Eric Ward joins Partner team of Drake Star Partners in London

24 May 2018

Corporate finance consulting firm Drake Star Partners has appointed Eric Ward to its Partner team. Ward, a former Managing Director with Stella Capital Advisors, has deep M&A experience and has been involved in a number of major deals, including the sale of, and capital raises for the likes of Tesco subsidiary dunnhumby.

Serving the technology, media and communications sectors (TMC) with offices in New York, London, Paris, Munich, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, Amsterdam, Geneva and Tokyo, Drake Star Partners focuses on M&A and corporate finance for its clients on a global basis. Drake Star Partners has completed over 300 transactions since 2004, 70% of which were cross-border deals. 

As the global consultancy works to strengthen and expand its capacities in the UK, the firm has appointed senior investment banker Eric Ward a Partner in the firm’s London office. Ward has over 15 years of M&A and industry experience, with a distinct focus on e-commerce and digital marketing, including retail tech, ad tech, martech, analytics and AI.

Most recently this saw Drake Star’s new Partner work as a Managing Director with Stella Capital Advisors. Over a five-year spell at the group, Ward oversaw a number of substantial transactions, including advising Honeycomb on its merger with Group IMD, guiding Hitfox Group (Berlin) through its secondary sale of shares in Finleap, Anatwine on its fundraising and subsequent sale to Zalando. Ward also advised dunnhumby, a subsidiary 100% owned by retail giant Tesco, on its acquisition of Sociomantic.

Eric Ward, Partner - Drake Star Partners

Prior to this, Ward spent over three years with goetzPartners Corporate Finance, where he became a Director in Digital Media before exiting in 2012. During that time, the firm assisted in a number of transactions as well, including the sale of Absolute Radio's content delivery network business to Ipercast, and the sale of rapidly growing ecommerce platform to Cyrte Investments, both 2009. Prior to that, he worked at M&A advisory firm Greenhill & Co and Deutsche Bank, focussing on digital.

Marc Deschamps, Executive Chairman at Drake Star Partners, commented, “Eric brings a wealth of experience to our London office and to our global senior team. His sector knowledge in e-commerce and digital marketing coupled with his deep understanding of the key value drivers for companies, ecosystem of investors and buyers in these verticals, will prove to be immensely valuable to Drake Star Partners and to our clients globally, especially as we propel our firm into its next growth stage.”

Eric Ward himself said of his new role, “I am thrilled to join a technology-focused investment bank with an already impressive global track-record in marketing technology, e-commerce and the broader technology, media and communications sectors. Drake Star is ideally positioned as a partner of choice to our clients given our deep industry coverage in both the US and European markets.” 

Related: Drake Star Partners London promotes Kasper Kruse Petersen to Partner.

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Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019

Three senior level consultants have been boosted to the rank of Partner at Quantum Advisory, as the firm works to meet heightened levels of client demand. Aled Edwards, Amanda Burdge and Chris Heirene become Partners as long-time Quantum member Rob Davies retires in May after 15 years as a Partner at the firm.

Founded in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members, with five offices across the UK. The firm has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, following a number of major client wins and booming demand for its services. It opened a new office in Bristol in 2016 to service the South West and in 2017 relocated its Cardiff office to a larger site within the Welsh capital to house the increased workforce. More recently, Quantum relocated its Amersham, Birmingham and London offices to more spacious premises in the centre of both cities to cope with demand.

The financial services consultancy, which employs 115 people across the UK, has promoted three senior team members to Partner, as part of its wider growth plans. The firm has moved Aled Edwards from Principal Consultant & Actuary, while Amanda Burdge has ascended from Principal Investment Consultant. Chris Heirene, former IT Manager, has also joined the ten current Partners at Quantum.

Aled Edwards most recently managed the actuarial team within Quantum’s Cardiff office as well as providing technical training for all staff. He boasts more than 17 years of pensions experience. He started his career as an Actuary at Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s Bristol wing, before joining Quantum in 2011. Edwards is also the President of the Welsh Actuarial Society (WAS), which supports actuaries and actuarial students living or working in Wales.

Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of Partners

Amanda Burdge joined Quantum’s team in 2001, as one of the fledgling firm’s first employees. Most recently she was a Principal Investment Consultant with the firm, and with more than a quarter of a century’s experience in the sector, she is responsible for providing investment advice to many of Quantum’s key clients with both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Prior to her time with Quantum, Burdge spent two years as a consultant with SBJ Benefit Consultants (now Capita), and three years with Tesco Pension Trustees. She currently sits on the Regulation Committee for the Pensions Management Institute.

Chris Heirene initially worked with Quantum as an IT Consultant with Teamwork Technology Services and then UES for over five years, before finally joining the firm itself in 2011. He is now responsible for Quantum’s IT systems across all of its offices, including the network and core server infrastructure which supports the business. Heirene is heavily involved in utilising IT to improve and build upon the processes in place throughout Quantum.

David Deidun, Partner at Quantum Advisory, said of the promotions, “This is a very exciting time for Quantum. The recent round of promotions fully recognise the hard work and dedication shown by the three, all of whom go above and beyond for the company. I’ve no doubt that Aled, Amanda and Chris will settle into their new roles with ease and look forward to working together to grow Quantum even further.”

The news comes as Rob Davies retires in May, after spending fifteen years as a Partner at Quantum. A qualified actuary, Davies was instrumental in setting up Quantum’s Investment Division, specialising in aiding clients with their investment strategies. He will remain with the company on a part-time consultancy basis, while working with several clients in the Fiduciary Manager area.