We are a closely knit team who have worked together for many years
We are very lucky to have chosen to work in an environment with people we like, trust, and enjoy being with. And that is also what we look for in our investments. Having an open, transparent, and trusting relationship with our CEOs and management teams allows alignment, and alignment always leads to better investment outcomes.
Between the Cow Corner Partners we combine proven investment experience with operational nous. As Partners, we are the largest investors in the Cow Corner fund, and we all get involved in all our investments which provides maximum support at each stage of the cycle. That said, we all know what our individual strengths are (and what they are not) and we all know what our individual jobs are and how they complement each other’s to maximise our success. There are no big egos, politics or power grabs going on – we left all that behind in our previous careers. And that is what makes it work well. A team of people who are good at what they do, like each other, trust each other and have a common set of goals and values.
Take a closer look at us
Matthew founded Cow Corner in 2018 after he escaped from the City to spend more time working directly with entrepreneurs. Previously Matthew was the Managing Partner of HgCapital, one of Europe’s largest and most successful private equity investment businesses. At Hg Matthew made many successful (and some unsuccessful) investments and was a director of numerous businesses, all in the software and business services industries.
Before Hg, Matthew was a corporate finance partner with Deloitte, working with private equity investment firms across the world. Matthew trained as a chartered accountant with Deloitte, joining from Liverpool University in 1992. Like so many others, he fell into accountancy because he needed a job and then discovered that he enjoyed it.
After 25 years working in the City, Matthew was increasingly spending more time doing the things he was less good at and wanted to get back to his primary interest which was working alongside entrepreneurs. He also wanted to build an investment business himself. Working at what you want to do, with people that you want to be with, is one of life’s great privileges.
Matthew has a wife (Leona), two sons (Peter and Andrew) and two dogs (Kenny and Digger). He spends his time shuttling between Brighton and Horsham. He is an obsessive Liverpool fan and a lifelong Sussex cricket supporter. When not in the Cow Corner office he can be found at Cow Corner at the cricket ground.
Stephen is a serial CEO, having been in leadership and management roles for over 25 years. An engineering graduate, he learned business and leadership at Black and Decker both in the UK and the USA. He subsequently held a number of leadership positions in BAA, firstly running Scottish airports before becoming COO of all seven of BAA’s airports in the UK. He then led the UK’s largest ports business, Peel Ports, before becoming CEO of JLA, a specialist services business in HgCapital’s portfolio. JLA was Hg’s most successful investment in its ‘fund vintage’. After JLA’s sale to Cinven in 2018 for £640m, Stephen stepped down from the CEO role and became a Partner at HgCapital.
Central to Stephen’s success as a business leader and CEO has been his capacity to align his teams around simple goals and get them to work as effectively as possible to achieve them. People businesses live or die by their culture and setting the right tone and building the right culture is what Stephen wants to help businesses achieve.
Stephen will normally take the Chairman role in all Cow Corner investments. He has a wife, Sharon, and three children (Emma, Andrew and Matthew). He is obsessive about Celtic FC but doesn’t understand cricket (yet).
Liam is a sales and marketing specialist with a background in successfully growing and re-positioning B2B businesses. Initially a marketer, Liam’s experience has broadened over the last fifteen years into commercial leadership roles, the last one being as Chief Commercial Officer at JLA Ltd.
It was at JLA where his working relationship with Matt and Stephen started in 2010 and it was here that he helped drive the growth and commercial strategy of the business leading to a successful exit in 2018. During this time at JLA Liam initially embraced, and subsequently helped write, the Hg playbook for revenue development in ‘installed base’ or subscription/SaaS businesses. Cow Corner, and Liam in particular, obsesses about quality of revenue and the decomposition of sources of revenue growth (churn management, upsell, cross-sell, new logos, pricing etc) and you can usually find him explaining this in the context of a ‘bathtub’ in one of the portfolio businesses…
Liam’s role is primarily a hands-on portfolio role working directly with the CEO’s and management teams on the development, growth, and quality of their revenue lines. Liam is the first to say he is not a consultant, and his focus is on ‘doing’ not just ‘advising’. He is also involved in a lot of the commercial due diligence and appraisal as well as M&A integration.
Liam is married to Stef and has two children, Eva & Sé. He is a Bradford City season ticket holder and is hoping to build upon his one live cricket match in 2007.
Nicky joined Cow Corner in 2018. She had previously spent a decade in the world of property and client advisory where she was the youngest ever partner at Strutt and Parker (UK affiliate of Christie’s Auction House). At Cow Corner, she brings a unique perspective to her many conversations with founders, partners and entrepreneurs. Her role involves knowing everyone in the Southeast that has an interesting business and might one day want to have a conversation with us. She understands how to help people navigate selling their most precious asset.
She is married to a rugby player and has two young daughters. Nicky goes to ground during tennis Grand Slams but has little interest in cricket.
Iain joined the team in 2018 to take on the CFO roles of both Galloways and Pembroke. Prior to this he was following a tried and tested finance professional route of university (Edinburgh), Big 4 audit (Deloitte), corporate finance (Deloitte) before moving into industry. In industry, Iain worked for Pennon Group subsidiary Viridor, where he latterly headed up the Finance Business Partnering team. It was here whilst managing the growth of Viridor’s Energy from Waste business (from scratch to in excess of £100m EBITDA) that he realised that what he enjoys most in business is working with operational teams focused on developing and growing their businesses and overcoming the challenges that come with this.
Iain is married to Zoe, has two children (Magnus and Elodie) and a dog (Skye). When not spending time with his family Iain can usually be found either feeding his exercise-induced endorphin addiction or cutting grass. He is pretty ambivalent about cricket but is able to feign enough interest to humour Matt when required.
Leona is another member of the team that fell into accountancy after university (Heriot-Watt) and then discovered that she was good at business. She started work for Bank of Scotland in their structured finance team which lent money to MBOs and private equity. She then joined Babson Capital, a global specialist credit investment business. At Babson Leona was a Managing Director responsible for running the European leveraged finance credit team before taking a career break to bring up two boys. Leona manages the Cow Corner finances and provides support on transactions. She is also the voice of reason when others are getting carried away with themselves. Leona pretends not to be that interested in cricket but is often found watching it…
Jo runs the office and conducts research for both the public and private market investment strategies. She is married to Hayden whom she met working aboard a superyacht. They have two children (Jett and Stevie). She’s not fussed about cricket but will happily join in with the hospitality.