Silverpeak co-hosts leadership dinner

On the evening of 10th May, Silverpeak, the mid-market technology specialists representing European growth businesses in M&A and financing transactions, Spectrum, the retained executive search and HR consulting firm for the technology sector, and Squire Patton Boggs, the global law firm, co-hosted a Digital Transformation Leadership Dinner.

We brought together 15 senior executives and board members for a ‘Chatham House rule’ discussion on the digital transformation and IT services landscape during a private dinner in Central London.

The key points of debate and discussion were:

  • The barriers to digital adoption, including provider and client-side people capability, and the lack of understanding of how to best utilise technology post-transformation
  • The definition of digital transformation, including the position of the customer in the centre of any programme, the drive to simplicity and efficiency, and the replacement of legacy system
  • The 3rd wave of digital transformation being data (the 1st being digital and front end, and the 2nd being infrastructure
  • The potential for data implications and security risk to hold back digital transformation
  • The role of the pandemic in demonstrating what is possible in digital transformation in a short space of time
  • The people challenges: attrition, salary inflation, generational expectations and the challenges and opportunities associated with M&A

Enterprise Awards celebrate UK tech entrepreneurial talent

Silverpeak was delighted to sponsor the tenth Enterprise Awards which culminated in the Awards dinner last night at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London.

Uniquely focused on the founder rather than the businesses themselves, the Enterprise Awards boasted previous winners that have achieved prominence in both private and public markets. The judging panel is looking for examples of vision, growth, innovation, funding, use of capital, use of resources, strategy, execution, ambition, and determination to succeed.

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Partner, sits on the judging panel and continues to be excited each year to see the quality and depth of talent in the industry.

Many congratulations to the winners announced across the nine categories:

Net Zero – Dr Rebecca Harding, Coriolis Technologies

Social Enterprise – Alex Stephany, Beam

Public Sector – Sara Murray, Big Technologies trading as Buddi

Deep Tech – Scott White, Pragmatic Semiconductor

Emerging (revenues between £1m and £3m) – Alex Housley, Seldon

Developing (revenues £3m to £20m) – Alexandra Depledge, Resi

Scale Up (growth 50%+) – Adrian Overall, Cloudstratex

Enterprise (revenues £20m+) – Vishal Marria, Quantexa

Judges Special Award (all-round excellence) – Martina King, Featurespace

and also to John O’Connell, to commemorate ten years as chair and founder of the awards.

In addition to celebrating the best of UK tech talent, the Enterprise Awards has traditionally been organised as a fundraising event, donating profits to the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists’ charities to help its mission to improve lives across the UK and beyond by providing IT skills and training. Last night’s Awards, however, raised £30k for the Ukraine Relief Fund.

Silverpeak sponsors the tenth Enterprise Awards in association with the WCIT

Silverpeak is delighted to continue its long association with The Enterprise Awards in association with the WCIT which celebrates and recognises the very best of the UK’s technology entrepreneurial talent with ‘The Oscars of the Technology Industry’.

Each year, hundreds of the movers and shakers of the UK technology sector – including entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors – come together to honour the best of the best, while raising funds for the WCIT Chosen Charity.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, the 2022 Awards ceremony will be a truly special occasion, hosted at the prestigious Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London in April 2022.

Uniquely focused on the founder rather than the businesses themselves, the Enterprise Awards boasted previous winners that have achieved prominence on both private and public markets. The judging panel is looking for examples of vision, growth, innovation, funding, use of capital, use of resources, strategy, execution, ambition, and determination to succeed.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner, sits on the judging panel and is always excited each year to see the depth of talent in the industry.

The Enterprise Awards Alumni includes some of the most successful tech businesses in the UK, such as the leaders of Wise, Blue Prism, Quantexa, Darktrace, TPXimpact (formerly Panoply), and ActiveOps.

The 2022 award categories are as follows:

  • Emerging Entrepreneur – £1m – £3m annual revenue
  • Developing Entrepreneur – £3m – £20m annual revenue
  • Net Zero Entrepreneur – For CleanTech businesses (min. £500k annual revenue)
  • Enterprise Entrepreneur – annual revenue over £20m
  • Scale-Up Entrepreneur – > 50% growth pa (min. £1m annual revenue)
  • Public Sector Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs targeting the public sector (min. £1m annual revenue)
  • Social Enterprise Entrepreneur – entrepreneurs with a business model that gives something back (min. £1m annual revenue)
  • Deep Tech Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs with game-changing, innovative, unique, core technology (min. £1m annual revenue)

Deadline for entries: Monday 31 January 2022

For details of how to enter and to download an entry form, please go to www.enterprise-awards.co.uk

SEMINAR | Current trends in tech exits and financing | 23 November 2021

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Watch the full recording: https://lnkd.in/dK_JPC2B

Silverpeak and Shoosmiths held a joint seminar on ‘Current trends in tech exits and financing’, on Tuesday, 23 November 2021 at Shoosmiths’ offices in London.

A recording is to follow to cover which covers practical guidelines and best practices for those seeking to sell or raise financing in the current environment. We will hear the compelling views and experiences of both a CEO and an investor: we were delighted to have as a panellist Simon King from Octopus Ventures with the second guest panellist to be announced.

Agenda (UK Times)

17:00   Registration
17:30   Session Begins
18:45   Networking
20:00  Close

Seminar location

Shoosmiths London

 

WEBINAR | Selling or Funding – Go to market strategies for your Tech business | 30 September 2021

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Silverpeak together with international law firm Pinsent Mason, are delighted to have held a webinar on Thursday 30 September 2021.

This briefing provided practical guidelines and best practice for those seeking to sell or raise finance in the current environment. You heard a CEO’s recent experience together with a perspective from Private Equity.

Programme (UK Times)

08.30 Introduction
08.35 M&A trends and financing trends and valuation metrics
08.45 Legal issues in the current climate
09.00 Neil Norman – A founder CEO’s experience of his sale of MSite
09.15 Practical points for an optimal transaction Panel discussion
09.30 Panel discussion
10.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Close

Webinar – European tech companies reach new highs | 9 March 2021

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Silverpeak together with international law firm DLA Piper, held a webinar on Tuesday 9th March 2021.

The briefing aimed to provide practical guidelines and best practice for those seeking to sell or raise finance in the current environment. Attendees also heard from Thierry Rouquet, Sentryo CEO share his recent experience together with a viewpoint from a private equity investor.

Who should attend

This webinar is relevant to CEOs, Chairs, FDs/CFOs, Non-executive Directors, shareholders and VC/PE investors with a stake in technology companies.

Programme (UK Times)

08.30 Introduction
08.35 M&A trends and financing trends
08.45  My experience of funding and sale to Cisco, Thierry Rouquet CEO Sentryo
09.00  Practical points for an optimal transaction
09.10  Prevailing legal considerations
09.30 Panel discussion
09.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Close

 

 

WEBINAR – Selling or Funding – what tech companies need to consider now | 8 December 2020

DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION HERE Silverpeak & Fieldfisher Webinar

Silverpeak, together with international law firm Fieldfisher, held a webinar on Tuesday 8th December 2020.

The briefing aimed to provide practical guidelines and best practice for those seeking to sell or raise finance in the current environment. Attendees also heard from Matthew Hare, Zzoomm CEO, providing his experience of successfully raising a large funding round.

Who should attend

This webinar was relevant to CEOs, Chairmen, FDs/CFOs, Non-executive Directors, shareholders and VC/PE investors with a stake in technology companies

Programme

08.30 Introduction
08.35 Series B&C Financing and M&A trends & valuation metrics
08.45 Legal issues in the current climate
09.00 A CEO’s experience of a big funding round
09.10 Practical points for an optimal transaction
09.30 Panel discussion
09.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Close

 

 

WEBINAR Optimising exits for European technology companies – 17 September 2020

Silverpeak, in association with international law firm Taylor Wessing, held a webinar on Thursday 17 September 2020.

A recording of the webinar is available to view here.

This briefing was to provide practical guidelines and best practice for those seeking to sell or make a partial realisation in the current environment with real-life stories from an entrepreneur’s recent exit experience together with a viewpoint from the Private Equity industry.

Who attended

CEOs, Chairmen, FDs/CFOs, Non-executive Directors, shareholders and VC/PE investors with a stake in technology companies.

Programme

08.30 Introduction
08.35 M&A trends & valuation metrics
08.45 Trends & Risk in M&A Transactions
09.00 Achieving a strategic value
09.10 My Exit Experience
09.30 Panel discussion – Lessons for an optimum exit
09.45 Q&A to Panel
10.00 Close

Optimising exits for European technology companies

Comparing views on the current COVID-19 challenges and opportunities for tech growth companies

Board Chair Midsummer Drinks Reception and discussion – 22nd June 2020

On the evening of Monday 22nd June, Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, co-hosted with Spectrum, the technology executive search firm, an online event for a small group of eight plural Board Chairs of privately held technology growth ventures.

Over a hamper of wine, cheese and pâté – sent in advance – we compared views on the current challenges and opportunities for technology growth companies, in the wake of Covid-19.

We were delighted to listen to, and exchange views, with: Adam Hale; Dale Murray CBE; David Gilmour; James Bilefield; Lisa Stone; Margaret Rice-Jones; Nigel Clifford and Vin Murria OBE.

Pietro Strada began the discussion by highlighting the key observations of Silverpeak since March 2020, most notably:

  • Broadly, the technology and pharmaceutical sectors have been recent market winners
  • Within the technology sector, there are sub-sector dynamics: WFH and remote solutions attract interest, and the number 1 and 2 players in each subsegment have an opportunity to extend their leadership
  • There are different dynamics between the public and private markets; private equity does not believe recent equity market pricing
  • CEOs and management teams are cautious
  • Private equity has capital to deploy
  • Transactions are taking longer
  • Valuations are down
  • Companies are raising two years of cash

This was followed by Daniel Osmer outlining the key Covid-19 observations of Spectrum:

  • Most companies locked down well before UK government advice to do so, and the expectation is that the way of conducting work has changed permanently in many respects
  • Boards have been leant on heavily by their management teams
  • Some enjoy Chairing virtual board meetings and their efficiency; others find the difficulty in reading body language to be challenging
  • In many cases, employee productivity has gone up, but there is a question as to how sustainable this is
  • Clients are reluctant to hire at executive level entirely virtually, although we do expect a greater element of a selection process to be conducted virtually in the future than has been the traditional ‘norm’
  • It is more challenging for candidates to assess company culture via virtual selection exclusively

The key themes which emerged from the broader guest discussion were:

The significant variability of company performance, by market subsector, and by management team response.

Some of the fundamental challenges during Covid-19 have been: “the speed, scale and style of this impact has been different to other recessions”; “it is difficult to plan when management teams have little control over market demand stimulation”; “even with ARR contracts, the impact of the lack of customer cash has been felt”; “the lack of contact, especially when resources have to be on-site, as well as the simple lack of someone to talk to”; “some behaviours under pressure have not measured up to the company’s purpose”.

The importance of purpose: “executives have shone where they have remembered their company’s purpose”; “those that have forgot their purpose have created friction”; “companies have needed to look back at their purpose as an organisation”; “businesses that invested in purpose have fared well, engagement levels have remained as high as they were pre-lockdown – the challenge now is how do we keep this going, and build on it in a more disparate world”.

The importance of leadership: “there is a new level of accountability now with teams”; “many management teams have shown incredible tenacity”; “succession plans have been worked on with executive teams”; “you look closely at teams and reassess what you’ve got and what you need”; “the importance of talent during these really difficult times has been highlighted”.

Partnerships that matter: “there has been a fundamental reassessment of ecosystems”; “you know who your real partners are at a time like this”; “critical to understand your partner, to genuinely partner – and to drive quality up”.

Online meetings have (mainly) worked well: “everyone attends because the session is online, which is levelling”; “future in-person meetings will be reassessed: is it a habit, or of value”; “important to strategize and not simply react”; “quickly made, data informed decisions are important”; “online meetings are time efficient”; “easier when you already know everyone in the online meeting”; “80% of online meetings are very good”; but “interactive, brainstorming meetings are difficult online”.

The humanity now on display: “talk to customers more”; “build intimacy and genuinely partner”; “the contribution by companies to wider society is inspiring and engaging for employees”; “strength, tenacity and kindness to guide and support others”; “seeing people as human beings and not as transactional agents”; “there is nervousness and remorse being shown by people when considering leaving a team”; “we’ll end up with better corporations doing more good”.

The awareness and importance of employee mental health and the Black Lives Matter movement has been complete: “Black Lives Matter has highlighted diversity and disadvantage”; “The Black Lives Matter movement has had a profound effect on organisations”; “the mental health of employees is fundamental”; “the younger you are the tougher it has been – coaching opportunities in a virtual world are very limited”; “inexperienced CEOs have felt anxious”; “there is a fear of joining a new company at this time”.

The acceleration of innovation: “lots of innovation in a small space of time – will deliver a positive medium term impact”; “business myths have been busted – many in a positive way”; “we’ll all work smarter”; “organisations won’t go back to where they were in January”; “elephants can dance when under pressure and have no choice”; “start-up mindset”; “once the cash conservation plan is in place, you look towards re-orientating the business to the new scenario – looking at opportunities, and new ways of driving growth”.

Paddy MccGwire of Silverpeak brought the 90-minute discussion to a close, with some guests choosing to stay online for a relaxed conversation, a key theme of which was UK government support, and, in particular, the furlough scheme and The Future Fund.

Managing Partners

To further discuss these findings, to join future events, or to discuss technology investment banking (Silverpeak) and technology sector board and executive search (Spectrum), please contact:

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner Silverpeak pm@silverpeakib.com

Pietro Strada, Managing Partner Silverpeak ps@silverpeakib.com

Daniel Osmer, Managing Partner Spectrum daniel.osmer@spectrum-ehcs.com

Applied AI Leadership Dinner – 26 November 2019

On the evening of 26th November, Silverpeak hosted a Leadership Dinner for Applied AI businesses in association with Spectrum, the retained executive search and HR consulting firm for the technology sector, and Wiggin, the technology law firm.

We brought together 19 peers from artificial intelligence organisations, at founder, CEO and Chairman level, for a ‘Chatham House rule’ discussion on the rapidly evolving developing AI landscape during a private dinner in central London.

This dinner was the second AI themed dinner we’ve co-hosted. The previous dinner took place 2 years previously, and it was interesting to see how AI thinking has matured during that time.

In particular, the core discussion theme has moved on from AI acceptance then, to ‘safe’ (ethically sound) AI today.

The conversation also explored how safe AI could be demonstrated and proven, and, conversely, also explored how properly adopted AI eliminates the conscious or unconscious bias in systems and processes that currently exist.

The discussion began with a brief talk from Pietro Strada from Silverpeak, which served to highlight the availability of capital for European growth companies, but also the predominance of the US and of China in AI funding, and included breakdown of the companies between ‘light’, ‘medium’ and ‘heavy’ in AI intensity.