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75+ years of combined experience in acquiring and growing professional services businesses

The Team
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Founding partners, Matthew Eatough and Henry Smithers, bring together over 45 years of combined experience in acquiring and growing professional services businesses.  We have worked together for the past five years and been involved in a large number of specialty consulting investment projects in UK and US. Over the past 10 years, we have built relationships with target businesses, entrepreneurs and corporates; and maintain access to an extensive network of advisors, industry experts and financing sources to help us add value to our portfolio companies. 

Mark Sherfield, former COO and CFO of BDO LLP, brings decades of professional services M&A, operations and integration experience and sits on the board of our firm.

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Mark Sherfield
Henry Smithers

Mark was CFO of BDO LLP from 1999 until 2020 including a term as COO from 2010 to 2016. He joined BDO Stoy Hayward in March 1999 with the merger of Moores Rowland where he had been a Corporate Advisory partner from 1988 – 1997 and Finance Partner (CFO) from 1997 – 1999.  He qualified as ACA in 1986.


Mark has overseen 11 mergers and acquisitions of professional services firms and also managed financial reporting to some 250 equity partners.  

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Matthew Eatough

Prior to EST Partners, Matthew founded and led Proxima Group and was chairman of the board up until its sale to Bain & Company in 2022. Proxima is a specialist procurement advisory platform with operations in Europe and US. Over the past 20 years, Proxima has grown to be recognized by Fortune 500 corporates for its domain expertise and IP-led delivery. With over 230 consultants, it is one of the world’s largest procurement consultancies.


Prior to Proxima, Matthew founded and exited (sold to uSwitch) and has been active in the development of supply chain analytics software. He is also chairman of Meronimi and a board member of Flow & Ebb. 

Prior to EST Partners, Henry led the UK Business Services M&A team at Duff & Phelps, where he focused on professional services sector transactions, helping shareholders of mid-sized consultancies on mergers, acquisitions and recapitalisations. Henry also led the European Financial Sponsor coverage team.  

Prior to Duff & Phelps, Henry was co-founder of a VC-backed mobile loyalty platform. Prior to this, Henry was an investment director at Starwood Capital Group covering UK and Nordic investments.  Henry started his career in M&A at Gleacher (New York, London) and JPMorgan Cazenove (London).  He holds a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Sydney and an MBA from INSEAD.

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