At ScaleUp Focus we love numbers but prefer people. We are high growth specialists with a real passion for helping founders to grow themselves and their business. We always aim to get the best out of you and your team, after all, people are at the heart of every business success. We believe that by working together we can do really special things, now and in the future.
We love talking to people and learning about what makes them tick as well as the challenges they are facing. We believe in being open and challenging ourselves and founders. Amazing things happen when you share ideas and energy.
Why not pick up the phone and talk to us, just imagine where it could lead!
James has over 30 years of director-level experience in financial services, interim management and professional services. He brings real insight into the high growth and investment sectors combined with intimate knowledge of working with the professional services community.
He started his career as an international reinsurance broker with Sedgwick. Following this, he joined Hill Samuel Banking Group where he worked in a variety of positions and ultimately was responsible for the intermediated distribution of international services in the UK, Ireland and the Middle East.
Joining Zurich Insurance he set up a fund management platform and European sales and marketing hub in Luxembourg. James went on to lead the establishment of a pioneering corporate incubator to develop and secure investment into new products and markets with responsibility for projects in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, India, the Middle East and the Far East. Latterly, at Aviva, he spearheaded the development of a startup Dublin product administration centre; building distribution in the UK, Italy and Spain.
Outside the corporate world, James has worked with a number of high growth boutique financial services startups and been the owner of his own consulting and interim management business. Clients have been drawn from the charities, data services, financial services and professional adviser sectors in the UK and internationally.
Having worked with professional advisers as clients and providers of services, it became clear to him that the world of the professional advice needed to be shaken. With this ambition, he developed “ScaleUp Focus” to support the founders of companies who are on a growth and investment journey.
Viv’s early career was as a Chartered Accountant, gaining experience of the workings of a variety of businesses whilst part of the audit team at PwC Newcastle. In 1989 she was involved in the Sage plc. flotation.
Wanting to get closer to the front line in business she moved out of the corporate world to work as Financial Controller for a haulage company in the North East. As it became clear that the business was in difficulties, she formed a buyout team with the Operations Director and HR Director. The team successfully gained finance and backing from KPMG but unfortunately, the buyout didn’t come to fruition.
Viv realised that her entrepreneurial spirit was alive and kicking and in 2004 bought a bakery business out of liquidation. She exited the business in 2015 having built a team of 32 and moved the business from a turnover of £100,000 to £1.6 million. In this time the business gained a strong reputation as a service-led supplier of coffee shop products to a portfolio of nationwide foodservice distribution companies.
In 2015 Viv launched her own Manchester-based consultancy and coaching business “Be Amazing” working with a variety of businesses, enabling and inspiring business growth across sectors. She has been a mentor on the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator since its launch in 2015.
We look forward to working with you and sharing your flight, so please get in contact.