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Corporate Finance Faculty Board and Technical Committee

The Corporate Finance Faculty Board advises the executive staff at ICAEW and contributes to setting the strategic direction for the faculty. The Technical Committee is the Corporate Finance Faculty's technical and regulatory advisory forum.

Corporate Finance Faculty Board

The Board’s members are experienced professionals in corporate finance who are drawn from across the advisory, corporate and investment community. The Board meets quarterly to discuss and approve the faculty’s strategy. Elections to the board are held annually.

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Chair of the Board

Mo Merali (Chair)

Partner and Head of Transaction Services and Private Equity, Grant Thornton
Mo Merali portrait 2021 

Mo Merali is a Corporate Finance Partner and has been Head of Transaction Services and Private Equity at Grant Thornton since 2001. He is focused on buy-side and sell-side due diligence support for corporate, private equity and institutional clients on all types of transactions such as acquisitions, fund-raisings, investments, refinancings and disposals. 

His key area of expertise is due diligence and bid support, whereas his sector experience includes technology, IT/software, media, healthcare and financial services.

Board members

Yvette Allen (Chair of Technical Committee)

Lead of Deloitte Technical Team, Transactional Services, Deloitte

 Yvette Allen

Yvette is the partner who leads Deloitte’s Technical team within the Transaction Services in London. Yvette has 25 years’ experience in Transaction Services, having carried out investigations for private equity clients, complex corporate mergers and acquisitions, vendor due diligence assignment and reporting accountant work.

Yvette has particular experience in capital markets transactions and how to apply the Properties and Listings Rules and the Takeover Code.

Jonathan Boyers 

Partner, Head of Corporate Finance, KPMG

Jonathan Boyers

Jonathan is a KPMG Partner who leads the firm’s Corporate Finance practice in the UK. He also oversees KPMG's wider Deal Advisory Business across the North of England, which comprises corporate finance, valuations, debt advisory, transaction services (due diligence), infrastructure advisory and also involves M&A tax, consulting services and legal services.

Jonathan has been a Corporate Finance Advisor for 25 years, having trained as an ACA with KPMG where he has worked since University. Jonathan has advised hundreds of companies regarding strategy and corporate finance transactions. Most of his deals have involved helping clients sell their businesses with deal sizes ranging from £1 to £600 million.

Alistair Brew 

Head of Investment Operations, BGF

Picture of Alastair Brew

Alistair joined BGF in July 2011 initially to lead on new investments. He then ran the London investment team before moving into his current role which is focused on delivering best practice, both internally and externally, across all BGF’s offices. Alistair remains involved in new deal origination and also sits on the board of Oliver Sweeney and Evodental. 

Alistair has 18 years’ experience in small company investing and has led investments into over 30 businesses. His investment experience was gained initially at Close Brothers and then at Octopus Ventures, where he was involved in a large number of growth capital and management buyout transactions, across multiple sectors and throughout the UK. In the majority of cases, Alistair also joined the board of those companies. Alistair began his career at Price Waterhouse with direct entry into the Business Recovery Services team. 

Fenton Burgin

Partner, Head of UK Advisory Corporate Finance at Deloitte LLP

Fenton Burgin

As the Partner in charge of Deloitte’s UK Advisory Corporate Finance practice, Fenton is responsible for bringing together over 550 people to respond to the evolving needs and challenges of our UK and international clients.

He is proud to lead the world class M&A Mergers & Acquisitions, Economic Consulting, Valuations, Business Modelling & Analytics, Government & Infrastructure, Portfolio Lead Advisory, Intellectual Property Consulting and Debt & Capital Advisory practices that operate across the UK and internationally as part of a global M&A Mergers & Acquisitions Corporate Finance network. 

His career in the financial and M&A markets has spanned over 30 years and has encompassed investment banking, Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Finance. He has had the opportunity to work successfully with a wide range of publicly listed and private companies, financial institutions and governments. Fenton joined Deloitte in 2008 as a Partner and led Deloitte’s Global Debt & Capital Advisory practice until 2018, and he also sits on the Firm's Global Corporate Finance M&A and Financial Advisory Executives, the UK/US Financial Advisory Executive and the UK Diversity, Respect & Inclusion programme, a key priority for Fenton and the Firm.

Lord Clement-Jones CBE

Liberal Democrat Peer and former London Managing Director, DLA Piper

Lord Tim Clement-Jones CBE

Lord Clement-Jones is a solicitor by profession and a Partner of the global law firm DLA Piper where he is Head of UK Government Affairs.  Former positions held include London Managing Partner from 2011 to 2016, Chairman of its China and Middle East Desks, International Business Relations Partner and Co-Chairman of Global Government Relations.

He is a member of the Saudi–Britain Joint business Council, a Law Society Ambassador to the City of London and an Icebreaker Fellow and Vice-President of the 48 Group Club, a business network which promotes links with China.

Tim was also Chairman of the Association of Liberal Lawyers 1982 to 1986 and then of the Liberal Party from 1986 to 1988 and played a major part in the merger with the Social Democratic Party to form the Liberal Democrats.  He was made CBE for political services in 1988.  He was the Chairman of the Liberal Democrats Finance Committee from 1989 to 1998 and Federal Treasurer of the Liberal Democrats from 2005 to 2010.

Tim was made a life peer in 1998 and until July 2004 was the Liberal Democrat Health Spokesman and thereafter until 2010 Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Culture, Media and Sport, in the House of Lords.  He is the Liberal Democrat spokesman for the Digital Economy and a former spokesman on the Creative Industries (2015 to 2017). 

He is also Chair of the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (2017-) and Deputy Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on China and Vice Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on the UAE, Iraqi-Kurdistan, Ovarian Cancer, Publishing, Writers and Intellectual Property.  Since 2012, he has been the Chair of Lib Dems in Communications.

David Collins

Corporate Partner and co-Chair of Global Corporate Group, Dentons

David Collins 

David is the head of UK Corporate department and co-chair of the Firm's Global M&A group. He advises on a broad range of UK and international cross-border corporate finance transactions, including public and private M&A, joint ventures and equity capital markets. 

He has acted for corporations, financial institutions and corporate finance intermediaries across many industry sectors, including technology, betting and gaming, media, healthcare, financial services, energy and natural resources, real estate, support services and retail.

Diane Craig

Corporate Finance Partner and Head of Capital Markets, RSM

Diane Craig image

Diane is a Corporate Finance Partner with over 17 years dedicated capital markets experience at RSM in London, and heads up the Equity Capital Markets team. She has worked on transactions covering both AIM and the Main Market including many with international companies in the Far East, Europe, and North America.

Recent transactions include a £250m fundraising and listing on the Specialist Fund Segment of PRS REIT plc, the AIM listings of Quiz Clothing Plc, FFI Holdings Plc, and Keystone Law Plc.

Diane works with private companies and clients on their growth plans and listing strategy to assist them in making the right decision and regularly speaks at events discussing the merits of a listing including events held with the London Stock Exchange.

She also assists many AIM and private clients on their acquisition strategy including due diligence. She is a past member of the main council of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Chris Hunt 

Head of M&A, Rentokil

Chris Hunt

Chris joined Rentokil Initial in 2012 as Group Head of M&A, having previously been M&A Director for AstraZeneca PLC (2005–12) and prior to that, Director KPMG UK LLP Transaction Services with responsibility for UK businesses investing in emerging markets.

Chris is responsible for Rentokil Initial’s M&A strategy, acquiring quality companies in growth and emerging markets. He has completed ~300 deals for Rentokil Initial, including landmark acquisitions and joint ventures such as Steritech Inc, OCS Cannon's worldwide hygiene business and a JV with Pest Control India. He has broadened Rentokil Initial’s footprint into 10+ new countries and entered new markets including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, and Ghana.

Chris has returned Rentokil Initial to its Pest and Hygiene roots by disposing non-core lines of business including City Link Couriers, Initial Facility Management and forming a joint venture with CWS-Boco International GmbH combining European Textile and Hygiene businesses across 10+ countries.

Chris is passionate about growing Rentokil Initial’s Pest and Hygiene businesses organically through developing colleagues and quality service and, inorganically, through M&A.

Chris Hurley

Chief Portfolio Officer, LDC (the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group)

Chris Hurley 

In his role as Chief Portfolio Officer, Chris is responsible for co-ordinating the creation and realisation of shareholder value across LDC’s 90-strong portfolio of UK mid-market businesses. Collectively, these companies employ more than 40,000 people and have revenues in excess of £5.5bn. 

Chris is also a standing member of the LDC Investment Committee and represents LDC on several boards.  
 
The most active mid-market private equity firm in the UK, with a focus on regional MBOs, LDC backs ambitious management teams, partnering with them to accelerate the growth of their business through a combination of investment strategy and value creation. Lloyds Banking Group provides LDCs funding which means the investor is not bound by the traditional private equity model and investment cycle of a fund, enabling more flexible deal structures and exit timing based on shareholder value, not fund timetables. 
 
With £1.2bn to invest in UK mid-market businesses over the next three years, LDC sees exciting growth opportunities on the road ahead, and is on the ground ready to support, in every region, with the track record, the experience and the capital to drive success.
 
Chris has more than 20 years of experience in Private Equity. Prior to joining LDC in 2004, he worked with Aberdeen Murray Johnson Private Equity. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Robson Rhodes after gaining a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Economics at Salford University.
 
Chris' interests include football (playing and watching), golf and swimming. He recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro raising more than £8,500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
 

Catherine Lewis La Torre

CEO, British Business Bank

Catherine Lewis La Torre CFF Board Member 

Catherine was appointed CEO of the British Business Bank in September 2020. She has been with the British Business Bank since 2016 leading its Commercial Arm, initially as CEO of British Business Investments and taking on the additional role as CEO of British Patient Capital in October 2018. 

Before joining the Bank, Catherine was Head of Private Equity for Cardano Risk Management, where she was responsible for managing a global portfolio of private capital investments on behalf of several UK pension funds. Previously she was a Partner and Managing Director of Fondinvest Capital in Paris, an investor in European private equity funds.

Prior to this Catherine was one of the founding partners of a Nordic fund-of-funds manager, Proventure, which invested in venture and growth capital funds and companies across Western Europe. Following the acquisition of Proventure in 2007, Catherine launched a consulting business advising Sovereign Wealth Funds and Institutional Investors in Asia and the US on their European private capital strategies. 

Catherine graduated with First Class Honours from the London School of Economics beginning her career as an equity analyst with Venture Economics before joining CINVEN, a Private Equity firm, as an investment manager.

Chris Lowe 

Partner, Corporate Finance – Debt Advisory, Ernst & Young 

Chris Lowe

Chris specialises in debt advisory and joined EY in 2009. He is focused on providing services for private equity houses and their investee companies, listed corporate clients, entrepreneurs and private corporates. He provides strategic advice and insights on acquisition financing, refinancing, covenant resets, recapitalisation and debt through a business sales process. 

Chris is passionate about entrepreneurship and is the London Partner Sponsor for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme.

Prior to EY Chris worked in investment and corporate banking. He has a Bachelor of Science with honours degree in Business Economics from The University of Salford.

Jon Moulton

Chairman, Better Capital

Jon Moulton

Jon Moulton is a CF and a Fellow of the Institute for Turnaround Professionals.  Jon has long experience of turnarounds, having invested in them for 30 years and with considerable success.  Jon is currently Chairman of FinnCap, the major AIM broker, The International Stock Exchange and Anti-Microbial Research Limited.  He also chairs the Better Capital funds and Greensphere, an alternative energy infrastructure fund.  


Jon is a very active private investor with a large and diverse portfolio and has been working in private equity since 1979.  Jon regularly writes, broadcasts and speaks on corporate finance and financial matters.  He is a Director of the think tank The Centre for Policy Studies.  Jon is also an Honorary Fellow of University College London and a Trustee of the UK Stem Cell Foundation and of his own medical research charity which funds clinical trials.  

Former Managing Partner of Alchemy, Jon’s career has also included spells running Permira, CVC UK and the buy-out group of Apax, as well as being a director of numerous public and private companies including Ashmore PLC.  He was also a member of the Board of the £3.8bn UK Government Regional Growth Fund.
 

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza 

Chief Executive, Funding London

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza

Since taking the helm at Funding London in late 2009, Maggie’s main focus has been the planning, creation and launch of new funds to continue to support the company’s mission. Under her leadership, two funds have been launched: the MMC London Fund (launched in late 2012) and the London Co-investment Fund (launched in December 2014).

Maggie began her career at Hawkpoint Partners (now part of Canaccord Genuity) in mid-market M&A and capital markets and was later a corporate finance partner at Mazars.

Maggie holds a Masters in Materials Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She also holds ICAEW’s Corporate Finance qualification.

John Rugman 

Partner, National Head of Advisory, Smith & Williamson

John Rugman

John heads up Smith & Williamson’s Advisory business - comprising the firm’s transactions, restructuring and forensics practices – having formerly headed the firm’s valuation and transaction businesses.  

He joined Smith & Williamson from PwC, where he led the PwC regional valuation practice with responsibility for a large team of specialist valuers. Prior to that he worked in the firm’s privatisation services and corporate finance units, before moving to the Valuation & Strategy practice specialising in valuation and regulatory finance work.   

A former committee member of the ICAEW Valuations Special Interest Group, he is the co-author of a book on cost of capital and valuation, and has published a number of articles in books and journals. 

He has worked with investment banks, major listed companies, private equity houses, families and private individuals, private companies and UK and overseas governments.

Chris Searle

Partner, BDO

Chris Searle 

Chris Searle is a partner in the corporate finance department of BDO LLP in London where he specialises in Transaction Services work involving due diligence on acquisitions and reporting accountant work on IPOs and subsequent transactions.  He has specialised in this type of work for 30 years during which time he has worked on over 100 IPOs.  In undertaking such work, he has worked with companies of all sizes in a wide range of sectors.  

Meera Shah

Corporate Finance Manager, Buzzacott

Meera Shah CFF Board Member pic

Meera is a Corporate Finance Senior Manager at Buzzacott in London, with over 8 years of experience working with owner-managed businesses in a variety of sectors, starting from her previous two roles in Audit and Transaction Services, respectively, at Smith & Williamson. 

Now at Buzzacott she focuses on lead advisory work, specifically deals in the £5m to £100m value range. Her advisory work with owner-managed businesses spans growth capital fundraising, sales to Private Equity and trade buyers, as well as buy-side assistance. 

Meera has experience across both corporate finance and transaction services, including valuations and due diligence. Recent transactions include the sale of ehouse Limited to CoreLogic Inc and the £3m Series A raise for Commonplace Digital Ltd.

Meera holds an Economics Degree from the University of Warwick and is a qualified ACA with the ICAEW. 

Duncan Skailes

Partner, PwC

Duncan Skailes image

Duncan is a Partner in PwC's UK Financial Services Corporate Finance team and also lead the Private Equity relationship team, based in London. With over 20 years deals experience with extensive knowledge and expertise advising on public and private M&A transactions and management buy-outs.

Between January 2007 and December 2012 Duncan was elected to sit on PwC UK's governance body, the Supervisory Board, chairing it in 2010-12.

In 2017 he was elected to sit on PwC's Global Board and appointed to PwC's Middle Eastern Board and UK Supervisory Board.

Sam Surrey (Chair of the Corporate Finance Faculty's Middle East Panel)

Partner, Middle East Financial Advisory Transaction Services, Deloitte

Sam Surrey

Sam Surrey is a Partner in Deloitte’s Middle East Financial Advisory Transaction Services team. Sam joined in 2013 from BDO LLP where he was a partner in the UK and Dubai.  He has lived and worked in the Middle East since 2009 and has specialised in Transaction Services for 19 years.  

In the Middle East, Sam works with a range of clients across the private equity, sovereign wealth and corporate sectors.  In addition to the Middle East he has worked extensively across Europe and the US. In 2009 he spent over a year on secondment at Barclays in Dubai, working as part of the Barclays Restructuring team.

He has been a member of the Corporate Finance Faculty Board for over four years and was previously the Vice Chair. He has an MA from the University of Oxford and is a qualified accountant.

Chris Watt

Managing Partner, ECI

Chris Watt 

Chris Watt is a member of the ECI Investment Committee and has overall responsibility for ECI's portfolio and exit strategy as well as investor relations. He joined ECI in 1999 from Arthur Andersen where he specialised in private equity transactions.

His current and past investments include KB Associates, Travel Chapter, CPOMS, Great Rail Journeys, Reed & Mackay, CarTrawler, Nuaire, Enviros, Kirker, and Hoseasons.

He graduated in chemistry from Oxford University and holds an ACA. 

 

Corporate Finance Faculty Technical Committee

The Technical Committee meets quarterly to discuss the major issues and frequently contributes to consultations by international organisations, governments, regulators and other professional bodies.

Chair of the Technical Committee
Yvette Allen
Financial Advisory - Transaction Services
Partner, Deloitte
yallen@deloitte.co.uk  +44 (0)20 7303 0996
Technical Committee members

David Cattermole
Director, KPMG
T +44 (0)20 7311 8346
E david.cattermole@kpmg.co.uk

Andrew Green
Senior Manager, RSM
T: +44 (0)20 3201 8000
Andrew.Green2@rsmuk.com

Roger Gregory
Partner, BDB Pitmans
T +44 (0)207 634 4634
E: rgregory@bdbpitmans.com

James Harris
Strand Hanson Limited
T +44 (0)207 409 3494
JamesHarris@strandhanson.co.uk

Chris Jarvill
Associate Partner, TAS Quality, EY
T +44 (0)20 7951 4167
cjarvill@uk.ey.com

Katharine Johnson
Director, UK Advisory Risk & Quality, PwC
T +44 (0)20 7804 7875
E katharine.h.johnson@uk.pwc.com

Tandeep Minhas
Partner, Taylor Wessing
T +44 (0)20 7300 4244
E t.minhas@taylorwessing.com

Sue Nyman
Director, Grant Thornton
T +44 (0)87 0324 2594
E sue.nyman@gtuk.com

Chris Searle
Partner, BDO
T +44 (0)20 7893 2058 
E chris.Searle@bdo.co.uk

Rick Thompson
Managing Director, Investment Banking, N+1 Singer
T +44 (0)20 7894 7653
E richard.thompson@n1singer.com