We caught up with Michael to find out more about why he joined Clearwater, what being a Partner involves, and what he looks for in applicants.
Michael joined Clearwater International in 2016 with over 10 years’ experience in M&A, having acted for a broad range of companies and financial investors. Michael joined the firm from Gleacher Shacklock in London. In 2018, Michael became a Partner in the firm.
Why did you join Clearwater International and what keeps you there?
Clearwater International stood out for me as the corporate finance business with real momentum in the mid-market. The platform has been set for continued growth both in the UK and internationally. Culture is also important to me; the team here really enjoy what they do and they take pride in the quality of their work alongside our brand reputation.
What are your main responsibilities in a typical week?
As a Partner in the Manchester office, I am focused on building relationships with prospective clients and executing transactions. This includes meeting new businesses, keeping a regular dialogue with the local private equity community, and leading a variety of M&A projects.
What are the biggest challenges that you face in your role?
I have come from a background of doing larger M&A transactions and believe that mid-market deals are more challenging in many ways. Public companies are usually well covered by investment analysts, whereas in the private mid-market, you are often assessing a business from first principles. It means you need to properly get under the skin of a business, typically spending more time in front of management teams. I feel this is more challenging, but ultimately more satisfying.
What is the highlight of your time with Clearwater International?
Earlier on, it was completing my first transaction at Clearwater - the sale of ChargePoint Technology. It is a great business with a fantastic management team. We ran a competitive process and delivered a very good result for shareholders. Of course, my appointment to Partner in 2018 was a real personal highlight too.
How have you developed since joining the business?
A key change for me coming into the business was the need to develop my own network of contacts in the mid-market. Since joining, I have met so many interesting people and ambitious businesses, whilst having lots of fun along the way!
How important is Diversity to you personally and to Clearwater?
For me, diversity is important to every aspect of daily life and it is good to see this being embraced more and more by global business. At Clearwater, we have always been proud of our team diversity and culture, in an industry not known for its diversity; this will remain a key feature of our business as we continue to grow and develop our team.
What do you look for when interviewing someone to join the team?
We are looking for people who love to take the initiative, enjoy a challenge and want to become part of a growing and successful business. Personality is as important as anything. We look for people with wide ranging interests, who will fit in well with our team and get on well with our clients.