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  • Finance and Operations

Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh is the CEO and founder of fds, which has bases in London, Birmingham and Yorkshire. An experienced dealmaker, Jo specialises in putting together the right deal at the right time and in the right format for growing businesses throughout the country. Since 1989 Jo has bought and sold approximately 400 companies specialising in owner managed companies. She is a regular presenter for the Institute of Directors and Vistage on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. In the 90s Jo created a specialist director training division, which has been highly successful since inception. She has held circa 40+ non-executive roles over that period in companies across the country. Jo has sold three of her own companies and undertaken two personal MBOs. Jo is currently NED Chair for the following companies: Ampersand Commerce Ltd, DRB Group Ltd, Fisher Productions Ltd, Fresh Start Waste Services Ltd, Martyn Fiddler Aviation, The Energy Checking Company Limited plus she is a NED at TQUK Ltd

Awards Titles and Achievements:

  • Non-Executive Director of the Year finalist in the category of Private/Private Equity Backed, in association with Peel Hunt and supported by The Sunday Times (2021)
  • Non-Executive Director and Chair for a number of prestigious companies.
  • Winner of Acquisition International M&A Awards – Most Innovative UK Deal Negotiator 2016 and The AI One to Watch in Corporate Finance.
  • Winner of Non-Exec Director of the Year IoD Yorkshire & North East Awards.
  • Winner of the CBI First Women in Business Services award.
  • Shortlisted for Inspiring Leader of the Year Forward Ladies and SME Business of the Year with Forward Ladies.
  • Best-selling author of five books, including Keys to the Boardroom.
  • Since 1989, Jo has bought and sold over 400 companies, specialising in owner managed companies.

Testimonials from past clients:

“Comprehensive review of Directors responsibilities and overall Board governance issues. Stimulating discussions and exercises. Excellently delivered”Simon Rogers

“The best speaker on Role of a Director and one of the best M&A people in the UK in my opinion, I recommend Jo to all my clients!”Bob Battye

“Wow what a lady! Until we met Jo we were a successful business but didn’t know how to break through our own glass ceiling. Jo helped make the unknown known. Bringing together the resources and people we had in place and helping us realise our true potential. With Jo’s guidance, patience and good humour we were able to build a solid management team and a clear strategy which helped us grow as a business and as individuals. We created real value for our customers and shareholders. Within twelve months we had doubled turnover and expanded our team, winning numerous business awards and accolades along the way including Best Business awards and Great Place to Work. I firmly believe we would never have achieved the growth and success we have without the support of Jo Haigh.”David Howarth, Chief Executive, Imperative Training
“Since joining our board Jo has transformed the way we think about the business and the way we operate both strategically and tactically. We are a different company now.”George Hall, Director, Jermyn Consulting
“Jo is a pleasure to work with. She really cares for her clients and works hard to achieve the best results for them. Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious and drive a deal through. She delivers!”Edward Persse, Partner, Irwin Mitchell
“Jo is providing some independent thinking and challenging our Executive Board along with bringing valuable networking contacts.”Peter Holmes, Anchor Magnets

Comments from members:

  • Fantastic content at a level I would understand, good use of case studies – brings a dry subject to life.
  • Jo explained the complicated subjects simply, using real life stories and informed us of the many ways you become a director by default.
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