Investors in People – Patrick Pounds


November 3rd, 2023


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Vesta Software Group

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Vesta Investors in People

In this feature of our Investors in People series, we sat down with Patrick Pounds, who heads up our Deal Origination activities in the UK and Northern Europe. He talks us through a typical day working in M&A and shares a few things for owners to consider if they’re thinking of selling their software business.

How did your journey with the group begin?

My background before joining Vesta was in Wealth Management. I’d completed a degree in Accounting & Finance and spent 2 years working as an Investment Manager. During that time, I’d realised that the industry wasn’t quite for me, but I did find a love for the relationship management side of the job and knew this was something I wanted to pursue.

I subsequently joined the Vesta team in April 2022 and haven’t looked back!

Not too long ago I was promoted, which meant I’ve taken on the responsibility of managing our Research team in Europe, who focus on identifying leads before handing them over for me to start building relationships with the owners.

We’ve grown significantly in the time since I joined and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for myself and the team.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My days are often a mix and match of everything from external conversations to research and networking events. I’ll usually have anywhere between 1 and 4 conversations with CEOs or management teams across Europe each day, which could be an initial introduction, or a catch up call just to touch base.

One of the great things about working in M&A is that no two days are the same. Things can change in a split second, so I’m always keeping my ear to the ground. This could be in preparation for new leads, or just to stay on top of politics and what’s happening across the vertical markets we operate in.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My favourite aspect of this job is being able to talk to so many different people. I was often told off in school for talking too much, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise!

There aren’t many positions out there that give you the chance to have conversations with successful business owners that have built multi-million pound organisations from the ground up. It’s always incredible to hear their stories and be able to share how our ecosystem and philosophy can be a good fit for them should they decide to sell.

Is there a part of your role you find challenging?

When trying to acquire and work with the best software companies from all over the world, I’ve found that the challenge here is in the competitive nature of the market and how much it’s constantly changing. Everyone is pushing each other to become better.

We have a saying here at Vesta that “people are our greatest assets”. To thrive within the vertical markets we operate, we have to find the best developers and corporate teams there are. It’s one of our biggest challenges, but one we welcome with open arms.

Can you tell us about the learning and development opportunities the group offers?

Personal and professional development is done so well at Vesta. Each and every person I’ve met here is open and willing to pass on their knowledge and experiences, drilling this down through to the next generation of teams across the group.

The faith and trust that has been put in me by the team is incomparable. When I joined I was only 24, and within my first year I’d pitched to 300 CEOs across Europe. Since then, this has only continued and given me significant exposure to see and speak with people from all different backgrounds. I can’t think of another role that would give me that opportunity.

Recently, I also got to take part in the Jonas Software Academy. The event was focused on investing in the groups’ future leaders, bringing together individuals from all around the world for 3 days of knowledge sharing, learning and networking.

There’s so much scope and flexibility at Vesta that I feel there’s no ceiling to my own development.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to progress in their career or business?

One of the best things I could recommend is exploring all of your opportunities. It’s about being selfish to an extent so that you can figure out where you want to take your career. I did about 3 or 4 different internships while at university which allowed me to dip my feet in the water and work out what made me tick. Doing so meant I could find a career that married with my personality as an extrovert who thrived on building relationships.

It sounds cliché, but another important element is networking as much as you can. Building that rapport and maintaining genuine professional connections can be extremely beneficial down the line. Essentially, the more exposure you can get the better.

What would you say to a business owner who is thinking of selling?

If you’re looking for a forever home for your business where it will continue to grow well into the future, Vesta could be the perfect option for you. We focus on giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to decide their future – whether that be staying on with the business in whatever capacity they wish, or leaving to focus on new ventures.

For your company, it’s very much a ‘business as usual’ scenario. We champion a decentralised structure and encourage businesses to maintain full autonomy of their operations. Rather than taking over the planning and execution of strategies, we’ll be here to support your team in any way we can with continued investment, access to international markets and an open culture of knowledge sharing.

We’re not here for our own self-interest. We’re here to build a family of likeminded individuals who support, motivate and challenge each other. If it sounds like we may be a good fit for your business, why not have an informal chat with us today?