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.
Chris joined Cow Corner after more than 20 years at Deloitte. During his time at Deloitte Chris worked extensively with private equity clients in the UK and internationally, and upon leaving led Deloitte’s private equity transaction services team in the UK as well as being the lead client service partner on a number of key private equity relationships. Chris has worked with Matt for many years (initially at Deloitte and then during Matt’s time at Hg; and it was in this period that he first started working with Stephen and Liam during their leadership of JLA). At Cow Corner Chris will focus on deal execution and supporting founders and management teams by ensuring they are focused on compiling the highest quality data to support business decision making and evidencing the quality of their businesses. Chris has been privileged to work with some of the world’s most successful private equity houses, but his passion has always been working with founders and management teams to drive rapid growth.
Chris studied at the LSE and is a qualified accountant. He lives in a village in Sussex with his wife Margarita and three children. In his limited spare time he enjoys cycling and makes poor use of his Brighton Hove Albion season ticket. As a Sussex man, Chris naturally supports the Sharks and hopes he will have more time to spend at the cricket.
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.
Charlie joined Cow Corner after more than a decade of working in investments. Having trained as an accountant at PwC, he quickly realised his passion wasn’t spreadsheets – it was spending time with inspirational founders and management teams.
After leading a number of private equity transactions as an advisor at PwC, Charlie joined the global private equity firm Livingbridge. Charlie’s focus is technology, with experience investing in cybersecurity, predictive analytics, e-commerce, IoT, extended reality and even motorcycle marketplaces.
Charlie is a northerner who lives in London. He has an Irish partner, Jodie-Jane, who works as a lawyer at Google and keeps him on his toes. He likes going to live music, comedy and theatre and making the most of the London and Brighton eating scene. He is trying to keep being a Manchester United supporter a secret from Matt. Charlie doesn’t like cricket, he loves it!
Poppy joined Cow Corner after 8 years at Deloitte. After studying chemistry at university Poppy started on Deloitte’s tax graduate scheme, advising companies of all sizes on their tax obligations with a specific focus on employment taxes. After qualifying as a chartered accountant and tax adviser Poppy moved across to Deloitte’s Private Equity transaction services team. In the transaction services team Poppy provided financial due diligence services to private equity clients on acquisitions and disposals ranging between £10m to £1bn+ in value, predominantly in the software and healthcare sectors. During this period Poppy also worked on secondment as an interim CFO at a pharmaceuticals business following its acquisition by a private equity firm.
Poppy lives in Brighton with her partner Matt. When not working Poppy can be found cycling, sailing or playing board games. Poppy is looking forward to learning more about 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.
Klara joined the team in 2021 after working as Office Manager for a marketing company based in Brighton. She is task-driven with a slight addiction to stationery. Klara aspires to support all her colleagues and to run the office smoothly, maintaining a friendly environment.
Klara comes from the Czech Republic and her hobbies are going on trips to visit National Trust places, paddle boarding and skiing. Now she is a part of the Cow Corner team, she will have to learn at least two facts about cricket to fit in.