Dow Schofield Watts’ corporate finance team expands again

Dow Schofield Watts (DSW) has confirmed the appointment of an additional Partner in its rapidly expanding Midlands corporate finance team. Ryan Shields joins from Grant Thornton in Milton Keynes, where he was an M&A Director.

Corporate Finance Midlands
From L to R: Shaf Bheda, Harry Walker, and Ryan Shields.

Ryan is the fifth and final founding member to join the team, with his arrival having been delayed due to contractual commitments. He joins the existing partners, Harry Walker and Shaf Bheda, together with Director Fahim Kassam and Associate Directors Daniel Chouciño and Lucy Fairclough, bringing the total number in the team to six.

Ryan will be focusing on building Dow Schofield Watts’ corporate finance presence in Milton Keynes and Northampton, an area where he has a strong track record.

He has spent his career at Grant Thornton, joining in 2012 and gaining his accounting qualifications, then moving into the corporate finance team and rising through the ranks. Working with entrepreneurs, owner-managers, large corporations, management teams, and private equity, he has advised on a wide range of transactions. His sweet spot is selling privately owned businesses with a value between £10m and £50m and significant experience across the business support services (built environment and energy), industrials, and technology sectors.

“I have loved my years at Grant Thornton, but now is the time to move on and be part of building a new challenger boutique focusing on the mid-market, where we all feel there is a distinct opportunity,” said Ryan. “The DSW Corporate Finance team in the Midlands has made no secret of its plans to invest in expanding strategically to bring its signature partner-led approach to Milton Keynes and Northampton. DSW has a highly regarded and recognised brand and corporate finance offering, which I’m thoroughly looking forward to playing a role in.”

Recent significant deals include advising private equity house Freshstream Investment Partners on their investment in Project Better Energy, the sale of Motor Parts Direct to South African listed Motus, the sale of Miers Construction Products to SIG PLC and the sale of Oysta Technology on its sale to The Access Group.

Harry Walker added: “Ryan is the last piece of the current jigsaw for DSW Corporate Finance in the Midlands. He is an established and highly regarded corporate finance operator, and his focus on Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire strengthens our geographical reach in the South Midlands and into the Central and East markets. On top of that, Ryan enhances our mid-market offering, being another partner with experience in delivering some of the region’s most significant private equity and owner-managed deals in recent years.

“We’re excited to have assembled a roster of dealmakers with over 60 years’ experience between them and are looking forward to building the business together with our clients and fellow Midlands professionals.”

Dow Schofield Watts now has over 100 professionals in Aberdeen, Cardiff, the North West, Leeds, Leicester, London, Nottingham, and Reading. It regularly ranks among the top 20 most active UK corporate finance advisers and also operates Pandea Global M&A, an international corporate finance network covering 30+ different countries.

Read more about the expansion of the DSW Corporate Finance team in the Midlands, their beginnings, and Lucy and Shaf’s arrival.