Tell us about Shaw & Co and your work – what do you do and why?
“Shaw & Co is a Bristol based corporate finance firm set up eight years ago by Jim Shaw. We are a focused advisory team established to help owners and managers maximise and realise the value within their business. There are three core pillars at Shaw & Co: Scale Up, Debt Advisory and M&A.
Personally, I am involved in the debt advisory activity. With a background in banking, and having witnessed how the major banks have retrenched since the financial crisis in 2008, it is great that I now have the opportunity to advise clients on a ‘whole of market approach’ especially as the gap left by the banks has now been filled with many interesting alternative finance provides such as Spotcap.
Today we are an 11-person strong team with the ability to cover the entire UK. We remain heavily focused on the relationships with our clients, a cornerstone of how we do business at Shaw & Co – building strong relationships with clients so we are with them at every stage of the life cycle right through to a potential sale.”
How did you get started supporting businesses with their funding needs?
“Having worked in the banking industry for 30 years I have been involved with many different sized companies, from small owner managed businesses to listed companies, and from a variety of sectors, who were seeking financial support. This has provided a deep understanding of the challenges facing borrowers in raising finance. I can now put this experience to good use in providing independent advice to clients who require financial support.”
What types of funding do you offer?
“Shaw & Co is structured into three ‘pillars’. Our scale up team is involved in raising series A, B, private equity or venture capital funding. They also run a Scale Up Academy to coach budding stars of the future to make them ‘investment ready’. As these businesses develop and grow, they usually become more attractive to senior lenders such as banks or the alternative finance market. I become involved at this stage and support them in securing appropriate finance. This could be short term finance from Spotcap, secured bank term or working capital facilities or even possibly unsecured finance, where we have funding partners who can provide £500k-£5m in debt, totally unsecured over eight years purely on the strength of their cashflows. And then there is the third pillar – the M&A advisory which deals with exit events and advising management teams on acquisitions or sale processes.”
Can you give us an example of a business you have helped source funding for?
“We recently worked with Spotcap on a leading children’s care provider, currently supporting vulnerable people across the UK. They were looking for a seven figure package to support business investment (which we subsequently arranged), but immediately needed £150k to refurbish one of their premises. Amy from Spotcap was able to deliver an offer quickly, in just a few days. That is an example of things we do – helping businesses grow. That’s what we are all about.”
How did Spotcap come into the picture?
“It was an introduction through a friend at the British Business Bank. As Spotcap delivers funding which is complementary to Shaw & Co’s debt advisory practice it made absolute sense to ensure we had a good working relationship. This is especially true as Spotcap specialise in areas we don’t naturally service.”
What is it like working with Spotcap?
“While we have contacts with many debt funders and brokers, it’s nice having a direct link to someone that not only understands short term lending but also demonstrates a real enthusiasm and ability to deliver quickly. Now I have seen it in practice, it has given me confidence to recommend Spotcap to others.”