What is the core purpose of Finerva?
Our purpose is to give clients the best possible advice in the form of simple, clear and actionable recommendations.
It’s based on what the legendary investor Michael Moritz, wrote in an email to Adam, “… don’t go to business school, don’t go to an investment bank. Get involved in the rough and tumble of the real world.”
That’s what we did! Finerva encapsulates our vision of what a modern accounting and financial advisory business should be.
Our purpose is supported by our four core values:
- RESPONSIVE – we respond to the needs of our clients in professional and timely ways.
- COLLABORATIVE – we work as a team with clients, colleagues and associates, listening and supporting and being flexible around family life.
- SIMPLE – we keep our advice clear and straightforward, so our clients can focus on what’s important.
- OPEN – our costs and timelines are visible and we do not to shy away from the delivery of good or bad news.
We believe this creates business relationships based on trust. We aim to do this in ways that are refreshingly different to what others might expect from an accountancy firm.
The reward is seeing the businesses we advise grow and thrive. Not only is this great for everyone involved, it’s fantastic for the UK economy.
Tech start-ups don’t get the level of support they need or deserve from traditional accountancy firms. There is a huge amount of entrepreneurial energy in the UK and a great deal of this is invested in technology innovation and commercialisation. Things that we are both believers and advocates of.
As Founders in our mid-30s we recognise that there are large numbers of experts and advisors who don’t always want to work for large corporates. We want to attract a talented but remote workforce, one that we can tailor to the needs of our clients.
When was Finerva born?
Until 2020, we were the sister company to Ignition Law. It was the Covid-19 pandemic that showed us it was time to create our own identity.
We changed our name from Ignition Financial to Finerva in October 2020. Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategy and so Finerva is the fusion of this with our financial expertise.
During Covid, it became clear that we were supporting our clients beyond that of a traditional accountancy or professional services firm. We were working collaboratively with their investors and advisors to help them navigate the pandemic on a strategic financial level.
It therefore made perfect sense to act as an independent finance and accounting advisory firm. That way we could better meet the needs of our clients, help tech start-ups to scale quickly and support more SMEs.
How did you become Finerva business partners?
We’ve known each other since 2005 when we were fresh-faced graduates at PwC. We enjoyed hanging out with each other and were at PwC because we knew they offered the best professional training in the world. After all, 51 of the FTSE 100 CEOs have a finance background.
After 4 years we went our separate ways. Adam went to Baylor Klein a startup M&A advisor working on deals with an EV up to £200m. Then to Sherwood Technology Solutions as the CFO where he led the successful exit to the $5bn NYSE listed group, Solera Holdings Inc in 2014.
Ben went to Sky where he had various roles including living in Abu Dhabi whilst working on the launch of Sky News Arabia. Then on his return to the UK, working on the purchase of a key supplier within Sky’s UK supply chain. He moved to BUPA Global, as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis where he was involved in BUPA’s expansion into different territories and new product launches.
We’d always kept in touch and so when in 2017 Adam was looking for a partner to help him grow Ignition Financial, it felt like the right time. We’d gained excellent experience working “in the rough and tumble of the real world” and were now ready to help small businesses grow.
What is Finerva most passionate about?
Of course, we get excited about seeing our clients grow and reaching their full potential but we don’t believe this is possible unless they are advised by colleagues who feel valued and respected. The two go hand in hand.
Our ability to be responsive and proactive with our clients is based on the confidence and wellbeing of our team. We know they are excellent at what they do, so what we are passionate about is the level of care and support they give our clients.
It’s something we constantly monitor and we’re always looking at how to improve our level of service. We believe that our continued business growth is due to the treatment and respect that is given to both advisors and clients.
What excites you about UK business in the age of Covid-19 and Brexit?
The global financial crisis of 2008/9 produced a series of positive global disruptors e.g. Airbnb and Slack. Like them all of our clients are innovators, and visionaries. While there will be challenges, it’s an opportunity for ambitious UK tech and tech enabled businesses.
We want to help our clients achieve their vision. That requires building an ecosystem for them that makes professional services faster, smarter, and more rewarding for SMEs and professionals alike.