Edwards Advisory is a boutique aerospace and defence consultancy providing strategic business and transaction advisory services.

 

Career Summary
I am a successful senior aerospace and defence (A&D) industry and investment banking executive with over 25 years experience in a broad range of roles and responsibilities.  I have just established my own boutique consultancy, Edwards Advisory Partners Limited, to provide strategic business and transaction advisory services in the A&D sector.  Most recently I was focused on A&D investment banking and in the last 10 years I built a leading A&D advisory business in Europe.  Prior to that, I was a senior executive in industry starting my career in 1982 as an apprentice at British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) who sponsored me through university and then business school.  I progressed to Head of Strategy for the newly formed Defence Systems division, reporting in to a main Board Director.  In 1994 I moved to Smiths Aerospace where I developed through senior roles in finance, marketing and strategy, culminating in being on the Board of this $2bn revenue business responsible for corporate strategy, acquisitions and divestments.  In 2001 I moved to Quarterdeck, a boutique A&D investment bank, to set up their European operation.  Quarterdeck was soon acquired by Jefferies, my last employer, and during the course of the past 10 years I have built the business from nothing into one of Europe’s leading A&D investment banking adviser, with peak revenue of over $10m per annum.


Key Attributes
I have a multi disciplinary international A&D business background.  I have worked in most commercial aerospace and defence sectors from avionics to machining to weapons; I have had senior executive roles in finance, marketing, strategy and corporate development; I have lived and worked in the US and I am currently active with A&D clients across Europe and the US.
I haves strong management and leadership skills at Director and Board levels.  In my current role I continuously interact with and advise Boards of Directors, shareholders and senior executives on high value, time critical business decisions.  During my time at Smiths I was on the executive management Boards of various businesses and active in their day to day running.
I am a proven commercial negotiator in the international A&D environment.  I have negotiated contracts across Europe, US and Canada often worth hundreds of millions of dollars with global A&D companies such as Rheinmetall, Chemring, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin.
I have a long, successful track record in international corporate strategy and development, which has allowed me to develop a strong balance of technical skills, experience and personality to adeptly manage internal and external counter parties and the corporate strategy and development process.
I am a strong team leader and team player and have consistently built high performing teams throughout my career.  I am persuasive and decisive in a team context but always keen to listen, learn and incorporate other team members’ inputs.
I am a very good communicator whether in small groups or large audiences.  I have a very strong financial background and deal with complex information on a daily basis.  I am a creative strategic thinker yet able to translate this into coherent, actionable plans.


Education
MBA from Cranfield School of Management (1989-1990); BSc Hons 2:1 Computer Science from University of Manchester (1983-1986); 3 A levels and 8 O levels.

 


Career History

 

Director and Founder, Edwards Advisory Partners Limited, London
September 2013 to present

In September 2013, I established Edwards Advisory Partners Limited, a boutique aerospace and defence consultancy providing strategic business and transaction advisory services. Edwards Advisory provides concise, insightful, time critical analysis and advice that significantly enhances the quality, effectiveness and timeliness of clients’ strategic and investment decisions and their subsequent implementation.

 

Managing Director, Jefferies International Limited, London
April 2001 to August 2013

I led the European A&D investment banking activities of Jefferies International, a global investment bank.  Managing a small, high performing team and working with my peers within Jefferies on a global basis, my responsibility was to originate and execute investment banking mandates within the European A&D sector.  My specific responsibilities included building long term relationships with senior executives in A&D companies and private equity firms; providing advice to clients, primarily at Board level; managing the activities to execute the mandate; building and developing people and teams; and negotiating contracts.  I was also part of the operational management team of Jefferies International and I was a Director of a Jefferies Capital shipping company based in Bermuda. I started in investment banking in April 2001 at Quarterdeck Investment Partners, which was acquired by Jefferies in 2002.  I had to build the European business up from scratch, recruiting people and putting in place the regulatory and financial controls whilst simultaneously developing a client base and winning new business.  The business has been very profitable since 2003 and, at its peak, generated $10m revenue per annum with 5 direct employees.


Director Strategy, Smiths Aerospace Group
October 1994 to March 2001

In my 6 years at Smiths Aerospace Group I performed a number of senior roles within this global A&D business.  Originally leading the financial planning for a $150m revenue civil aerospace business unit, I moved to the US in a strategic planning role and also became responsible for the sales and marketing activities of one division.  I re-energised the sales team, introduced new sales techniques and tools and led successful sales campaigns into Airbus, Boeing and Raytheon.  The new business Smiths secured at Airbus was its first sale to Airbus in almost 20 years.  As Smiths developed, my role changed to become responsible for group strategy and mergers and acquisitions for the Aerospace Group, based back in the UK.  I became a key member of Smiths Aerospace executive management team and participated in all the business unit reviews.  I led the activities on a number of successful acquisitions in the defence and aerospace sectors.  When Smiths Group merged with TI Group in late 2000, I was appointed Project Director for the integration of the two $1bn revenue aerospace businesses into a single $2bn+ global business. 


Head of Strategy BAE Systems Defence
September 1982 to September 1994

I joined British Aerospace’s military aircraft division as an undergraduate engineering apprentice.  I worked before, during and after, my university degree in a number of different functional areas, from computer programming to the machine shop.  After graduation, I worked as a computer scientist in a newly formed team, resulting in my presenting at international conferences at 24 years old.  I was then sponsored by British Aerospace to undertake an MBA at Cranfield School of Management and then progressed to become Head of Strategy for BAE Systems Defence, reporting in to a main board director.  I managed a team of 25 people covering market research, competitor analysis and strategic planning.  During this period I was also heavily involved in the joint venture activities that led to the creation of MBDA, the pan European missile company.

 


Directorship Experience
Below is a summary of my specific experience acting as a Director of a business and interfacing with Boards and other Directors.

Dates

Title

Director Related Role

2013 Onwards

Director and Founder
Edwards Advisory

Founding and managing my own limited company to provide strategic advice to

2001 to 2013

Managing Director
Jefferies International

Regularly advise Boards of Directors, CEOs and CFOs of large, medium and small public and private companies.

2009 to 2013

Director
Bermuda Shipping

Director of a Jefferies Capital portfolio company, Bermuda Shipping, that is seeking to acquire tankers.

2009 to 2011

Operating Committee
Jefferies International

One of eight Managing Directors on the Operating Committee of the European Investment Bank division. 

2001 to 2003

Senior Executive Officer
Quarterdeck Investment Partners

The senior person from an FSA regulatory definition, responsible for Quarterdeck’s activities in the UK and Europe.

1999 to 2001

Director Strategy
Smiths Aerospace

On the Board of Smiths Aerospace Group, a $2bn division of Smiths plc.

1995 to 1999

Director Marketing and Strategy
Civil Systems Division
Smiths Aerospace

Reporting to the CEO of this US Headquartered $200m revenue business unit.

1994 to 1996

Director Sales
Civil Systems Cheltenham
Smiths Aerospace

Appointed interim Sales Director for this £50m revenue business unit and leading role in the management team during its repositioning.

1992 to 1994

Head of Strategy
BAE Systems Defence

Regular interface with the Board of Directors of this $5bn global defence business.