BCMS rebrands to Initium Corporate Finance

July 2024: Corporate finance advisor BCMS – which specialises in advising the shareholders of ambitious privately owned businesses – has announced that it is rebranding to Initium®, with immediate effect. The move is designed to reflect significant changes in the business in recent years, and build further on its strong Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) vision and values, and impressive track record of high-profile, high-value business sales transactions across multiple sectors.

Initium is a specialist, independent sell-side corporate finance advisor, supporting the shareholders of ambitious privately owned businesses with valuation and growth consultancy services, succession/exit planning advice, and business sale transaction advice. Initium also assists business leaders on their next-stage strategies, via a unique network of over 250 former clients, The Fellows, which helps shareholders to unlock personal and professional development opportunities post sale. An employee-owned business, the company was recognised as one of the Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2024.

Why the name and brand change?

The change reflects operational, structural and cultural changes at the independent sell-side advisor.

Operationally, the company has changed significantly since current CEO Jonathan Dunn was appointed to lead the business in 2018. Since 2020 – when the company restructured during the Covid-19 outbreak – the business has focused exclusively on lower volume, but higher average value of business sale transactions than previously.

Today, the business specialises in advising client businesses with an Enterprise Value of at least £10m, with an average deal size three times higher than before 2020. High-profile, award-winning transactions in this time have included the £80m sale of Geotek to Judges Scientific plc, and the sale of CIA Insurance to AssuredPartners in late 2023.

Structurally, the company has changed since its transition to employee ownership in summer 2022, when the founders of BCMS – the Rebbettes family – sold the business to the employees via an Employee Ownership Trust. This has led all staff to have a meaningful stake in the company’s direction and strategy, and the appointment of a diverse leadership team of directors. Alongside Jonathan Dunn, the business is led by Liz Jackson MBE, Debbie Henderson and Andy Denny. Under their leadership, Initium has developed relationships with a wide range of related organisations across professional services, financial services, charities, coaching/mentoring organisations and more, resulting in an ever-growing ecosystem of likeminded partners.

Creating ‘impact beyond the deal’

The move to employee ownership has also shaped Initium’s vision and values as a business, focusing on three key areas for impact: clients, colleagues and community, and creating impact beyond the deal.

CEO Jonathan Dunn says: “For clients, we are building on a 35-year history that has shown us that value goes way beyond the deal itself, and we’ve seen hundreds of clients sell for far more than they expected; go on to do amazing, impactful things with the freedoms and opportunities our transactions provide.

“For colleagues, we expect the experience with Initium to be more fulfilling, broader, deeper, and more caring than you will find anywhere else in the corporate finance industry. We build and maintain this culture together – and it starts with being an employee-owned business.

“For the wider community, we strive to enhance the well-being of individuals, especially those in need, by providing our selected charities with generous financial and practical support. We choose to support organisations whose values and purpose aligns with ours. For us, for our clients and for our communities, IMPACT BEYOND THE DEAL itself really matters – that’s why we exist.”

Initiatives supported by Initium include paying a proportion of monthly revenues to charitable and community causes, with a stated vision to distribute 30% of profits to such causes by 2030. In addition to the Fellows programme for clients, Initium has been a key player in the development of Diamonds, a network for women-led businesses. Diamonds aims to provide peer-to-peer advice and mentoring, and is focused on attracting inward investment to women-led businesses, and secure more female representation at board level at companies of all sizes, in all sectors.

What does the name mean?

Initium is taken from the Latin for beginning, or starting point – and the root word for initiative. It reflects key values of the business: to initiate, lead, pioneer, and generate momentum and genuine impact.

Director Liz Jackson MBE says: “At Initium, we aim to transform, not just transact. For many corporate finance advisors, a business sale transaction is an end point for their relationship with clients. For Initium, it’s just the beginning, as we look to help entrepreneurs find their freedom and new opportunities in the next stage of their lives. That’s why Initium is the perfect name for us: each day is a starting point to unearth something special, to make measurable and meaningful difference, for clients, colleagues, and communities.”

As an employee-owned business, every single Initium employee was involved not just in the strategic decision to change the name, but in choosing and developing the name and brand values, via a series of workshops and sessions. This inclusive, all-hands rebranding process is highly unusual in any industry, least of all corporate finance. It has helped the business to crystallise its vision and values, and informed the direction and tone of the new brand.