Be more MACHO!

Date: Tuesday 26th September 2023
Time: 12:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Location: Manchester Central, Windmill Street, , M2 3GX
Cost: £45 member / £60 non-member/ £425 member table of 10 / £575 non-member table of 10
Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity
Key Events
Member Event

Over the past few decades nearly every organisation has focused on improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Some good progress has been made - but more needs to be done. The pace of change is way too slow and we need to better support women especially those who are in that intense “Endurance” phase of their careers.

To drive real change, we need a framework to engage properly with men and unlock lots of small things that together help support a more diverse team, actively champion equity, and ensure inclusion is felt by all.

The MACHO programme is an acronym for 5 simple, actionable steps that we can all do today to help improve DE&I across our organisations and wider business community.

M = Meaningful Mentors

A = Amplify Awareness

C = Capture Confidence

H = Harmony with Home

O = Orchestrate Opportunities

At this interactive pro-manchester lunch, we will be hearing from 10 individuals (5 men and 5 women) from across the vibrant North Deals community as they come together to discuss what being MACHO means to them.

The session will be led by Rebecca Rennison (Corporate Finance partner at EY) and Simon Dixon (Head of Leveraged Finance at HSBC). Simon inspired Rebecca to create the MACHO programme and she has held numerous workshops gathering feedback with real life examples that provide a clear roadmap.

Come and hear their stories and learn some practical steps to improve DE&I and realise the many benefits of being more MACHO!

About the Speakers:

Rebecca Rennison Corporate Finance Partner - EY

Rebecca is a partner at EY in Manchester focused on Corporate Finance M&A. She has over 20 years’ experience helping shareholders unlock value by completing transformational transactions with private equity and global strategic trade. Born in Manchester, she spent 15 years with a North American investment bank whilst living in Vancouver, Canada. Rebecca is very passionate about DE&I and actively shares her experiences including her Work Life Harmony Handguide and Confidence Boosting Alphabet. She chairs EY’s Corporate Finance Women’s Network and created the “Be More MACHO” programme to help support a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Rebecca was recognised as a “Changemaker” at the 2022 Yorkshire Rainmakers Awards and was added to the exclusive Northern Power Women POWER list in 2023.

Simon Dixon Senior Director, Business Development, North West - Thincats

Simon has more than 30 years of banking experience, including more than 15 years in private equity-backed leverage finance. Simon recently served as HSBC’s Head of Mid-Market Financial Sponsors in the North. Having held the role for nearly a decade, Simon is well-known in the North west business lending market. Prior to HSBC Simon worked for Clydesdale & Yorkshire Bank and Lloyds Bank.

ThinCats provides £1-15m in long-term debt funding tailored to the needs of mid-sized businesses.

Charlotte Ashton Founder - Implicit Advisory Ltd

Charlotte has been advising business owners for over 20 years as a Corporate Financier, with boutique and national firms, and latterly as a Private Equity investor and Executive Coach. Charlotte is the Founder of Implicit Advisory Ltd, a coaching and training provider with an independent, founder focused approach to succession and sale planning. The framework is delivered through a combination of digital lesson content, 1:1 and peer group coaching, to prepare business owners for succession and sale by connecting personal objectives with strategic planning. Empowering business owners to take control of their transition away the business whilst maximising business value. Charlotte is also an angel investor and Funding and Exit Strategy Board Advisor to investor backed businesses. Charlotte has championed social and gender inclusion throughout her career and continues to support individuals in the business, investment and professional services community through pro-bono mentoring and coaching.

Paul Medlicott Partner - Addleshaw Goddard

Paul is a Partner at Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester. He leads the 40-strong Corporate team locally – over half of whom are female – where the whole team recognise that we are part way on a journey to be as diverse and inclusive as possible. He acts on all aspects of M&A and corporate investment and is a Private Equity specialist. Paul manages relationships with a number of corporate and institutional clients, but also frequently acts for individuals, families and shareholders of private companies who are selling their business. In doing so, he understands what is important for those shareholders and helps to ease them comfortably through the legal aspects of a transaction.

Michelle Sung Director - HSBC

Michelle is a Director working within HSBC Leeds Leveraged Finance team with time spent providing financing for private equity backed businesses located in the Yorkshire, North East & Scotland regions. Prior to which she had spent 5 years working with HSBC in the North West region. She originally started her career with NatWest.

Sid Hussain Partner - PwC

Sid is a PwC Partner who leads their Regional Transactions business. He has 25 years of deal experience working with Private Equity and Corporate clients. He has undertaken 100s of acquisition, vendor and refinancing due diligence projects for his clients across a variety of sectors.  He is also a Deals ColourBrave Sponsor (focused on improving the experience of ME staff in Deals), a Career Coach to three working mums and a sponsor to two women in PwC’s Advancing Female Talent in Deals programme.

Lizzy Tindall Corporate Partner - Eversheds Sutherland

Lizzy is a corporate partner at Eversheds Sutherland, with a focus on private equity. Lizzy’s clients include large corporates, private equity houses, private equity backed businesses and management teams. Lizzy is listed in the current editions of Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, was included within Legal Week’s 2019 article entitled ’40 Under 40: The Rising Stars in Private Equity’ and was awarded the title of ‘Associate of the Year’ at the Manchester Law Society Legal Awards in 2016.

Pinesh Mehta Investor - BGF

Pinesh joined BGF in September 2015 as an Investor based in Manchester. Pinesh is involved in all aspects of the investment process from origination through to completion and supports companies throughout the investment hold period. Pinesh has led numerous investments at BGF, across a range of sectors but has a particular focus on the technology/software sector.  Prior to joining BGF, Pinesh spent 11 years at KPMG including 8 years in the Corporate Finance team in Manchester where he gained extensive experience advising vendors, private equity and management teams on a range of mid-market M&A transactions.  Prior to joining KPMG, he gained a degree in Mathematics with Management from the University College London. He is married with three children and outside of work spends the majority of his time with his family and keeps fit by occasionally playing football and racket sports.

Nicola McQuaid Investment Manager - Northedge Capital

Nicola joined NorthEdge in 2016 with over 10 years’ experience in M&A.  She spent three years at JLA where she was part of a Private Equtiy backed management team and led on acquisitions.  Nicola was an Assistant Director in PwC Corporate Finance before joining JLA and has advised on a variety of deals, including buyouts, acquisitions and disposals across a range of sectors. Nicola was recognised as a “Changemaker” at the 2023 Yorkshire Rainmakers Awards.

Ben Wildsmith Partner - EY-Parthenon

Ben is a Partner in EY-Parthenon based in Manchester with over 20 years of corporate finance experience. Ben works with businesses providing broader strategy and transactional services to clients in the form of financial and operational analysis and strategic options, mergers and acquisitions and debt advisory.  His engagement with the diverse North business population is extended by his lead role as Partner sponsor for EY’s flagship Entrepreneur of the Year programme in the North.   Ben is an EY national talent lead, mentor & advocate (internally and externally through a professional women network) and cares passionately about people and their development / opportunities.  Ben is married to Katherine and has two daughters.


Louise Stephenson Director - Rowan Executive Search

Louise leads the Private Equity Growth Division for Rowan Executive Search supporting the SME market and specialising in placing C-Suite roles across the UK. Louise has over 20 years executive search experience, is qualified to CIPD level 5, personally sat at SMT level, managed a number of large sales teams and has an exceptional knowledge of the Northwest marketplace. She came out of the corporate world over 7 years ago and joined Rowan – a PE-backed, fast-paced, entrepreneur led business – to enable the next stage of her journey balancing senior leadership with her role as a mum. Louise also hosts a quarterly Empowering Women in Business to orchestrate more opportunities for females at board level as well as tackling the wider DE&I agenda.

Stephen Roberts Partner - ECI Partners

Stephen is a Partner at ECI in Manchester and part of its Investment Team. ECI is a leading growth-focused private equity firm, which launched its internal D&I strategy in 2019. Stephen leads investments into growth businesses and works closely with them throughout the lifecycle of the investment. He enjoys meeting with exciting businesses and inspirational management teams.  He joined ECI in 2014 after spending his earlier career advising tech and services businesses at PwC and has since worked with a number of software investments, having led investments into Mobysoft and Ciphr, and previously worked with CPOMS. Stephen studied Economics and Politics at the University of York and holds an ACA.

Interested In The Event?

If you’re interested in attending, you can book online here.

For any further enquires about this event, contact [email protected]

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