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.
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.
Debt Advisory Function 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.
We continued to grow and relocated to larger and higher quality office space on Bristol’s Queen Square. We also appointed our first Chief Marketing Officer to help achieve our ambitious growth plans.
Following a series of severe weather storms in early 2020, our newly opened Queen Square office suffered catastrophic flooding caused by a damaged roof. The entire office was closed to allow for extensive repair work. All employees kept the business going by working remotely from home.
COVID-19 spreads across the world and a national lockdown comes into force. The pandemic provides an opportunity for our new Queen Square office to undergo extensive repair work following the flood damage the previous month.
Queen Square Re-opens
After 5-months of closure, a COVID-19 adapted Queen Square office re-opens with all employees safely operating at 2m social distancing. Business as “nearly-normal”.
Second National Lockdown
Following arise in COVID-19 cases, the UK's second national lockdown comes into force. Our Queen Square office closes for a second time with all our people working safely from home.
Queen Square Re-Opens (again)
Our Queen Square office re-opens as national restrictions ease due to falling COVID-19 cases.
First £2m Turnover
Despite the pandemic, we achieve our first £2 million turnover milestone and unveil plans for our continued growth.
We go live with our brand new easy-to-navigate website which is packed with fresh new content, client videos, expert opinion and much more.
We announce our 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.
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