Welcome to this sixth edition of the Laeceum Year End Review. It’s amazing to think it has been six years since I penned the first one and I hope you enjoy reading this one as much as I did writing it.
In early Q1 we were introduced to a very ambitious and dynamic European-based Neobank. I happened to be in Utrecht when I received the email from our friends at Rothschild & Co. Within 24 hours, a face-to-face meeting with a senior executive from the Neobank was arranged within Utrecht train station. Following a frank and robust exchange of views, we were asked to support the organisation on a high profile, high stakes strategic initiative. The Laeceum team formed part of a carefully curated set of external advisors supporting the client team led by a seasoned former M&A banker and published economist. Our support in Q1 was then followed up with additional support in Q4 culminating in final deliverables being handed over late in December.
In the meantime, our work with our Irish cashless tipping client continued apace throughout the year. We successfully supported the directors to secure an investment from the highly competitive and prestigious Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-Up Fund. In addition, the execution of a complex and time sensitive debt restructure paved the way for an injection of new equity during the latter stages of H2. This round successfully completed in mid-December and now the business is well positioned to leverage its dominant market position in Ireland by aggressively entering select new markets in 2024 which Laeceum will support.
The summer saw the Laeceum team support the firm’s long-term professional services client update a standing programme of regional and sectoral thought leadership working in collaboration with leading Economist Anjalika Bardalai of TheCityUK. In an exciting development for 2024, we will be working closely with the Managing Director of International Marketing, Business Development and Communications team to spearhead the design of a growth propensity model to further enhance the firms unique SME distress propensity modelling capability.
On the talent front, we welcomed Jonathan Thompson to the firm’s Senior Adviser team. Jonathan is currently CCO at SME lender Alba Bank having formerly having held the role of CEO at BankNorth. Jonathan will play a key role in the expansion of our debt advisory offering and our ongoing work with a number of clients in this space including a multi-award winning UK-based property funding platform.
Our university recruitment efforts have taken a leap forward since last year with the addition of LSE, Imperial and Durham to the pool of universities that we plan to make our first graduate Analyst hires from. Our intern pool this year has comprised some precocious talent in the form of Aryan Shah (UCL), Ellie Breeze (Cambridge), Robbie Mould (Durham), Yash Venkatesam (LSE) and Emma Ford (Imperial). Life at Laeceum can be unforgiving at times; our interns show immense resolve and grit which humbles me greatly. They always embody each of the six Laeceum principles and remain resolutely focused on delivering exceptional impact for our clients. I like to think that their time with us helps them take one step closer to realising their career goals. Having stepped back to reflect on how they have developed since our launch in 2018, it is remarkable what they have achieved. On the back of their time with us, they have secured offers of internships/employment with firms including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Barclays, Goodman, Barings, WTW, Jefferies and McKinsey to name but a few.
So as we look forward with much excitement into 2024, I want to extend gratitude to those that have made all of this possible. Firstly, to past, present and future clients; we would not be here were it not for the trust and confidence you place in us. And secondly, to friends of the firm including Rothschild & Co., Goldman Sachs and Fieldfisher who continue to provide counsel and support whenever we need it.
Wishing everyone a wonderful 2024 and a very happy New Year.
Ravi Chauhan | Founder & MD