Dealmaker to lead new office

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Well-known Yorkshire dealmaker Roger Esler has launched a new office for specialist corporate finance advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts.

Mr Esler, 45, who retired from the Leeds office of Deloitte last year after more than 20 years in the region’s corporate finance market, will lead the Yorkshire office of the Manchester-based firm, which is ranked 15th largest corporate adviser in the UK by volume.

The office, which will initially focus on corporate finance before branching out into financial and management due diligence services and equity finance, is based at Thorpe Park in Leeds.

James Dow, co-founder of Dow Schofield Watts which was established in 2002, said it decided to launch the Yorkshire office after attracting Mr Esler to lead the team. “Now is a very good time to do it because we’ve got an outstanding individual in Roger,” he said. “Our business is built around really good people providing excellent corporate finance service.”

Mr Esler’s first task is to build a small team of up to four senior staff.

Mergers and acquisitions activity remains subdued across the UK, including Yorkshire, and has been compounded by concerns over the cost and availability of capital, particularly debt.

However, Mr Esler said there was plenty other corporate finance work about. “We see businesses ensuring they are appropriately financed and that they have the right facilities and structures in place, not only to take them through the next couple of years but also to support their longer term strategic objectives,” he said.

“We hope we will be welcomed into the Yorkshire business community and we can share some of the opportunities in that market.”