Learn more about the Shaw & Co story, from where the company was founded in Jim's kitchen, through to key milestones and achievements.Jim Shaw Interview
Jim Shaw the Great Britain cyclist
Whilst studying for his physics degree at Bristol University, Jim’s career ambition was to become a professional cyclist. Jim represented Great Britain in various world championship events and in 2001 became the under 23 national road race champion. Sadly in 2002, injury cut short Jim’s dreams of professional cycling and he focused on completing his degree.
Jim's apprenticeship at PwC
After his degree, Jim joined PwC’s graduate programme in Cardiff. Under the guidance of Partner Mark Ellis, Jim discovered a passion for due diligence work and investigating businesses on behalf of buyers. Jim quickly qualified as an accountant, but with ambitions to work in a lead advisory role, he left PwC for Bath based Target Corporate Finance where he was drawn by the entrepreneurial nature of the fast growing business and the opportunity to work closely with founder Mark Harman.
The Target Years
At Target Corporate Finance, Jim helped to grow the business and quickly rose to Associate Director, providing lead advisory services to a wide selection of clients across multiple sectors. During his time at Target, Jim developed a vision for setting up his own boutique corporate finance business. The insolvency of Target in late 2011 became Jim’s catalyst to set up Shaw & Co.
As Target was collapsing, Jim applied his entrepreneurial nous to ensure his clients who were mid-deal were not left in the lurch. Jim also wanted to protect his talented team from being unemployed at Christmas. With no responsibilities, children or mortgage, Jim converted his kitchen into a temporary office from where he and his team continued to serve clients.
During a frenetic two-week period in Jim’s kitchen, Shaw & Co was incorporated and officially began trading on 5th December 2011. As the team quickly settled into home-made Italian lunches and claimed their favourite spot on Jim’s sofas, it was time for the fledging business to find its first office.
Victoria Street, Bristol
The team moved into serviced offices at 10 Victoria Street Bristol and spent most of 2012 developing Jim's business model, brand positioning and winning new clients. Later in the year, Shaw & Co completed the investment in Gradwell by Altitude Partners which was a £1.25m investment to fund the growth of the business.
First Major Deal
Our first major deal was completed in early 2013 which saw one of Bristol’s trendiest businesses – Trunki – successfully raise £3.9m to support its international expansion.
Young Dealmaker Of The Year
Jim wins Insider’s Young Dealmaker of the Year Award for his success with the Trunki and McArthur Group deals.
Charlotte Street, Bristol
Following a period of continued growth, we outgrew our Victoria Street office and relocated across the city to larger office space in Bristol’s Charlotte Street.
Major Deal Completion
We completed a major deal which was to support Jason Baker, CEO and Founder of Bristol-based IT recruitment company People Source, to explore his exit options, and maximise value on the build up to a sale.
Pukka Herbs Deal
2016 saw us helping the owners of Pukka Herbs find a new home for their business at Unilever.
First £1M Turnover
2017 was a strong year for us which saw the completion of some major deals including the MBO of Vouchercloud from Vodafone and the trade sale of Bristol based Pukka Herbs to Unilever.
Business Financing Launched
We launched our debt advisory function with the appointments of Alexei Garan and Colin Burns. Within a year of launch, the team passed the milestone of raising more than £25m of debt funding to help Small and medium-sized enterprises grow.
Funding Academy Launched
We launched the Funding Academy to help ambitious business owners improve their chances of securing funding. It became the only academy of its type in the South West region and a pilot for our new Learning Masterclasses.
COVID-19 spreads across the world and a national lockdown comes into force. The pandemic provides a fortuitous opportunity for our Bristol office to undergo extensive repair work following severe flood damage caused the previous month.
Second National Lockdown
Following a rise in COVID-19 cases, the UK's second national lockdown comes into force. We close for a second time with all our people working safely from home.
First £2m Turnover
Despite the pandemic, we achieve our first £2 million turnover milestone and unveil plans for our continued growth.
Shaw & Co Rebrand
After many months of planning and hard work, we relaunch the Shaw & Co brand to assert our competitive position in the market. It's an exciting time as we accelerate our growth journey.
Business of the Year Winners
After a successful trading period Shaw & Co won Business of the Year (1-10 employees) at the Business Leader Awards.
New Head of M&A
We appoint Rob Starr as our new Head of M&A allowing Jim to move into a full time CEO role. This enables Jim to focus on growing the business across other regions.
Placement Program Launched
The summer of 2022 saw us launch the Shaw & Co Placement Program with the University of Bristol. Lucia Gallo, an engineering mathematics student, becomes the first undergraduate to complete the Program.
New Partners Announced
Alexei Garan and Rob Starr are promoted to Partner to support Jim in growing the business.
Half a Billion Deal Milestone
Shaw & Co surpasses a major milestone – the completion of over £0.5bn worth of business transactions since the company’s inception in 2011.
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