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Succession 60 second interview - Beaufort Research, Management Buy-Out

Beaufort Research is one of Wales’ largest and best-known marketing and social research agencies. Long-standing directors Fiona McAllister and Chris Timmins used a Finance Wales loan to buy out the company’s founder in March this year. Here Managing Director, Fiona speaks about the experience.


What were your reasons for pursuing a management buy-out?

My colleague Chris and I have been directors of Beaufort for the last seven years following the retirement of the company’s founder. We know the business inside out, so the time seemed right for us to step up and take full ownership.

Did you have any prior experience of buying a business?

No, not really!  Neither of us had been through a management buy-out before so it was a completely new situation for both of us.  Our starting point was to get as much advice as possible from friends and family with an accountancy or financial background.  We also approached Finance Wales early on to get a better understanding of the funding options open to us as well as the process we’d need to go through.

How would you describe the experience?

As with any legal process, buying a business takes time, but generally it was relatively painless as we had excellent advice from the corporate financial adviser we employed. We also found Finance Wales to be very helpful and flexible in dealing with our funding application.

How did you feel becoming a majority shareholder of the business?

Amazing!  Beaufort is a strong, well-regarded agency and it’s great to feel that we’re now in control of our own destiny.

What advice would you give other management teams thinking of pursing an MBO?

Go for it! You’ll know if you have the right experience, skills and enthusiasm to make a success of the business going forward. Don’t be put off by what seems like a complex process – there’s plenty of expert help and advice available. Do make sure you get professional advice though - trying to manage the whole process as well as the negotiations on your own could take up a huge amount of your time and potentially impact on your ability to focus on your business.

If you’re a management team with aspirations to become a majority shareholder speak to Finance Wales today to find out how our funding can help.