Sam is Head of Corporate Finance at Deepbridge and tells us what her role involves, her background and how she’s been dealing with lockdown.
My role focuses on supporting investee companies prepare for further funding rounds or a potential exit.
This involves working with companies to ensure their business plans and forecasting is both professional but also accurate. As our investee companies move through our funding rounds, it is important that we work with them to be ready to take advantage of market opportunities as they present themselves.
Back in 2010, I was part of the Deepbridge founding team. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances, I subsequently took some time out from my career but was delighted that Ian and the team kept the door open for me to return when the time was right.
When re-joining the team in 2019, it was great to see the success Deepbridge had achieved. Although the team had grown, the overarching ethos and culture remained. I’d say we are lucky to have such great colleagues, but I know that this is not luck, but is by design.
Prior to meeting Ian Warwick and starting Deepbridge, my experience was largely in corporate finance focused with a number of accountancy and City firms, including Andersen (now Deloitte) and Hawkpoint Partners (now Canaccord).
I actually met Ian in the school car park. Ian was working in New York but every Friday would be back in Chester to do the school run and that was how we started talking about what Deepbridge could become.
The aspect I love most about my role is witnessing the progress our investee companies are making. By the time I get involved with companies, they are generally well established with considerable commercial traction.
I love seeing how Deepbridge, and our amazing investors, have supported innovators take a company from an early-stage (in some cases from our SEIS funds, which are often investing at an embryonic stage) to employing large teams and gaining international traction.
I’m excited about 2021 as we have a number of our EIS companies now attracting significant interest from co-funders, blue-chip clients and prospective acquirers. It is inspiring to see that between them, our portfolio companies are engaged with organisations such as Coca-Cola, Disney, Astra-Zeneca, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, the NHS, HMRC, T-Mobile, Schneider Electric, the US Navy, Sharp, City Football Group, Diageo... and many more.
On a personal note, lockdown over the last twelve months has been tough for everyone but I am blessed to have my brilliant two daughters, who are also my best friends, with me whilst also having great friends, neighbours and colleagues.
I live in a lovely part of the world and am fortunate to be able to get out and enjoy the countryside most days. And with the regular Deepbridge quiz nights and our village trivia nights, I’m pretty much quizzed out... but I must’ve learned something along the way!
Mental health awareness has never been more important. From the top of the organisation down, it has been great to see colleagues look after each other during lockdown; launching a book club, hosting regular quiz nights, opening the virtual Deepbridge pub, catching up with one another for socially distanced walks or taking part in the Deepbridge Challenge.
Our Friday morning team Zoom meetings are called the Deepbridge Family Friday Meeting, and that family feeling is what makes the Deepbridge team unique - it doesn’t matter whether colleagues are based in Chester, London, Ireland, the USA or Australia.