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The Team


Managing Director

Rob has worked in deal origination for more than 18 years, before it was really recognised as a stand-alone specialist discipline in many firms’ eyes.

He started his corporate career in executive search, specialising in research and approach. After numerous successful placements, he began applying the same techniques to identify and secure interest from potential acquisition targets for clients.

In 2005, he launched the pioneering Corporate Services division of Ellis Fairbank plc; a PE-backed mid-market search firm, sourcing MBI opportunities for senior executives, before starting a similar practice at global search firm Odgers Berndtson.

In 2010 Rob left to become an independent consultant, trading as Cadenza, where he provided outsourced deal origination for MBI candidates and private equity firms, before moving back in-house to the then newly formed Business Growth Fund where he headed up Direct Origination nationally, overseeing a hugely successful push into sourcing off-market opportunities.

In the spring of 2016 he left BGF to launch Clifden Consulting, with a mission to make the business Europe’s leading authority on deal origination for investors and corporate clients.

Rob is a regular guest speaker on the topic of origination and business development; and in a former life, was an accomplished semi-pro musician, promoter and music journalist.



Richard has over 25 years’ experience in private equity. As a Partner at 3i, he led investment teams in the UK, before becoming a founding partner of 3i’s Growth Capital business. This involved working for 2 years in Germany; then leading the £2.5bn Global Growth Capital Portfolio and being a member of the Global Leadership team.

In 2011, Richard left 3i to launch BGF as Head of Investments where he was responsible for recruiting and leading the teams across the UK and developing a unique investment model and business development strategy.

Within 4 years, BGF became the UK’s leading investor in fast growth businesses with over £500m invested. Core to this success was an ambitious and focused approach to building direct relationships with target businesses thereby nurturing a sustainable and growing off market pipeline of opportunities.

Richard now works independently as a Chairman and Investor in high growth businesses, both private equity backed and independent.


Non-Executive Director

Jonathan joined Clifden as a Non-Executive Director in 2017. Jonathan was part of the MBI team that acquired Office and General Environmental Services in 2006. He subsequently grew the business to a £40m t/o group before selling to Mortice PLC, one of Asia's leading facilities and security companies in 2015. Since the acquisition he has focussed on acquiring and growing assets within the Social Care sector.


Divisional Director

Jas works on several projects across the business, utilising his significant deal origination experience. After graduating he began his career at Deloitte, where he worked on strategic acquisitions before moving to ad agency McCann Erickson as new business lead, primarily focusing on acquisitions within the industrial and automotive sector.

After that he headed up Midlands Direct Origination for Business Growth Fund, developing proprietary off market deal flow and driving up the quantity of investments made, working alongside several business leaders and entrepreneurs to support their investment growth.

In his spare time Jas can be found working out at the gym, or sampling fine dining restaurants with Tom and Rob, always looking for the healthiest and meatiest option. He’s recently taken up golf, albeit he spends most of his time in club house drinking coffee. Jas is a keen car enthusiast and has a partial stake in a luxury car modification and sales business.


Project Director

Catherine joins Clifden as a Project Director, and as part of the group's leadership team has responsibilities across new business development, project management and the overall growth of the business.

Catherine has spent over 12 years working in Corporate Finance, Investment banking and Private Equity in a variety of roles, more latterly, Talent Manager at NorthEdge Capital LLP, a regional Private Equity firm with £900m FUM.

She has a broad understanding of the Private Equity landscape and deal environments and has worked both pre and post-deal in an origination and talent capacity, building relationships with Non-Executives, Management Teams and Operating Partners to maximise value creation and increase deal flow.

Catherine lives in Oxfordshire with her partner and Portuguese Water dog and enjoys the outdoor life (so long as there is a gastropub within reach)!


Head of Research

Tom heads up the research function at Clifden and assists with client approach.

After gaining his undergraduate degree and masters from UCL and LSE respectively Tom began his career setting up two businesses, one of which was importing Eastern European wines. Realising converting the UK to Slovenian, Moldovan and Czech wines (as delicious as they are) was going to be a long term process he began his finance career in earnest, initially leading the deal origination function for a London-based private equity firm before joining Clifden in February 2018.

Much of Tom’s spare time is devoted to food and he follows the UK restaurant scene avidly, despite having zero skill in the kitchen himself. His love of travel favours the more obscure destination – recent trips being made to Armenia, Kazakhstan, lesser known Transnistria and, combining both passions, a destination farmhouse restaurant in the Basque Country hills. Not forgetting his ‘mild’ Japan obsession, visiting once a year.

Tom currently volunteers for a local housing residents committee and is looking to expand his voluntary efforts locally. He is a keen and often frustrated follower of Manchester United.


Research and Operations

Alison has been delivering support to Clifden Consulting since 2017. Her professional background is in IT and Public Sector Procurement.

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