New Corporate Finance Practice To Advise ‘Under-Served’ SME Owners


A corporate finance practice has been set up by three experienced entrepreneurs to advise‘under-served’ owners of smaller companies on their exit journey as well as supporting growing businesses with their funding aspirations.

Vertex will cover the UK from its headquarters in Manchester and offices in Birmingham and London, focusing on acting for SMEs across all sectors.

Co-founders Marc Braterman, Martin Birch and Yasin Shariff have recruited James Darlington from private equity firm Maven Capital Partners as managing director of Vertex. Josh Malyan has joined as deal adviser, also from Maven.

James has 15 years’ corporate advisory and equity investment experience. He spent seven years at Maven, where he was an investment director, and previously worked at EY.

Over the past seven years he has led, completed and exited investments as well as sitting on numerous boards which Maven has backed.

Vertex is focusing on providing sell-side advice to companies with annual underlying profits of up to £2m. Alongside this, Vertex will provide equity fundraising support to companies seeking capital for expansion.

Typically, businesses advised by Vertex will have an enterprise value of between £1m and £10m.

James said:

“This segment of the market is currently under-served by the UK corporate finance advisory community and we are well-placed to fill the gap.

“We are committed to delivering an offering that aligns with business owners’ objectives and supports them in their next important step, be that seeking capital to fuel growth or exploring options to achieve an exit.

“A major differentiator is that our founders are seasoned entrepreneurs who have been in the shoes of the business owners we wish to support. Each has experienced, and fully recognises,the emotions that business owners face during their careers, both the highs and the lows.

“Their knowledge of navigating transactions, scaling enterprises and successfully selling them means they are well-qualified to provide high-quality strategic advice to help Vertex clients maximise value and minimise stress.

“Their entrepreneurial skillset, combined with myself and Josh as experienced investment professionals, gives us the ability to provide owner-managed businesses a distinctive serviceoffering, with integrity, knowledge and success at the core of our values.

“We pride ourselves on being open and transparent at every stage of our interactions with clients, while also being able to see the world through their entrepreneurial lens. With this team, we are excited to launch Vertex and establish ourselves in the UK market.”

Marc is the chief executive of food tech start-up OSY Group. Martin is chief executive of WGC, which provides outsourced cleaning and facilities management services to hotels. Yasin is CEO of business consultancy TAMC and cleaning supplies business DuraClean.

Martin said:

“This balanced team has the insights and knowhow to help navigate companies through their next important stage.

“We’re excited to share our experiences and support other entrepreneurs like us with a transparent and jargon-free advisory approach.

“It’s fantastic to have someone of the calibre of James heading Vertex, as his broad sector experience at all levels of the business cycle will ensure our clients get exceptional advice.

“All of the co-founders are confident that, with our approach, we can make a huge success of Vertex. We are pleased to hit the ground running, having already engaged several clients and with others in the pipeline.”

Vertex has its head office at the Manchester International Office Centre near Manchester Airport and is looking to grow its team there and at its other locations, including recruiting a marketing manager, deal origination and advisory specialists as well as support staff.