Nicola Gray

What’s your background?
I joined Epiris in February 2014 as an Investment Manager. At that stage I had been working for six years, first in strategy at PwC, and then in origination at another private equity firm.

What’s your role?
I work on the investment team, so my job is to find new investment opportunities, assess them both quantitatively and qualitatively and then come to a view. If we decide to move ahead with the opportunity then I work on the process of making the investment, and then on managing it through to exit.

How has that changed since you joined?
I have learned a huge amount since starting at Epiris, and this has enabled me to take on more and more responsibility within the three-person deal teams we tend to work in. Being promoted to Investment Director in 2017 was a part of this development and reflected the way I have stepped up. This means I spend more of my time meeting management teams and potential non-executive Chairmen, rather than just staring at a spreadsheet, which I enjoy.

I’ve also got involved in building our own business in other ways: meeting with investors, helping with recruiting and mentoring colleagues, representing the firm at industry events, and so on.

What do you like most about the job?
It’s a real privilege to gain insight into so many fascinating businesses. I meet the people, visit factories and offices, talk to employees and customers, all to try to work out what makes a business really tick. When we invest, I work with world-class management teams to deliver a shared vision. I honestly can’t think of anything I would rather be doing.

What’s it like to work at Epiris?
I think that what you notice when you walk in to Epiris is its energy and ambition. Everyone here is driven by a real sense of excitement at creating great businesses. That makes it a challenging and stimulating environment, because of the breadth of what we do and the detail into which we go, but it also makes it enormous fun to be a part of.

What has the highlight of your Epiris career been?
It’s difficult to choose – my first deal, my first board seat, my first successful exit. I’ve enjoyed spending time with the team outside the office – teaching a colleague to dance the Paso Doble as part of a skit at an office party was a first and a last! But really the highlight is how I have been able to take the opportunity to push my career forwards as part of such a successful and exciting undertaking.

Nicola Gray - Investment Director

Owen Wilson

What’s your background?
I have spent two decades in the private equity industry, firstly as a strategy consultant doing commercial due diligence projects, before moving to a private equity firm in 2005. I joined Epiris as an Investment Director in 2013.

What’s your role?
My job combines origination, where I focus on the financial services sector and on our loan-to-own strategy, as well as deal execution and portfolio management.

How has that changed since you joined?
I was recruited in 2013 to add firepower to the team. Such is the energy and pace of Epiris that during my first twelve months here we acquired ten companies and sold one. I was able quickly to gain experience and broaden my capability set. This in turn allowed me to take on more responsibility and in 2017 I was promoted to Investment Partner and then to Partner in 2018.

What do you like most about the job?
Epiris is an innovative and fast-growing business. This creates opportunities for everyone to step up in the deal arena, as well as to contribute to the firm’s overall development.

What’s it like to work at Epiris?
Epiris is dynamic and fast-moving. We work hard and everyone here is eager to be on the next deal. But the culture is down-to-earth and collaborative. That makes it a fun and enjoyable environment to be in every day.

What has the highlight of your Epiris career been?
In 2018 we started a new cycle of investment and I was genuinely struck by what an honour it is to meet passionate and knowledgeable teams with bold ideas when I made my first visit to Portals, the second-largest manufacturer of banknote substrate in the world. What we all do here is work with great management teams to create extraordinary businesses, and so it was with real excitement that, four months after that first visit and after working through the night, we bought the business.

Owen Wilson - Partner

Ian Wood

What’s your background?
My career started in financial restructuring with Arthur Andersen in 2001. I made the move into private equity in 2004 and joined Epiris as an Investment Manager in 2012.

What’s your role?
I assess and analyse new investment opportunities, I get involved with the process of actually making investments – building relationships with management teams, due diligence, negotiation, structuring, planning – and then I work directly with the management of our portfolio companies to deliver our transformation agenda.

How has that changed since you joined?
As I’ve gained more experience, so I’ve been able to get involved with and to take ownership of more and more of the component parts of a deal. Now I lead all aspects of a deal from origination to exit. I was promoted to Investment Director in 2014 to Investment Partner in 2017 and again to Partner in 2018.

What do you like most about the job?
We are a small, close-knit team which gets a lot done. We all have a real appetite for transforming businesses which have been undermanaged or underinvested by their previous owners, and we have a culture which is straightforward and collaborative so that bureaucracy doesn’t get in the way.

What’s it like to work at Epiris?
It’s pretty exciting! We’ve deliberately built the team so that we have a range of backgrounds and characters rather than all being cut from the same mould, and having so many perspectives around the table really keeps you on your toes. But we all share a very clear approach to investing. We focus on the things that make a difference, and on bringing an energising, entrepreneurial vision to the companies we invest in.

What has the highlight of your Epiris career been?
2016 and 2017 were amazing years. I worked on the sales of Elian and Audiotonix and the IPO of Hollywood Bowl. These were all deals I’d worked on from beginning to end and which are great illustrations of the vision and ambition we bring to companies. Audiotonix in fact gave me my best Epiris moment – seeing one of the company’s mixing desks in a DJ’s booth in a bar, and then seeing my colleague Charles not getting to grips with it. There is a video!

Ian Wood - Partner