Roger Stirling Smith (LION)
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Roger Smith FIOD

Roger Stirling Smith used his middle name to form Stirling in 2000, having 24 years of previous business experience, reaching Chairman & Managing Director level of a £13.9m turnover business, employing over 200 people. Roger has developed Stirling to provide business owners with a personal service to help find buyers for businesses for sale. From experience gained of selling two of his own businesses and latterly, other businesses sold through Stirling, Roger produced a well received “Guide to buying and selling businesses successfully” and also, a “Guide to maximising business values“. Having created a comprehensive data base of business owners, buyers and investors, Stirling is able to gain enquiries for businesses for sale, particularly from the engineering & manufacturing sectors. With fair and easy to understand terms and conditions, Roger has ensured that Stirling is able to offer SME clients a cost effective & flexible approach for when the time comes to sell.

“What I liked about working with Roger Smith of Stirling, is that we didn’t get ripped off with fees and false promises.  It was good to see someone who had a practical approach to business, someone who could actually understand our business and get results that didn’t cost the earth!”  Steve Marsh

“We needed to appoint a business broker to find a buyer for our business.  Having considered various alternatives, we chose Roger Smith of Stirling Business Solutions Ltd where we appreciated his wide range of contacts (even within our specialist market), fair terms of business, including his honest and friendly approach in dealing with business.  In particular, the sale memorandum document was produced on time and was clear and easy to understand.  Roger helped to ensure that there was a sufficient number of interested parties and a deal was completed within our agreed time-scale.” L Peters

“Roger provided an efficient, tailor-made service from the initial introduction to the eventual sale of my engineering company.”  Nick Hewinson

“Roger’s thorough approach to selling my company meant that a buyer was found after only a few months. Despite some difficulties in the negotiations, Roger persevered in bringing the sides together and encouraged frequent discussion, resulting in a deal that both sides are pleased with more than a year down the line.” J Patrick

“Roger is personable, knowledgeable and very easy to work with. I have no doubts about his expertise in the buying and selling of businesses……” P Bayliss

Rob Goddard
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Rob Goddard

Rob assists Stirling with Corporate Services at Director level. With considerable experience in the Financial and M&A Sector, gained over 30 years at senior level in both corporate and private organisations, Rob is an experienced, astute businessman – exactly the characteristics business owners need when selling their companies.

Rob’s expertise spans a range of sectors; in financial services they include Corporate Finance, Wealth Management, Banking and Insurance. In the Business-to-Business arena, his skills include Management Consultancy, Sales and Marketing.

For the past 11 years he has worked exclusively in Mergers and Acquisitions, where he has been responsible for 327 successful deals worth in excess of £2bn in transaction values.

His unique blend of skills and experience enables him to help SME business owners achieve the maximum value when selling their companies.

Rob has written a book “The 11 Commandments and 7 Cardinal Sins of Selling a Business“.  For further information, please CLICK HERE.

“Rob is not only an expert in helping people sell their businesses for all they’re worth, he is a real gentleman, always prepared to give that little extra personal touch that makes all the difference…..” Tracey Miller

“Rob is a consummate professional with very considerable expertise in working with business owners to bring the best possible outcome for all parties. He is a true gentleman with a can-do attitude which he brings to both his professional and personal life. I have no hesitation is commending Rob to any business planning its future.” G. Turrell

Richard Wright
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Richard Wright

Richard is an experienced SME owner-manager with a good track record, running a successful retail design and manufacturing business for over 20 years. Developing an innovative, sustainable and devolved business model he sold his company in December 2013 as part of a long term exit strategy and gained first-hand experience of preparing businesses for sale, creating value and handling the sale process. Richard now helps a wide range of SME’s to re-engineer their businesses in order to deliver sustainable growth, in preparation for MBI or acquisition with the Prepare to Sell Scheme. Richard enjoys helping companies achieve an alignment of personal values and motivations with ambitious corporate objectives to release the real drivers that build value. Appointed Enterprise Ambassador for Leeds University in 2015, supporting their Management undergraduate courses with seminars and workshops on creativity, innovation, growth models and exit strategies.

“I personally feel more focused and have a clearer mind taking these initial steps.” David Bradley, Managing Director, Lydian Investments Ltd.

“Richard is a great communicator and a very valuable advisor. His wealth of experience across various sectors is proving to be a real asset to our company planning and strategy. A strong and clear thinker.”David R Robinson, Founder, The Original Sofa Co Ltd.

“Richard is friendly and enthusiastic, providing clear recommendations and good ideas which he is also helping to implement. His experience in manufacturing and team management has given me the confidence to trust the processes he has initiated and he has provided useful guidance on any pitfalls that might occur. I have found his depth and breadth of expertise extremely valuable and would certainly recommend him to SMEs looking to grow.” Jeremy Greenwood, Managing Director, Greenwood Magnetics Ltd.

“I am more than happy to recommend Richard for advisory services as he has been extremely helpful and professional in his mentoring role with my business.” C Lowe, Managing Director, Cloud Source.

Russell Smith
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Russell Smith

BA (hons) Business
ICF certified executive coach and project manager specialising in business succession and exit planning

Russ has a varied international business background due to extensive travels and 15 years starting and running various businesses in South Africa. Now working with a team of the best experts, he consults and coaches business owners on how to increase the value and exit their business,

After training as a financial analyst at America Express, Russ travelled the world until landing in South Africa and created and launched a highly profitable video production company, developing the initial business plan, marketing and sales strategies in order to grow the company from a start-up to a multi-site operation and then led the company’s new business development strategy, building and maintaining different revenue channels within the tourism industry. He went on to develop the company’s exit and succession plan, prepared the company for sale and led successful negotiations for the transfer of the company’s contracts and assets to an external investor.

With the proceeds he initiated the start-up, launch and growth of South Africa’s first comprehensive virtual adventure tourism booking agency, with overall accountability for operations, marketing and new business development successfully achieving first page organic Google rankings for many of its top selling products.

Russ now consults coaches and trains business owners on succession planning, business transfer exit strategies, strategic planning, change management, employee engagement and solutions development. Working closely with business owners, he helps to identify performance improvement areas, creating detailed action plans that increase the value of the business and helps remove reliance on the business owner for easier succession.

“Russ is a powerful executive coach and businessman, bringing forth his commitment to helping clients achieve business results with clarity and focus. His ability to move a conversation forward, to ground those involved in the conversation, and to pinpoint with accuracy the root of a problem makes him a powerful practitioner…” Donna Karlin – International Speaker & Author

“Russ has a knack for understanding the business issues at hand with his sincere, inquisitive and personable approach. I highly recommend Russ as his experience with strategy, turnarounds, restructuring, and operations is sound and will be of great benefit to any business seeking advisory services in this regard..”  Kim La Plante, Microsoft Management Consulting

Mark Pilsbury
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Mark Pilsbury

A Senior Executive at corporate level, who joined Stirling as a Director in February 2014, Mark has an extensive experience of buying and selling businesses, including business valuations and negotiating at the highest levels, with both SME’s and large corporates. Mark has both successfully started and merged his own IT reseller business from scratch, becoming a group MD, prior to negotiating a further 5 acquisitions. The Group was subsequently sold after Mark had assembled a disposal team including accountants and lawyers, arranged an independent company valuation and formulated a negotiation strategy, which led to a cash only trade sale worth £35m (significantly above market value).

Mark has since developed the Finance for Business service, where Mark now acts as an independent Commercial and Business Finance Broker with access to over 250 alternative UK Commercial Lenders and Private Banks. A complete cross-section of Finance projects are handled, including finance for share purchases, business acquisitons, MBO’s, MBI’s, finance for properties or property development, plant & equipment, working capital etc etc. Once the information has been gathered, a decision in principle is normally reached within just two to three working days. For further information, please CLICK HERE.

Louise Peters
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Louise Peters

Louise has gained valuable commercial experience in the private SME sector including the successful sale of her own family business. Louise works with Stirling at Director level, owing to her proven track record in business growth, cost management and cost reduction with a special empathy with business owners who want to sell their businesses as part of their Grand Strategy.

Louise has particular strengths in developing important key business relationships between buyers and sellers of businesses, where any deal will need to be through a “willing buyer and willing seller”; Louise will ensure that any sensible deal stands the best chance of a successful conclusion, to the benefit of both parties.

Charlotte Argyle
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Charlotte Argyle

Charlotte is primarily involved with Investment Opportunities for our clients. A former C-Suite advisor across AIM and the FTSE350, Charlotte has a passion for entrepreneurial start-ups, AIM-listed or pre-IPO growth companies. Specifically, her passion focuses on disruptive technology, challenger companies or entities looking to harness a change in market regulation, consumer behaviour or economic change.

A keen developer and executor of strategies for growth, turnaround and success, Charlotte has assisted a number of quoted and unquoted companies as an advisory NED including gaining PLC experience on an ISDX listed fund.

Passionate about bringing disruptive technology and innovation to the healthcare sector, Charlotte is also Co-founder and Managing Director of HCR Services, the leading Reg-Tech, revenue cycle management & financial reimbursement agent for UK healthcare.

Charlotte is a former Share Prophets commentator, blogging on everything from politics to boardroom diversity. A former host at ADVFN’s annual UK Investor Show and a Freeman of the city of London.

Sally AndersonLinked-In profile
Sally Anderson

Sally is an experienced and articulate individual with strengths in managing and developing administrative procedures. With a degree in Business Administration and a background of working with owner managed businesses she understands the necessity of structured administrative support with easy to adopt and follow procedures, often essential for the sale of businesses or for mergers & acquisitions.

A keen interest in the charitable sector, Sally is the Company Secretary of the Royal British Legion Attendants Company Trust, an organisation providing training grants to ex-service personnel and also a volunteer at The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford upon Avon.

In her spare time, she runs and also enjoys skiing and horse-riding, although not at the same time; good red wine and cooking.

Colin BaylisLinked-in profile
Colin Bayliss

Colin Bayliss has over 20 years experience in implementing and managing change, especially around process improvement and optimisation, architecting solutions, benefits delivery and risk management. Colin has worked extensively in the Financial Services sector and has managed new business start ups, new product launches, off-shoring and outsourcing initiatives, also having full profit and loss responsibility for a multi-site business unit with revenues in excess of £100M. Colin’s interest is in working with local businesses without a change management function to achieve the full potential of their people and processes. Colin’s skills are ideally suited to any business owner looking for a “hands-on” approach to help maximise the value of a business, prior to sale.

Simon WilliamsLinked-in profile
Simon Williams

Simon Williams, Director of Coaching, has 25 years business experience ranging from starting up and building companies through to top management roles within leading international corporations. As an accountancy graduate, with a great track record in Sales & Marketing, Team Building and Financial Management, Simon has run many business courses, spoken at international conferences and had articles published on key management topics. Simon has taken a start up division within a multinational company to a $100Million valuation within 3 years. He remained with the company after sale working with the new, venture capitalist owners. Simon has won numerous business awards and visited well over 50 countries on business. Since becoming a certified Coach Simon has achieved some stunning results and has received both UK and international awards. He is one of an elite group, who have attained Platinum Mentor Coach status.

“After feeling that I had hit a bit of a brick wall, I had begun looking for advice on how to take my business to the next level. Simon was recommended to me by a mutual client and whilst I was initially sceptical of what I might get out of coaching, my fears were completely unfounded……..” M Cutter

“After speaking with Simon for the very first time I realised he had an amazing passion for all businesses. He has an amazing confidence that he can help any business as long as the owner is open minded and wanting to take their business to the next level…” A Downie

“I first met Simon at a breakfast networking meeting and was immediately impressed by his approachable manner and vast business knowledge. Since we met I have been able to build not only a business relationship with Simon but also a friendship founded on trust….”  A Noble

David ParryLinked-in profile
David Parry

David Parry completed two significant company turnarounds himself before joining a consulting firm to help other organisations do the same. He now helps clients of Stirling to prepare their businesses for sale in the future by maximising their performance and making them more attractive to a potential buyer.

Originally from a background in Engineering, David has worked with firms in a variety of sectors – including specialisms in professional service firms, family firms and partnerships. He prefers working with people who are expert in their product or service, where he adds the business management knowledge and co-ordinated approach. David focusses on getting the important things done, while the business owners are busy doing the urgent things.

The approach is designed to be as effective as possible while working with the current owners. David can help facilitate regular Board or Partners meetings (or instigate them if needed), and use these to drive actions. He then steps out of these meetings with a list of actions of his own, and is very hands-on in helping to get things done.”

“Acting as a consultant to The Needham Group, David has demonstrated experience, professionalism and the highest levels of competence across every discipline required to run and grow a successful business. He has a monumental eye for detail and system processses. His approach is structured, targetted, inclusive and systemised and all this with a sense of humour. His consultancy has been invaluable to us.” David Needham, Owner, The Needham Group

David Croydon
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David Croydon

David has in-depth experience of most business sectors, both FMCG and B2B having worked in marketing departments of various corporations and international companies for 15 years, in support of direct sales forces. For the next 5 years, he moved to the agency side of the business and worked in sales promotion/direct marketing/advertising; then set up his own business consultancy in Oxford, which he ran for 13 years (achieving £6M turnover with circa 35 staff) before selling out to an American multi-national. 

Following his company sale, David has spent over a decade working with business owners to deliver growth strategies that help them achieve their personal and business goals, usually in one of four distinct areas: general growth strategies & plans; franchising as a specific means of achieving rapid business growth; mergers & acquisitions and exit strategies.

His strong belief is that the principles of marketing and business management remain the same, irrespective of product or market sector (his business was called Marketing Principles)

David has written a book of his experiences co-founding, growing and eventually selling that business – part memoir, part comic novel, part business handbook, called “The Unprincipled” – which he self-published through Hilltop Publishing, in 2012. He joined the M&A Team because his own experiences of selling Marketing Principles led him to believe that the current system is fundamentally flawed.

He is a strong team player (he played rugby for Saracens for 10 years, and believes he still holds their all-time points-scoring record.)

Rob Edwards
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Rob Edwards MBA

Rob Edwards has a background in marketing and advertising and an MBA from one of the UK’s highest ranked business schools; he has been a business owner from which he successfully exited and a board director in several other businesses. Rob specialises in a broad range of corporate transactions and business strategy advisory work, including mergers and acquisitions, share sales and purchases dealing regularly with private equity and venture capital investors, lending and financing transactions, as well as advising on MBO’s, transactions involving LLP’s, partnerships and joint ventures.

Rob has extensive experience of business management including outsourcing, sponsorship and merchandising, human resources, licensing, telecoms, technology and commercial agreements, strategic marketing, e-commerce and new media issues. He has worked across a range of sectors including fashion, marketing, hotels & hospitality, aviation, brands, media, sports, leisure and entertainment, internet, manufacturing, technology & telecommunications and energy sectors.

His clients have included hoteliers and restaurateurs, technology & telecoms companies, manufacturing businesses, intellectual property rights holders and owners, media and software businesses, international trading companies, as well as domestic and international investors and entrepreneurs.

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