Armstrong works alongside investors and management teams to deliver successful acquisitions, operational improvements and profitable exits.


    Armstrong works alongside investors and management teams to deliver successful acquisitions, operational improvements and profitable exits.

  • expertise
  • Expertise

  • about
  • About

  • Armstrong is founded on independence, integrity and clear commercial advice


    Armstrong was founded to deliver investors and management teams alike with refreshingly conclusive Commercial Due Diligence based on deep understanding of a business and its marketplace.

    Having successfully built one Commercial Due Diligence practice from scratch, Tom Raymond created Armstrong as a new type of business that embodies our values as well as delivering good work.

    As owner-managers, we understand that the business lives or dies by our credibility.

    We aim to be the Commercial Due Diligence provider of choice for mid market private equity transactions in the UK.

    Armstrong do

    • Clearly and unequivocally state our insights and conclusions
    • Quantify the impact of these insights on the business plan and valuation
    • Build close relationships with all parties – clients, management teams and other advisors – to provide advice that will be useful beyond the timeframe of the transaction
    • Identify the available exit options and make operational recommendations to maximise returns
    • Let you work with a senior director, always

    Armstrong don't

    • Draw unclear conclusions and shroud them in caveats or pages of disclaimers
    • Provide partial vendor due diligence – commercial challenge and impartiality is retained whomever the client
    • Push-sell clients follow on consulting services
    • Worry about conflicting agendas with our corporate finance, accounting or strategy divisions – we don’t have any
  • Testimonials

  • Armstrong have supported Envirotec through our initial MBI, the subsequent MBO and our bolt-on acquisition of Westway Cooling. Armstrong’s approach to understanding our niche market has enabled us to make informed decisions based on the commercial reality.

    Chris Lister, MD, Envirotec

  • Armstrong understood the value in FDM’s unique Mountie operational model from a very early stage. They were able to understand the business drivers and scale of opportunity, then communicate this effectively. We have subsequently worked with the team to refine our strategy and on other areas of tactical development.

    Rod Flavell, CEO, FDM Group

  • Armstrong has provided concept testing and development support for all of CloserStill’s events. We value their ability to spot additional opportunities in a new concept, and identify what the difficulties are going to be when launching a new show. That gives our operational teams the chance to develop solutions before they have even happened.

    Ralph Collett, Director, CloserStill

  • news
  • News

  • The compulsory liquidation of Thomas Cook, whilst not necessarily a surprise to market participants, has generated headlines about the health of the broader UK travel market. Are Thomas Cook’s problems company specific, or are there sector-wide issues? Is the demise of Thomas Cook a sign of weakness or opportunity for PE assets in the travel market? What does this say about the broader UK outbound travel market? Only 23% of 1H2019 Thomas Cook’s Tour Operator revenues were from the UK source market, and on a like-for-like basis these were up 1H2019 versus 1H2018 (with Northern &

    Armstrong has provided commercial due diligence in support of Bristow & Sutor’s bolt-on acquisition of Credit Style. The acquisition of Credit Style broadens Bristow & Sutor’s services into wider debt recovery including in-house legal services and pre-legal collection services.  This will enable the Group to provide more customers with an end-to-end service. Credit Style’s clients come from a diverse range of sectors including financial services, utilities, motor finance and commercial collections. This acquisition continues Bristow & Sutor’s buy-and-build strategy,


    September 24, 2019

    After 5 years of PE backed buy and build activity, fewer obvious roll-up targets of scale are available and valuation expectations are high.  The next round of PE investors will need to redouble efforts to source targets off-market, and will need to think carefully about the complementarity of their service mix and vendor coverage. Is a mid-market roll-up strategy still viable? After 5 years of PE backed buy and build activity, there is a dwindling supply of targets of sufficient scale and quality available, and valuation expectations are high. How is market maturation and customer

    Armstrong has provided commercial due diligence in support of Nineteen Group’s acquisition of The Emergency Services Show. The Emergency Services Show is a two-day event bringing together all disciplines from the emergency services sector to discover innovative technologies and operational solutions, share their experiences and unite in their collaborative approach to public safety. The exhibition features over 450 exhibiting companies, including leading names in vehicles and fleet, communications, technology, medical and fire-fighting equipment, search and rescue, extrication, water

  • team
  • Team

    Armstrong is a tight-knit team of commercially experienced and committed individuals. We come from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries, with different areas of sector expertise and personal skill. What we share is a belief in market principles, customer-centric-thinking and the determination to make a positive difference to our customers’ businesses. As a team we have worked on over 600 projects which enables us to bring insight and value to transactions in a very short time.

    For more information, please contact one of the senior team below.

  • Tom Raymond

    Tom founded Armstrong in 2005, with the simple aim of building long-term client relationships based on clear advice and commercial realism. He has supported over 700 engagements over that period. Before creating Armstrong, Tom worked in a strategy boutique, supporting corporate, SME and PE clients with strategy and CDD. Previously he worked for Mars on the management development programme in supply, manufacturing and market-side roles, and held buying and production support positions at Marks & Spencer and Unilever. Tom has a first class honours science degree from Reading University.

  • Mike Callow

    Mike leads Armstrong's Technology practice.  In addition to his CDD experience, he has worked on PE and VC-backed deals across Europe as principal and corporate financier.  His work in the technology sector includes origination, due diligence, deal execution, operational transformation and turnaround.  Mike founded an e-commerce venture in 2012.  He started his career at PwC Strategy.

  • Simon Hemsley

    Simon drives Armstrong’s financial and professional services practice. Prior to joining Armstrong, he worked in financial services for twenty years, in commercial and finance roles.  He has significant experience in restructuring businesses to improve financial performance in response to changing regulatory, market and macroeconomic factors, both before and after the financial crisis. Most recently, he was Chief Financial Officer of Transact, an innovative online investment platform, which he helped float on the London Stock Exchange. Simon has also held senior leadership positions in hedge funds, and investment banks. He is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and graduated from the University of Bristol with an honours degree in Geography.

  • Matt Mcnally

    Matt leads Armstrong's Business Services practice. He is a career consultant, and has advised FTSE 100 companies and investors across a range of B2C and B2B industries, including financial services, digital media and technology. Matt graduated with a BA in Economics from Cambridge University.

  • Arif Ahmed

    Arif is an entrepreneur and investor currently involved in early stage technology and healthcare ventures, as well as providing specialist advisory and market access services to Armstrong. He has served on the boards of several healthcare and technology companies and has a demonstrable track record of commercialising businesses in complex regulatory environments. Early in his career that started in the IT industry, he co-founded a software firm that developed a Department of Health system covering over a million users. Prior to this he was a management consultant at several independent technology consultancies, operating in the fields of IT, strategy, healthcare and e-commerce.

  • Caroline Powell

    Caroline is a seasoned consumer researcher and multi-channel marketer. She works across a wide range of sectors for Armstrong, covering travel, healthcare, IT, B2B and B2C events. Caroline’s specialist areas of interest are in customer insight and multi-channel marketing development, to which she brings an astute and commercial perspective. Previously Caroline held senior B2B and B2C marketing roles and has over 30 years’ experience in international brand management, business development, new product development and communications into the luxury fashion, sportswear and industrial sectors with Acordis (Akzo Nobel), Courtaulds Fibres and Sirdar. She studied Marketing at Leeds and Knitwear Design with Art History at Nottingham.

  • Charles Colle

    Charles is trilingual (English, French, Spanish) having lived in 6 countries on 3 different continents.  He has multi-sector experience ranging from manufacturing to financial services.  Prior to joining Armstrong he was an Analyst in a bespoke M&A boutique in Paris.  Charles holds a BCom in Finance from McGill University and a Masters in Corporate Finance from Paris Dauphine University

  • Clare Johnson

    Clare has 30 years’ experience in launching and running international businesses, incorporating commercial due diligence on partners, competitors and customers as well as the overall market.  Her experience includes launching in India, China, and Russia, running teams of international agents, and acting as European agent for US operators. She has worked in sectors including health, wellbeing, motor, industrial, open space management, office services and leisure. She has been a finalist in the Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards. Clare has an honours degree in music, and is considering her doctoral dissertation subject matter.  Her first introduction to Armstrong was as a client.

  • David Seear

    David’s knowledge base extends to technology, Fintech, public sector, sales, talent acquisition, general company management, corporate governance, M&A and corporate fund raising.  With 20+ years’ experience in the recruitment sector, from billing consultant to business owner, director and operational manager, David has successfully launched, grown and exited from several recruitment businesses, ranging from a £30m revenue public sector contract business to more boutique technical permanent agencies.  Specialising in IT within the contract recruitment, permanent recruitment and interim sectors, he has always taken a leading role in both sales and operations.  David now focuses on consultancy and other projects.

  • Daniel Sessi

    Daniel is a multi-sector consultant, who operates in sectors from industrials to education.  Originally from Togo, Daniel has worked in Africa, China and the UK.  Prior to joining Armstrong, he worked for LEK and Parthenon EY.  He has a Masters in Finance, BSc in Marketing & Strategy and a Distinction from the CUEB scholarship program in Economics.

  • Ewa Levine

    Prior to joining Armstrong in 2014 Ewa worked at Bain & Company in Sweden. She is a specialist in cross-border research in multiple sectors; business services, consumer goods, healthcare, IT, retail and wholesale, manufacturing and more. Previously she held various positions in marketing and business development in Australia and Poland, assisting in formulating market entry and business strategies, mainly in the financial services sector. Ewa studied languages and literature at Macquarie University in Australia and holds a degree in Political Science from Stockholm University.

  • Gareth Davies

    Gareth has worked for more than two and a half decades in the Oil and Gas industry and has held a number of roles including; founding and selling a software company; Consulting Director at Deloitte; and various roles over twenty years in industry at Schlumberger and BG Group. Since graduation he has lived and worked in seven countries. He holds an Honours Degree in Electronic and Information Engineering and an MBA from London Business School.

  • Ian Pawson

    In CDD, Ian’s passion is developing valuable and elusive market insights, trends and outcomes by a combination of detailed research, seeking out top-of-their-game market experts and influencers to debate competitive intensity, drivers and strategies, and talking to and sharing insights with customers. Before joining the Armstrong team as a manufacturing and supply chain specialist, Ian was a seasoned CEO in the PE and leveraged buyout space, leading multinational businesses that still made widgets. He was CEO in a £150m global AIM listed group for a decade; having previously held territory MD roles in each of the USA, EU and UK.  He graduated in material sciences at London Brunel University.

  • John Immins

    John worked for many years in retail design and manufacture, leading multi-skilled development teams in this competitive and fast moving industry. As Development Director at DCI-Artform he led the design, development and implementation of global merchandising programmes for the world’s leading cosmetics houses and retailers. Since 2014 he has been lending his experience and insight to Armstrong as a consultant covering a wide variety of CDD and strategic support projects. John holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Industrial Design from Leicester Polytechnic.

  • Ged Dixon

    Ged has worked as a consultant since 1997 and with Tom Raymond since 2000. He has deployed his senior interviewing skills supporting hundreds of M&A and strategy exercises during that time. His experience covers diverse sectors from industrials (manufacturing, engineering, automotive, rail, aviation) to oil and gas, IT, healthcare and social housing and many others. Ged has a BA degree in English and an MA in Philosophy, both from London University, and speaks fluent Italian.

  • Karen Avey

    Karen Avey has 3 decades’ experience in business and technology market research for global organizations. Her specialties are conducting interviews and focus groups with high-level corporate respondents in French, German and English, and analysis of the dynamics and trends of international business. Her industry sector expertise includes: IT, Airline, Automotive, Telecommunications, Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy, Support Services and Facilities Management and Business Services (including brand positioning, segmentation, new product development, brand equity, and advertising development research). Karen has a BA in European Studies from the University of Bath and a post graduate diploma in International Marketing with French, German and Spanish.

  • Kathy Phillips

    Kathy’s background is in market research. She was Research Director at British Market Research Bureau (15 years) and at Millward Brown (5 years), working across multiple sectors both public and private, designing and implementing best practice custom research programs aligned to business needs. She has worked with Armstrong since 2012. Kathy has a first class honours degree in Management and French from the University of Bradford School of Management, and the Strasbourg European Business School.

  • Karen Jewell

    Karen has 25 years of commercial experience at senior management / executive leadership level in both blue-chip private and public sector organisations. Her experience spans organisational development, mergers and acquisitions, transformation and change management, human resources, corporate strategy and policy. Karen’s first introduction to Armstrong was 4 years ago as a client. Karen began her career on a management development programme in the energy / utilities sector, has an Honours Degree in Economics and is a Fellow of the CIPD.

  • Klas Neuman

    Klas has worked as market research consultant since 1994 across a diverse range of industrial and commercial sectors, specialising in B2B interviews at all management levels/with key opinion leaders, face-to-face depths, group moderation and telephone depth interviewing in technically complex, international, qualitative studies. Projects have encompassed market strategy studies (market opportunity, segmentation, positioning), customer satisfaction and benchmarking, taking R&D to market and assessing new ventures/products, diversification studies, and attitudinal and image studies. In the last 10 years he has also worked on over 50 CDD engagements. Klas has a BA in International Relations from Brown University.

  • Magnus Hedberg

    Magnus is a multi-lingual consultant who works across multiple sectors, including business services, construction, and industrials. Fluent in Swedish and French, he was previously employed at a macroeconomic consultancy working with buy-side clients and has earlier experience in the primary research industry. He has a MSc in International Political Theory and a MA (Hons) in Politics and History from the University of Edinburgh.

  • Mark Lyons

    Mark Lyons is a highly experienced, multilingual, qualitative research specialist, able to conduct interviews with CXO and other senior level respondents in six languages. He has a proven ability to master highly complex and technical subject matter quickly. He has deployed his B2B fieldwork skills in over 60 different countries, covering topics from eCommerce to E.coli, diagnostics to the digital economy, trade fairs to telecoms and international development to industrial textiles. His core capability is to understand project objectives, is motivated by his own curiosity and treats each interview as an opportunity to engage with the respondent, provide key answers and keep the door open for further exchanges.

  • Mark Turner

    Mark’s career is founded in technology and business journalism before later moving into publication and event management. He first started working with Armstrong in 2010 and has helped complete some 35 projects across a range of industrial sectors - and continents - and has developed a specialisation in the events and technology sectors. He has a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester.

  • Nick Howard

    Nick is a technology sales Specialist. He has spent over 3 decades working for vendors of IT/systems hardware, software and services, across multiple commercial and government sectors. His most recent roles have been focused on software development, testing and application management, giving him an excellent insight into the challenges and rewards of defining, developing and introducing new technologies and establishing new routes to market.

  • Pete Jewell

    Pete has strong CDD experience, having joined Armstrong back in 2006, not long after the company was founded. He previously worked in senior marketing roles for niche SME businesses across a variety of sectors, including toy manufacturing, the leisure and travel industries. During his time with Armstrong, Pete has worked as a consultant on a wide range of CDD and market analysis projects. Pete has an Honours Degree in Business Studies and a CIM Diploma in Marketing.

  • Peter Cookson

    Peter is an experienced consultant, specialising in big data analytics and market assessment. Together with Mike Callow, he is at the heart of Armstrong’s increasing focus on the use of big data analytics to provide better strategic and operational insight. His background is in investment banking quantitative analytics, gained from stints in London, NYC and Paris. Peter has an MBA from Manchester Business School and an MA in Philosophy from Birkbeck College. He is based in Manchester.

  • Richard Sherrard

    Richard has worked as a diligence and corporate finance adviser to clients in local government, education, healthcare and financial sectors. He has been involved across the M&A deal cycle, with a particular focus on financial modelling and scenario evaluation. Richard has a degree in Mathematics with Theoretical Physics from UCL.

  • Rob Welsh

    Rob has worked on a wide variety of projects since joining Armstrong; encompassing the investment industry and financial markets, IT, waste management, oil and gas sectors, among others. Most of his career was spent in investment banking, initially as an equity analyst then moving into equity sales and trading and latterly specializing in emerging electronic trading technologies. Prior to joining Armstrong, he consulted in the fund management industry and in business development across multiple sectors.

  • Discover More

    We are always open to approaches from energetic, dedicated individuals who are motivated by delivering great work as part of a high performing team. Interested?

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  • Contact Us