What have you missed the most about being in the office?
The hidden productivity and social benefits of sitting next to your colleagues on a day-to-day basis. Whilst we have been very fortunate to be able to keep working when other industries have had far tighter restrictions, I’ve missed the face-to-face conversations that can seem inconsequential at the time, but actually drive you forward. I look forward to the Microsoft Teams ringtone not being the most played tune in my flat!
What have you learnt from working through a pandemic?
It has reinforced the importance of digital infrastructure. It would have been inconceivable for this to happen 25 years ago and for millions of businesses to, at the drop of a hat, transition to complete remote working. It has demonstrated how agile people can be, and how they can adapt.
Have you taken up any new hobbies during lockdown?
I’ve become one of those people that does online gym classes in their living room, which is not something I would have foreseen pre March 2020! It’s been a useful way of breaking up days on end spent in the same room, and I’ve actually rather enjoyed it.
What are you looking forward to most when lockdown ends?
Getting married! Our wedding was supposed to take place in July 2020, so we’re looking forward to finally celebrating with our loved ones when we are fully able to.
How has M&A activity changed over the last year?
In early April last year, all conversations seemed to centre on whether you could actually get a deal completed with no face-to-face meetings and being unable to look someone in the eye prior to signing. It’s been amazing how quickly that has become accepted, and in many ways it has helped to streamline sale/fundraising processes.
Have you noticed any particular trends in M&A activity over the last year?
I think everyone was aware that cloud infrastructure was important prior to the pandemic, but the situation has given us a 15-month experiment demonstrating how it’s now essential. Consequently, buyers and investors are circling the market looking for both platforms and complementary services, meaning there are huge opportunities for digital transformation businesses with strong fundamentals.
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