EUROPEAN REACH

 

Stuart Ward

Belgium

If a transaction touches food and agriculture, Stuart’s your man. Following an honours degree in Agriculture, he’s spent upwards of 30 years running, growing, buying and selling companies and businesses within the sector, across the EU, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. A founding shareholder and investor in three agri-tech, genetics and equipment fabrication businesses, Stuart has the contemporary real-world experience needed to read, navigate and shape the marketplace. 

He’s run teams of hundreds, but it’s Stuart’s personal contacts, capabilities and approach that makes him the perfect fit at CapEQ: identifying acquisitions and acquirers, then maximising profits, shareholder value and EBITDA. 

A truly international player (variously based in England, Belgium and South Africa), Stuart is happy to negotiate in French, German or his native Yorkshire - a dialect suited to his reputation for getting to the heart of the offer. Understanding the true art of the deal, he’s the epitome of the ‘sleeves rolled up, let’s get it done’ approach - unless you get him talking about classic cars: at that point, all deals are on hold.

STUART WARD
Audrius Sankalas

Audrius Sankalas

Lithuania

Having overseen M&As and corporate financing across Lithuania, the Baltic States and Scandinavia, Audrius extends CapEQ’s ability to represent any SME or lower mid-market client across Europe and beyond. 

A true renaissance man, Audrius studied physics, robotics and business administration at various universities; speaks Russian, Polish, Lithuanian and English; and has run a large metal trade company, a paper merchant, own import-export agency and consultancy business. He has been active in start-ups across broadband, online fashion and smoothies – and advised boards across manufacturing, travel, hospitality and pharma. He’s even produced a TV series. All this experience makes him a superb salesperson, strategist and negotiator within M&A. 

Since joining the industry in 2011 he has run projects in electronics retailing; shipbuilding and installation services; fertilizer trade; cable TV and telecoms; electronics manufacturing and apparel manufacturing; with landmark deals in white goods/consumer electronics and machinery manufacturing. Constantly proactive and always persistent, Audrius is the type of problem-solver who goes far beyond his remit. Despite a strange preference for basketball over rugby, he’s highly valued within CapEQ: this will continue for as long as he keeps his guitar in its case.

Audrius Sankalas

Alan Branagh

Ireland

If you want to know how to be a greater decision-maker, leader or performer, you should talk to Alan. He’s been there and done it and is now coaching and advising on best practice at the highest level. That makes him one heck of an asset when running a business, but even more so when buying, selling or merging one. Alan’s the navigator you need when building company value, refining your corporate strategy, pursuing mergers & acquisitions, arranging asset finance, developing your leadership team or transforming your culture.

As Chair of the Alchemists Forum and CEO of The Insight Factory, Alan has spent years coaching and facilitating C-suite leaders, executives, teams and organisations to perform to capacity. He has guided everyone from GSK to Accenture, Lego to Reuters and Inonology to various government agencies, applying 35 years’ international business transformation expertise, particularly across IT, CRM and business start-up projects. This builds on senior roles with Avis Europe, Fore Systems (now Marconi), Druid Systems (now Xansa) and BEENZ.COM (the first digital currency), among others.

With an MSc in Coaching and Organisational Development (and more professional certifications than we’ve room to mention), it’s good to report that Alan is a thoroughly down to earth, grounded individual – and a major asset to the CapEQ team.

Alan Branagh