Completing well over 40 M&A transactions is not James’ proudest achievement: it’s the way they got done that matters more to him – and his clients. Some of Europe’s most successful entrepreneurs would testify that it was the combination of tireless energy, boundless patience, relevant expertise, cross-border experience and good humour that made the difference between transactional success and frustrating setbacks.
James co-founded CapEQ following a Director role within a regional M&A boutique practice, where his notable mid-market transactions included the sale of Ashchem Pharmacy to Bregal Freshstream; Vegetarian Express to Bridges Ventures; WC Rowe to Iberia Industry Capital; and Ecutek Ltd to Autometer/Promus Equity. He has founded, grown and exited several businesses of his own, so understands and sees issues from all perspectives. A natural entrepreneur, James avowed intent is to be an antidote to corporate mediocrity.
James holds a degree in Accounting with Banking and Finance from Cardiff Business School. He lives in Hampshire with his wife and a pair of livewire children who occasionally let him watch rugby as a break from cooking and renovating a house built by people unaccustomed to health and safety.
Few professionals have led, overseen or facilitated quite as many successful transactions as Mark, in as many jurisdictions. His personal tally exceeds 45, but he has overseen at least 100 more, leading teams in the UK, USA, Netherlands, Australia, Spain and Poland. This breadth of experience has given him a rare insight into global best practice, international contacts and unearthing opportunities. Matching depth derives from past lives in the RAF, oil industry and recruitment.
Mark co-founded CapEQ on the back of many years working for a corporate finance boutique. Having established their international office in New York, he helped complete several high-profile transactions, notably the sale of Optimum Lighting to Philips Lighting; Biokinetics to Foster Wheeler; and Precision Pipeline to Sentinel Capital. This fuelled expansion to Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Calgary. On returning to the UK in 2012, he completed deals across a range of mid-market and international projects.
Mark may have recently become a grandfather but belies this with youthful enthusiasm for rugby, a long stride when walking through the countryside, and a delight in travelling the world in search of old friends and new experiences. His sourdough feeds his entire street at weekends.
Critics and consultants: they all know how it’s done, but can’t do it themselves. Doug is the antithesis. Like everyone at CapEQ, he brings practical ‘been there, done that’ experience to bear on any transaction, advising from a position of insight and knowledge. Whether leading a deal, running a team or make a cross-border transaction stick, his proven expertise and credibility build trust and propel deals to positive conclusions.
As with his fellow directors, Doug has started successful companies, grown them, then moved on to conquer new challenges. Having held senior positions in technology and professional services companies, he understands strategy, motivation and the best way to get from problem to solution. Within M&A, his successful transactions include the sale of CAN UK to RSK Group; Vista Equity-backed Granicus’s acquisition of Firmstep; Cynergie UK to Davies Group; PCM Healthcare to Cogoora; and File Express to Iron Mountain. Many of his deals have involved private equity-backed and international buyers, particularly within technology, online retail and regulated sectors (though he loves applying his existing knowledge in fresh fields).
Sharing his CapEQ's partners’ love of rugby, Doug can often be found going one further, standing touchlines in the rain, shouting at the sub-Wilkinson efforts of his four children. A runner and snowboarder, he’s probably the fittest of CaqEQ’s leaders: wise heads might point out this makes him the most prone to injury.