Bren is a highly commercial Growth and Financial Strategist. She brings credentials in developing and aligning strategy, transforming control environments, procuring lasting change and securing funding. A creative thinker who helps you to get to the heart of complex issues, Bren is often the first to spot opportunities and risks. Most importantly, she is a trusted adviser who is passionate about growing Northern businesses and helping companies to be the best they can be.
After spending 11 years as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, Bren has spent the last 20+ years leading finance teams and influencing business decisions in entrepreneurial, private equity-backed businesses. She brings unusually broad business skills and a passion for value creation to the teams she works with. This wealth of skills and experiences helps Bren to support organisations in three key areas:
You are a leadership team or CEO with ambitions for growth and results. You are seeking support and challenge and are willing to undertake significant change in order to achieve your ambitions. You want someone on your side who is a good listener, who is able to give wise counsel and who is willing to tell you things you might need rather than want to hear. You recognise the benefits of having people on your side who are passionate about your success and who will push and challenge both themselves and others.
Bren doesn’t claim to know your business and your market place better than you - you are the best team to develop your vision and strategy. Bren’s role is to ask the tricky questions, challenge spoken assumptions, uncover unspoken assumptions and to help you consider other options.
This includes helping you understand and improve business performance, supporting you in making more money for less effort:
And throughout, you stay in the driving seat - you identify with the output; you are in charge of your future. Bren’s role is to help you reflect, to improve your skills in uncovering and interrogating key assumptions and to dare to tell you what you might not want to hear…
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” Robert Frost
Funders come in various guises – working capital facilities, growth debt, venture capital, private equity, trade sales.
No matter what the source, credibility is key when raising or renewing funding. Bren has a strong reputation for generating robust and flexible business plans and helping you deliver sound due diligence which stands up to scrutiny and stress testing.
What does this involve? Before engaging with funders, Bren can appraise your strategy alongside your numbers with a view to finding gaps in the story. She can help you perform comprehensive stress-testing on the narrative and the numbers, before working with you to craft solutions. You can then present robust plans to potential funders alongside convincing answers to “what-if?” questions.
In summary, by bringing a cold eye and objective challenge, she will help you to craft a plan which gives funders confidence in you and your business.
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” Winston Churchill
Implementing strategy and delivering results almost always requires change. Managing people and businesses during times of change is one of the most difficult challenges that leadership teams face; it is easy to under-estimate people’s fear of change and the amount of time successful change demands.
Acting in senior roles in entrepreneurial businesses undertaking comprehensive change, Bren has been successful in transforming operations, creating value and making change happen by bringing people with her. She can coach and support you in the key aspects of change, including design, carrying people with you, implementation and measuring success.
“Close some doors. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.” Paulo Coelho
“Even after all this time, The Sun never says to the Earth ‘You owe me’. Look what happens with a love like that; it lights the whole sky.” - The Gift, Hāfiz
“I worked with Bren on an 8-week assignment for The Mines Advisory Group … which actually turned into a 12-month assignment, which is testament to Bren’s flexibility and adaptability. During this time, Bren did a fantastic job of elevating finance and commercial analysis into the organisation’s day-to-day decision making, including initiating a transformational change agenda. I found Bren to be a rare mix of being incredibly commercial but equally focused on people, systems and the accounting architecture as well as making a wholesale restructure of the finance team to better align with the organisation’s requirements. These attributes are made all the better as Bren is easy to work with, enthusiastic and comes to work with a smile on her face.”Anthony Collier, FRP Advisory Group https://www.frpadvisory.com
“I’m proud of the work Bren did with my company. We built a comprehensive finance function, defined the transfer pricing policy and implemented a Board structure that allowed us to prepare for the future. Her knowledge and help proved invaluable in our growth story."Neil Pickstone, volcanic https://www.volcanic.co.uk/
"I first met Bren five years ago when she joined me for a 36 hour Leader Intensive. In GiANT terminology, Bren is a Creative Pioneer, a natural conceptual architect who is able to get to the heart of complexity, seeing how all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together (as well as spotting which pieces are missing!). She sees the future before others, both in terms of opportunities and threats, and is always on the look-out for ways to make things better. Bren is a remarkably talented woman who is always seeking to grow, learn and adapt to different roles as circumstances require whilst holding on to her values."Steve Cockram, GiANT Worldwide https://giantworldwide.com/
“Having known Bren for some 15 years, when an opportunity became available to work with her within my own business I jumped at the chance. She has exceptional technical knowledge, but also adds value to strategic thinking like no one else I've ever met. Bren does not always tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear. She has an ability to cut to the crux of an issue and not allow her or your judgement to be clouded by spurious distractions.”Alan Glover, The Elenchus Approach http://elenchus.co.uk/
“I first met Bren when she helped to coordinate over 20 companies in Greater Manchester City Region’s CAV2 £14m grant bid. As well as managing the complexities of Innovate UK processes, Bren helped to bring key participants on board, coordinated the funding elements of the bid and advised many consortium members on practical implications of the bid for their businesses and working capital cycles. I was impressed with the breadth of Bren’s knowledge which is matched by her dedication and determination to get things done. I continue to seek Bren’s guidance and her help has been invaluable in the launch of my business venture in developing a transparent market place for Mobility as a Service supported by blockchain payment solutions.”Simon Herko, TravelSpirit and Iconic Blockchain https://iconic-blockchain.com/ https://travelspirit.io/