corporate finance boutique moves to employee ownership | Midlands Offers News



A Birmingham-based corporate finance boutique has gone employee-owned after a period of record business.

Orbis Partners was launched in 1999 when James Grenfell and Chris Gregory created Invex Partners. They were soon joined by Gary Ecob, a newly qualified ACA, and after a period of growth were sold to Kroll Inc in 2003 and Kroll Corporate Finance was formed.

Shah Zaki joined the firm that year and the firm was acquired by Grenfell and Gregory in 2006, with Ecob and Zaki joining the partnership under the new name of Orbis Partners.

Since the inception of Orbis, the team has worked on over 150 transactions valued at over £3 billion. It has also made 34 investments through its Intrinsic Equity investment vehicle. In 2010, Orbis entered into a partnership with Clairfield International giving access to 300 colleagues and 30 associate offices around the world.

He has now transferred majority ownership to an employee ownership trust.

Grenfell said: “We have always been focused on our people and creating opportunities for the talent within our team to thrive and receive appropriate recognition and financial rewards.

“We’re proud of the team and the culture we’ve created, and in a people-centric business, we believe that thrives best within a broader ownership structure.”

The move to an EOT follows a record period with recent transactions including the sale of ICC Group and HL Smith to overseas acquirers, Bramble Foods to LDC, the secondary takeover of Stuart Turner with Epiris and cross-border acquisitions of Scientia by Technology One and UK Customs Solutions by Castik-backed Customs Support Group.

Ecob added, “We are really excited about the next chapter as the partner group commits to expanding our shareholding and jointly delivering on an ambitious growth plan.

“The timing is perfect after an exceptionally busy period for the team and the recent promotions of Tom McCarthy to partner and Peter Waplington to director.”

Orbis was advised by Claritas Tax and Lodders.

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