It sounds like the beginning of strange and fantastical tale, but this is how Fidelis began. Two people from different backgrounds, one a professional footballer and the other a motivational speaker and student of human behaviour.
The strength of Fidelis comes from its team. We genuinely believe we have a unique energy and a way of working together which is open, supportive and special. If you’ve ever had that feeling of just knowing you have a team that clicks, gels, bonds – however you want to name it – that’s what we do.
So, we felt it was important to share how we came to join forces because the values we share as a team are the values we uphold in business.
Let’s get back to our story …
Back in the early days, it was all about football.
Our two friends, Sean and Terry, shared a vision; they wanted to be the best that they could be.
Sean’s career in football had been cut short after a knee injury destroyed his chances of continuing in the game, so he’d been looking for something else to get passionate about. Life after football had been difficult for Sean and, being the younger of the two, he would often turn to Terry for advice. They created a great friendship and a lifelong bond.
Terry’s beginnings couldn’t have been more different. A Yorkshire lad, Terry’s first job was as a coal miner and from there he spent 15 years working as a firefighter. But Terry was interested in people, and more specifically in helping ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. His passion for understanding why people do what they do led him to become a life coach and human behaviourist. An exceptional one.
Terry and Sean decided to form a partnership and Fidelis was born.
Terry was keen to help business owners. As a business owner himself (Terry owned a fire safety company by then) he was aware of the challenges of owning a company and how tough and stressful that can be. In his mastermind groups and coaching life, he was mentoring scores of other like-minded business people, often who went along to one of Terry’s events to sort out both personal and business challenges. One of those people was Guy Bartlett. Multiple business owner and entrepreneur, Guy went along believing he was going to be coached on becoming more organised.
Instead, Guy was blown away by how much Terry’s session changed his mindset. Literally, the experience had a life-changing effect.
Equally, Terry was also blown away when he went to watch Guy speaking about buying businesses, Guy’s major area of expertise. It felt natural to join forces. They quickly established a strong relationship based on shared values, shared experiences and mutual respect. Guy joined Fidelis as a third partner and within months of starting up, Fidelis completed its first acquisition. The leadership team at Fidelis was then completed by Wendy Turner-Hargreaves, a marketeer with twenty years of experience who had worked with Guy as an Account Director in Guy’s marketing agency. Lastly they were joined by Trevor Stephenson-Platt, a hugely respected and knowledgeable hedge fund manager, MD and finance expert.
The evolution of the company continued, and very quickly Fidelis began to occupy a niche in the M&A market. Unusually for an investment company, Fidelis began to focus on the SME market, a sector overlooked by most private equity investors. SME’s are the true backbone of the UK economy. But not only that, SMEs provide unlimited opportunities for enhancement and growth. These smaller organisations, typical producing revenues of £2M-£20M are often family-run, lifestyle businesses. They’re run by the kind of people that Fidelis understands well, because everyone in the team has been, or is, a business owner.
The Fidelis mission is to buy, enhance and grow owner-managed businesses to reward business owners for all their hard work. We protect the legacy of every company we buy, fiercely and with a passion, because we know how hard business owners work to make their company a success. We cherish the history because it then becomes part of ours too.
Our story ends in the present day. More acquisitions followed the first one in 2017 and the group now has a combined revenue of £25M. Our vision is to continue growing through acquisition so that more business owners, partners and in turn their families, are rewarded for all that hard work and commitment.
Our reason for telling this story is a simple one. We want you to get to know us. Our team is your team and we want to share our vision with you.
At Fidelis, we are always pleased to hear from business owners who are looking to sell or exit their business. Wherever you are in the process, for a confidential, no obligation discussion please get in touch.Book a consultation
Fill in your details below to receive your free guide.