

The walk takes in the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres), Whernside (736 metres) and Ingleborough (723 metres), forming part of the Pennine range, and encircling the head of the valley of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

A challenge not for the faint-hearted, our Team have signed up in their numbers to take on the peaks in aid of such a great cause. Participants include: Simon Ward, Robert Johnson, James Bailey, Chris Rawstron, Matthew Guest, Jonathan Wright, Thomas Hammond, Matt Wong, James Cross, Dan McCartney, Claudia Haywood, Liam Bradney, Hamza Rehman and Charlotte Higgins.

Donate here

If you would like to donate and help support the team on their challenge, please click on the link below.

We thank you in advance for your support and will update you on the team’s progress.

Award-winning corporate finance advisor Springboard Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the recruitment of Matt Wong as Assistant Director to its team as it continues to invest in its strength in depth.

Matt will work across the full range of Springboard’s M&A offerings. Most recently, he worked in Investment Banking at Zeus advising both publicly listed and financial sponsors on IPOs and buy-side assignments.

Matt graduated from the University of Buffalo in the USA with a BA in Economics and has a MSc in Investment Analysis from Aston University. Prior to Zeus, he worked at Grant Thornton in the Corporate Finance team advising on buy and sell-side assignments.

Springboard Partner Simon Ward commented “We are delighted to have attracted Matt to Springboard and welcome him to the team. We continue to invest in high quality talent, to continue providing the best service we can to our clients across the owner managed and private equity markets.” Matt Wong added “I am really pleased to be joining the Springboard team – I am hugely impressed by their ambition and culture.”

Written by Robert Johnson, Partner

The recent Coronation of King Charles III has got me thinking about how the Royal Family and wider household can provide us lessons in succession planning and preparation.

Start with your end goal

Queen Elizabeth always knew that her end game was her son Charles taking over the reins. She clearly understood that she would be ‘passing the business on’ to a family member. However, the Queen also considered the manner of that passing and much of that was around creating a legacy that would continue to last into future generations.

As a business founder, your ultimate objective may be the sale of your business or to pass on your life’s work to family members. Understanding your strategic objectives is the key, whether they are financial, personal or the creation of a legacy.


The Royal Household had 70 years to plan for the Queens succession and whilst business leaders might not have that long, planning early is key to any successful succession plan.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a defined plan and the continual evolution of it. Meticulous planning within the royal household has avoided significant disruption. Having a plan in place well in advance will ensure a smooth transition whether your exit is planned or due to unexpected events.

Choosing your successor

The Queen had a clear successor from the day that Charles was born, and she coached and mentored him throughout the years in readiness for him taking the reins. However, there has always been a plan in place for alternative successors, by building their day-to-day roles and mentoring other senior royals and allowing them to take a lead role if needed.

If an investor is looking to acquire your business, the key question for them is who will run the business when the founder leaves? There needs to be a clear plan and the right people to continue to run the business and deliver the strategy they are buying into.

Throughout the lifecycle of your business, you should always strive to understand who your successor may be. That person may change over time as your business grows and develops or as people join and leave the business.

You should create a clear path for leadership progression, identify potential successors and help to coach and mentor them. Having a successor in the wings, will not only minimise business risk if the worst should happen but clearly will add value – its good business sense!

Stepping back

Whilst the Queen never totally stepped back there was evidence of  her allowing the younger generations of Royals to take on more of a key role.

As a founder, it is wise to begin to step back from the business as part of your succession planning. Reducing dependency on yourself by allowing an MD or CEO to run the business, whilst you migrate to perhaps being Chairman will enable you to get real comfort on the suitability of a successor as well as shortening the handover period when you finally retire or leave the business.

Sharing strategic vision

It was often reported that King Charles had very clear ideas on the modernisation of the monarchy during the Queens reign and they didn’t always agree! However, over the years they worked together to find a clear route for the modernisation of the Royal Family and the Monarchy.

It is good practice in any business to have a strategic vision and be clear on the direction you want the business to take in the longer term. If you are staying around for a period of transition, it is important that your successor shares that vision, is involved with the decision-making process and have true ownership of that direction. If you are leaving the business entirely then you must reconcile yourself with the fact that it may not be your vision going forward.

Investors will be not only looking at your business today, but its future prospects. When growing and scaling your business, one of the most important decisions you make is about that strategic vision which must be owned by the business leader.

Consult experts

The royal household understand the value of trusted advisers, with their wealth of courtiers and experienced hands who are a source of information and advice to the King and Royal Family.

Whilst you don’t necessarily need a team as big as the Royals, getting independent support throughout the process of succession planning, can not only make the whole transition easier but will undoubtedly help you to achieve your goals.


The thing we can learn the most from the succession of the Monarchy is to plan, plan, plan. Business founders should not leave it to the last minute to find, prepare and communicate with their successors.

Through careful planning, your business will be prepared for any unexpected events, you will enhance the value of your business when you decide the time to leave; reduce risk  and protect your legacy for the next gene

We are delighted to announce the appointment of highly respected corporate lawyer Chris Rawstron as Chairman as we continue to invest in our team and offering to the market.

Chris is a highly respected figure in the Midlands corporate community working with numerous listed and private domestic and international groups as well as being a trusted advisor to a number of successful entrepreneurs. Most recently he led the national corporate team at Irwin Mitchell. He was previously Birmingham managing partner and a global board member at DLA Piper overseeing rapid growth having begun his career at Edge Ellison (now Squire Patton Boggs). Notably he also chaired an appeal for Marie Curie successfully raising £7m to fund a new hospice.

Chris commented “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Springboard as Chairman. I have known and admired the team for some time and look forward to working with them to continue the impressive development of the firm. Building successful teams and cultures in professional services firms has been at the heart of my career. Springboard represents a great opportunity to continue this.”

Springboard Partner Simon Ward commented “We are excited to welcome Chris to the firm. We are constantly looking to develop all aspects of our offering to our clients and our team. Chris brings an outstanding and directly relevant skill set and experiences that will be invaluable to us as we continue that journey. We have seen a strong start to 2023 and are confident that this will continue over the coming months.”

There is no doubt that 2022 was another challenging year for UK business. However, despite uncertainty, rising prices, the war in Ukraine, changes in leadership and U-turns by the Government, business owners remained resilient, and we did not see significant impacts on the M&A market.

Despite that uncertainty and turmoil, at Springboard 2022 was a successful year. We advised on 13 deals in the year with a total value of excess of £450 million – 9 of which involved private equity sponsors. A highlight being ‘Deal of The Year’ at Insider Media Midlands Dealmakers Awards for longstanding client Sykes Holiday Cottages acquisition of Forest Holidays.

In this blog we take a brief look back at 2022 and give you our thoughts on what 2023 may hold for the M&A market.

The market in 2022

In the beginning of 2022, we saw a strong start to the year with a backlog of deals continuing post COVID. As the year progressed, rising costs have impacted some business profits. However, the owner managed business market and business founders remained incredibly resilient during the year.

The political turmoil in the Autumn around the mini-Budget was another (albeit self-inflicted) blip, causing some business owners to pause, but things began to recover as we exited 2022 and we have seen enquiries and the level of M&A activity remain buoyant.

Business sales

We are still seeing great opportunities in the M&A market with lots of sales mandates going live and a significant appetite from well-funded buyers both in the UK and from overseas.

After the last few years of challenges, we still see many business founders considering their options to realise the value of their business by selling or obtaining PE backing to get support to develop their business, manage risk and provide them with an exit plan. The capital gains tax regime remains relatively benign and should also be a factor in the thinking of founders.

Funding & acquisitions

A key driver of M&A activity continues to be significant liquidity in the Private Equity market. We have several PE backed clients with a significant appetite to grow by acquisition and the desire of funds to continue to invest in their existing portfolio is as strong as it ever has been.


We continue to see great opportunity in the technology sector. This M&A activity is driven by consolidations, innovation and the multiples in tech remaining strong.

Sectors that have a significant exposure to energy costs, for example manufacturing, where earnings continue to be squeezed will undoubtedly be impacted in the short term. However, many companies now have increasing clarity around their energy costs and are facing these challenges head on while some acquirers are (rightly) viewing this as a transient issue that can often be dealt with in the structure of a deal.

However, we are always cautious in applying blanket theories around sector multiples and business value as each business we work with is unique. There are great entrepreneurs across all sectors building genuinely innovative and disruptive businesses that will attract acquirors and investors despite the challenges and economic conditions.

The economy

It is pretty clear that the UK is facing choppy economic waters. There is much debate over the potential length and depth of any downturn, and it remains a widely held view that the UK is likely to be impacted harder than other countries. Despite this we are still seeing good levels of interest from overseas acquirers in UK assets. The impact of inflation in the coming months will continue to be felt but again we are already seeing that perhaps the peak has been reached and that interest rates should be falling soon.


The last three to four years have been some of the hardest years for the business owner and manager with Brexit, COVID, the war in Ukraine, turbulent markets and rising prices. Notwithstanding these challenges, we are confident that the underlying drivers of the UK M&A market remain buoyant.

Lastly it is worth remembering that uncertainty creates opportunity and value. This is true both in realising value and in growth via acquisition. 2023 will present these opportunities and we look forward to helping business owners and managers realise them.

Award-winning corporate finance advisor Springboard Corporate Finance is delighted to announce the recruitment of three new members to its team as it continues to invest in its strength in depth.

Paul Smith joins as an Executive from Bespoke M&A specialising in Financial Modelling and qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA) at EY which is complemented with a CFA qualification. Paul graduated from the University of Reading with a First-Class Honours in Finance & Investment Banking.

Charlotte Higgins joins Springboard as Office Manager to co-ordinate the smooth running of the office and support the Springboard team. Charlotte started her career by completing a two-year apprenticeship in Business Management and Administration within a Chartered Accountancy firm in Birmingham.

Liam Bradney joins as an Executive and will work on a variety of buy and sell-side assignments. Prior to joining Springboard, Liam worked in audit at PwC where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ACA). He graduated from Carleton College in the USA with a BA in Economics.

Springboard Partner Simon Ward commented “We are delighted to have attracted Paul, Charlotte and Liam to Springboard and welcome them to the team.  We continue to invest in high quality, strength in depth, to provide the best service we can to our clients across the owner managed and private equity markets.