Our history

2001 – Jim Shaw the Great Britain cyclist

Whilst studying for his physics degree at Bristol University, Jim’s career ambition was to become a professional cyclist. Jim represented Great Britain in various world championship events and in 2001 became the under 23 national road race champion. Sadly in 2002, injury cut short Jim’s dreams of professional cycling and he focused on completing his degree.

2003 – 2006 – Jim Shaw the PwC years

After his degree, Jim joined PwC’s graduate programme in Cardiff. Under the guidance of Partner Mark Ellis, Jim discovered a passion for due diligence work and investigating businesses on behalf of buyers. Jim quickly qualified as an accountant, but with ambitions to work in a lead advisory role, he left PwC for Bath based Target Corporate Finance where he was drawn by the entrepreneurial nature of the fast growing business and the opportunity to work closely with founder Mark Harman.

2006 – 2011 – Jim Shaw the Target years

At Target, Jim helped to grow the business and quickly rose to Associate Director providing lead advisory services to a wide selection of clients across multiple sectors. During his time at Target, Jim developed a vision for setting up his own boutique corporate finance business. The insolvency of Target in late 2011 became Jim’s catalyst to set up Shaw & Co.

November 2011 – Jim’s kitchen

As Target was collapsing, Jim applied his entrepreneurial nous to ensure his clients who were mid-deal were not left in the lurch. Jim also wanted to protect his talented team from being unemployed at Christmas. With no responsibilities, children or mortgage, Jim converted his kitchen into a temporary office from where he and his team continued to serve clients.

December 2011 – Shaw & Co is incorporated

During a frenetic two-week period in Jim’s kitchen, Shaw & Co was incorporated and officially began trading on 5th December 2011. As the team quickly settled into home-made Italian lunches and claimed their favourite spot on Jim’s sofas, it was time for Shaw & Co to look for its first office.

January 2012 – Victoria Street office

Jim moved his team into serviced offices at 10 Victoria Street Bristol and spent most of 2012 developing his business model, brand positioning and winning new clients. Later in the year, Shaw & Co completed the investment in Gradwell by Altitude Partners which was a £1.25m investment to fund the growth of the business.

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April 2013 – First major deal

Shaw & Co’s first major deal was completed in early 2013 which saw one of Bristol’s trendiest businesses – Trunki – successfully raise £3.9m.

June 2013 – Young Dealmaker of the Year Award (South West)

Jim Shaw wins Insider’s Young Dealmaker of the Year Award for his success with the Trunki and McArthur Group deals.

November 2014 – Charlotte Street office

Following a period of continued growth, Shaw & Co outgrows its office and relocates to larger office space in Bristol’s Charlotte Street.

November 2015 – Largest deal completion

Shaw & Co completed its largest deal to date which was to support Jason Baker, CEO and Founder of Bristol-based IT recruitment company People Source, to explore his exit options, and maximise value on the build up to a sale.

December 2017 – Shaw & Co achieves first £1m turnover

2017 was a strong year for Shaw & Co which saw the completion of some major deals including the MBO of Vouchercloud from Vodafone and the trade sale of Bristol based Pukka Herbs to Unilever. Shaw & Co achieves its first £1 million turnover milestone.

September 2018 – Debt Advisory function launched

Shaw & Co launched its debt advisory function. Within a year of launch, the team passed the milestone of raising more than £25m of debt funding to help SMEs grow.

Funding Academy

September 2019 – Funding Academy launched

Shaw & Co launched the Funding Academy to help ambitious business owners improve their chances of securing funding. It became the only academy of its type in the South West region.

November 2019 – Shaw & Co expands

Shaw & Co continued to grow and relocated to larger and higher quality office space on Bristol’s Queen Square. Its first Chief Marketing Officer was appointed to help achieve it’s ambitious growth plans.

February 2020 – “The flood

Following a series of severe weather storms in early 2020, the newly opened Queen Square office suffered catastrophic flooding caused by a damaged roof. The entire office was closed to allow for extensive repair work. All employees kept the business going by working remotely from home.

March 2020 – Covid-19 pandemic

The world is hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. With employees still working from home, Shaw & Co rapidly developed new services to help UK SMEs access emergency funding schemes provided by the Government.