George Wright is an Investment Manager who joined MSIF 5 months ago.
What sort of businesses are you working with at the moment?
As my role within MSIF is fairly flexible at the moment, I am working with businesses across a very broad spectrum: Pre Revenue; Start Up’s; Early Stage and businesses with mutli-million pound turnover.
Which businesses have you recently backed and what did they need funding for?
Remedy Churchtown Limited - funding to fit-out 2nd outlet
The Ship Inn Haskayne Limited - working capital to assist after taking over as landlords of pub
Gleden Limited - top up to HSBC funding for establishment of new franchise coffee shop
Talento Limited - working capital re new recruitment business
Steak 'n' Shake Limited - top up to Lloyds funding for establishment of new franchise burger outlet
Mr Elf Shoes - purchase of stock and equipment
Sauber Deli - working capital to assist with establishment of healthy food cafe
Capstone Properties Limited - working capital to allow purchase of new tools for building business
Remedy Churchtown Limited
Delta Rock Group Limited
Are you seeing any particular trends at the moment e.g. sectors?
There appears to have been a bit of bias towards business to customer styled business e.g. coffee shop, gin bar, pub, fast food etc., however opportunities across a broad spectrum are presenting themselves at present.
What advice would you give to a business seeking funding to help speed up the investment process?
Make sure you have a robust Business Plan and set of forecasts, they should complement each other and the Business Plan is the manager’s chance to showcase his/her business to the investment manager/panel.
How did the businesses you are working with get introduced to you?
From a variety of sources, many direct but also a good number by referral from existing clients of MSIF or introducers who understand where our market place sits.
How do you think Brexit/the Trump administration will affect local businesses if at all? And if you do think it could affect them, what strategies would you put in place to try to prevent it?
Anyone who hasn’t or isn’t preparing for change under Brexit is being short sighted, I don’t think anyone currently knows what it will be like to do business outside of the EU, even if a business doesn’t trade directly with the EU there will be implications and any owner/manger’s should have undertaken a risk analysis.
The Trump effect may have less of an impact but his erratic persona is likely to have political implications worldwide and as such anyone involved in overseas trade should prepare for this to be potentially more volatile.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a business?
Starting your own business is a leap of faith and not suited to everyone.
You should: Identify your target market; Identify your competitors; Assess the demand; Create a robust Business Plan and Projections; Make sure it has a successful launch by considering appropriate marketing strategies.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of expanding a business?
Invest wisely and make sure any capex is supported by improved profitability and cash generation as a result.
What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to sell a business?
Be realistic with the price you want, be prepared to negotiate/accept deferred consideration.
Employ good financial and legal advisors who will be co-operative with the buyer and their team but represent you strongly.
What do you love most about your job?
The local presence MSIF have with decisions being made ‘in house’.
I’ve also been lucky during my first 5 months that I have worked across a number of different projects to add variety to the job.
I enjoy assisting SME’s and my new role I'll soon be taking on should allow this to continue.
What networking events have you recently attended?
Southport Business Leaders – sponsored by NatWest, MSIF, Moore & Smalley, Birchall Blackburn Law & County Group.
Southport Quarterly Social - guest of Bathgate who are co-sponsors with DSG, Handelsbanken & Brown Turner Ross.
Where would you recommend for a nice business breakfast/lunch/dinner?
Breakfast - anywhere which serves a good full English
Lunch - San Carlo (Liverpool), Pizzeria Mama Mia (Southport)
Dinner - Lang’s of Longton
Who was your last business lunch with?
I haven’t yet attended one here, although myself and Simon have been out for lunch to celebrate the Delta Rock deal. We are also due to lunch with Liz Clark of DWF, celebrating the same deal.
What do you get up to outside of work?
Family takes up a lot of time, 3 kids aged 14, 12 & 12 which means a lot of being ‘Dad’s Taxi’…
Golf is a passion and I play almost every Saturday. Sport in general when I get time to try to watch it especially golf, cricket, snooker and football. I’m also the treasurer of our local Scout group.
What’s your poison?
Bacardi & Coke (in moderation)
Where’s your favourite holiday destination and why?
UK as I don’t have a valid passport at the moment! (Which shocked the office when they found out!) As a family we enjoy going to Centre Parks for our summer holidays.