Thomas has executed numerous M&A transactions for FTSE 100 and private equity clients (KKR) whilst at major consulting firms including Deloitte and LEK Consulting. He has also led complex cross-border strategy projects at a leading global airline, such as the acquisition of aircraft valued at over £4.5 billion. Thomas enjoys freelancing as it enables him to advise clients on M&A, corporate finance, and strategy projects in a variety of sectors.
Provided M&A consulting services to a private equity-owned aviation intelligence business. Work included the development of the company’s 3-year M&A strategy plan, establishing a framework for the assessment of potential targets and developing detailed business cases (including due diligence and valuation models) for identified targets.
Led a commercial due diligence engagement on behalf of LEK Consulting in connection with the sale of Riviera Travel by Phoenix Equity Partners to Silverfleet Capital.
Performed an in-depth review of the customer base of an FTSE 250 company’s logistics division as part of a restructuring programme. Analyzed large data sets to identify key trends and drivers of profitability, and made recommendations on areas for focus and improvement.
Led a project for a Private Equity owned software business to assess market size and attractiveness of existing and adjacent verticals and to identify and validate new product opportunities. Whilst identifying market entry and growth options, I also developed a framework for screening and assessing potential M&A targets.
Led 2 business acquisitions for a FTSE 250 company. Services included development of financial models, business cases, and execution of due diligence.
Produced a monthly management reporting dashboard for an architectural products business which automated the production of summary financial statements and tracked KPIs against budgets.
Focus areas: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Due Diligence, Valuation, Corporate Finance, Financial Advisory, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Financial Benchmarking, Business Advisory, Three Statement Operating Model, Financial Modeling
Freelance Business Advisor
2017 - PRESENT
Virgin Start Up
Advised and supported numerous start-up entrepreneurs applying for funding for their businesses. Virgin Start Up is a part of the Virgin Group of companies and provides start-up loans, business advice, and mentoring support to entrepreneurs.
Reviewed client business plans and worked with entrepreneurs to ensure that their business cases and financial forecasts were investment ready before submitting funding applications.
Provided one-on-one business mentoring to start-up entrepreneurs.
Focus areas: Business Plan Development, Business Advisory, Financial Advisory, Startup Funding
2017 - PRESENT
Established new financial management and reporting systems for AzuKo, a new international development charity.
Oversaw the restructuring of the charity into a financially sustainable standalone social enterprise.
Designed and implemented the governance and internal control framework.
Strengthened the entity’s strategic capabilities by recruiting additional trustees to the Board to fill identified skills gaps.
Produced a detailed financial model and business plan for the purpose of obtaining debt and equity funding. The position is a Financial Times featured impact investment start-up funding an innovative economic strategy to benefit low-income agricultural producers in developing countries.
Developed investor materials and presentations which were used in pitching to potential investors.
Led collaborations with international development partners to produce business plans for specific joint ventures.
Carried out market research underpinning the growth assumptions in the detailed business plan.
Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Financial Modeling, Investor Decks, Financial Management, Business Plan Development, Valuation, Market Research, Startup Funding, Three Statement Operating Model
2015 - 2017
The Airline Group
Managed the finances of the Airline Group, a company owned by the major airlines in the UK. The Airline Group is the controlling shareholder of NATS, which is the UK’s leading provider of air traffic control services.
Led an internal, cross-functional review of easyJet’s indirect investment in the company (via its Airline Group shareholding) to assess whether it was still of significant strategic and financial value to easyJet. This was followed by a recommendation for a course of action that was approved by the management.
Represented easyJet during discussions and negotiations with other Airline Group shareholders and the Government as part of the proposed NATS sales process.
Managed the repayment of capital and interest to debt holders of the company as well as the distribution of dividends to shareholders. These payments usually exceeded £10 million.
Managed two cross-functional projects that evaluated the strategic and financial feasibility of organic growth initiatives resulting in the placing of orders for 63 Airbus aircraft, valued at £4.5 billion. As part of this process, also recommended the decision to increase the dividend payout ratio from 33% to 40%.
Led engagements to evaluate M&A opportunities which involved the development of business cases, valuations, due diligence, and assessing transaction structures.
Led corporate finance projects such as the development and review of the 5-year business plan, capital structure reviews, and dividend policy assessments.
Managed a project to align the strategic plans of business functions to the overall company strategy, working with department heads to develop and implement new KPIs.
Developed and automated a multifaceted competitor database from scratch which is now used to provide timely competitor insight and bench marking analysis. This process was previously outsourced to consulting firms and investment banks, resulting in large savings.
Developed a corporate finance and valuation training workshop which I regularly delivered.
Focus areas: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Corporate Finance, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation, Investor Decks, Due Diligence, Business Plan Development, Market Models, Financial Modeling, Dividend Policy, Capital Structure, Three Statement Operating Model, Financial Benchmarking
Corporate Finance Manager
2011 - 2014
Led and managed teams involved in the provision of buy and sell side financial due diligence and M&A services to private equity and corporate clients, across a range of industries including financial services, technology, media and telecommunications, aviation, infrastructure, and agriculture.
Managed the due diligence engagement for KKR’s $200 million acquisition of Afriflora in Ethiopia, the global private equity firm’s first African investment.
Led a cross-border engagement team responsible for the production of a Vendor Due Diligence report in connection with Friends Life Group’s $500 million sale of Lombard International Assurance to Blackstone.
Managed teams involved in the provision of Vendor Due Diligence and Vendor Assist services relating to Nokia Siemens Networks’ disposal of its Business Support Systems (BSS) business to Redknee.
Worked as an Assistant Manager on an engagement supporting Barclays' disposal of its Africa operations to ABSA for $2 billion.
Managed market research and business development activities including proposal writing, recruitment, staff training and the development of performance targets for the financial services department.
Assistant Manager, Banking & Capital Markets Audit
2008 - 2011
Planned, coordinated and managed financial statement, internal and regulatory (FSA and Sarbanes Oxley) assurance engagements for a variety of clients in the financial services sector.
Managed an internal review of Visa Europe’s budgeting process, ensuring that appropriate controls and processes were in place, and providing advice on the development of suitable KPIs for performance measurement.
Managed a high-risk US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory engagement for Santander UK. As a result of the new approach adopted and standard of work performed, the Engagement Partner and SEC regulation expert specifically commented that they had significantly more assurance (compared to the prior year) that the engagement requirements had been met.
Executed a regulatory engagement that was used as the basis for a template adopted by the Banking & Capital Markets Department for future engagements.
Performed engagements for clients including Santander UK, Morgan Stanley, HSBC Merchant Services, Visa Europe, Alliance & Leicester, Chuo Mitsui Trust International Limited, Paragon Mortgages, Personal Touch Financial Services, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society and Loughborough Building Society.
Focus areas: Audit Management, Internal Audits, Control Audits, Financial Advisory, External Audits, Financial Regulations, Financial Model Auditing
2006 - 2008
Managed assurance and advisory engagements for local and regional organizations, predominantly in the financial services and international development sector.
Conducted a review of a European Union-funded development project in the Cook Islands. Conducted site visits to various government ministries to hold discussions with key personnel and assess project performance against both financial and non-financial indicators.
Discovered two separate fraud cases, one of which was at a major international bank.
Prepared a successful proposal for KPMG that resulted in the awarding of a contract to provide financial assurance services for Our Telekom in the Solomon Islands.
Carried out engagements for clients including Reserve Bank of Fiji, ANZ Bank, Colonial National Bank, Credit Corporation Limited, Home Finance Company, Bank of Kiribati, European Union, United Nations Population Fund, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Fiji Red Cross Society, Global Fund (to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria), and Fijian Holdings Unit Trust.