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Is it really a year already???

We had a vague feeling that there was a milestone of some kind coming up and when we checked, were relieved to learn that we hadn’t missed a loved one’s birthday or one of our wedding anniversaries. No, on perusing our emails, we discovered one from 19th June 2012 headed “Welcome to Centrus Advisors”. And although in practice we were working for clients before this, it seems as good a date as any to adopt as our official company birthday.

So, with the benefit of a year under our belts, we’ve reflected a bit on the trip so far and the sort of questions we were asking ourselves 12 months ago (often it seemed in the middle of the night when the darkness and quiet seem to magnify one’s fears). Was it the right decision or should we have sought the safety of the company health plan, the IT help desk and most of all the monthly pay slip that we were all used to in the corporate arena? Was it a good idea to start a business against a relentlessly gloomy economic backdrop? Would clients buy into our people, our skills and our ethos, or would they stick with the existing offerings in the market? Was Paul ready to move from Corporate Banker to advisor, as well as taking on the assorted titles of ‘Global’ Head of Finance, IT, HR and anything else that the rest of us were too scared to touch (thanks Paul!)? Would we fit more than one client at a time in the lift to our cosy Dickensian attic office on Lovat Lane, where we spent a week or two working with laptops actually on our laps or on upturned empty boxes while we waited for desks to arrive?

Well, with immense gratitude to whoever is up there looking out for us and no little touching of wood that it should all continue, the answer to all of those questions turned out to be a resounding YES! While we are continually learning better ways of doing things, we couldn’t, even in our most outlandish dreams, have hoped for a better first year in terms of the client mandates we have won, the transactions that we have been fortunate to get involved in, the great people who have joined the business and the sheer enjoyment of watching a plan come together. A few highlights from our first year;

  • We have advised clients on total closed financing transactions to a value of c. £750m
  • We are advising clients on a further pipeline of c.£1.3bn of transactions
  • Centrus has been retained as treasury advisor by ten companies
  • Just under 70 separate advisory engagements have been undertaken for 57 different companies
  • Having focused initially on the Residential sector, Centrus is now firmly established in both the Infrastructure and Energy & Utilities sectors
  • Two of our team have received support from the business in terms of their professional development

Although this has been achieved in part by the usual blood, sweat and tears, we’ve also been fortunate enough to bring together a great team of people in a short space of time. Not only have they sat firmly on the right side of our “no dickheads” policy (implemented as a result of some of our past working experiences…!) but they are like-minded people who have bought into our way of working and the Centrus ethos of building strong and lasting client relationships, based on expertise and trust.

As we look forward with eager anticipation to Year 2, the last but most important thing left to do is offer our heartfelt thanks for the support we have received as we have established Centrus. First and foremost to the clients who have shown faith in us as a new business and also to our fellow professionals in the markets in which we operate who have offered encouragement, advice and practical support as well as recommending or speaking well of us when it matters. THANK YOU ALL.