Ten Questions for Ten Years

April 3, 2024

Meet Jonathan Rich, Managing Director here at Bluebox. It has recently been Jon’s ten year anniversary here, and we are commemorating this milestone of his with ten questions about his ten year’s here at Bluebox, including his favourite memories and any challenges along the way…


Tell us a bit about how you started out at Bluebox, and how your role has changed throughout your time here.

10 years….. doesn’t time fly! To think that when I joined, no one knew what Brexit was all about, COVID was unheard of, and the thought of Trump as the head of the free world would make most people laugh (it still does).  Anyway, back to the question, I spent 8 years at PwC qualifying initially in the audit department before transferring to their M&A team for the last 4 years. I wanted to work more closely with owner managed businesses and joined Bluebox as a Manager. The rest, as they say, is history.


Did you always want to work in M&A?

After I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be a fighter pilot or win the lottery, next on my list was working in M&A. I did undertake a summer internship at an investment banking boutique while at university which I enjoyed immensely and reaffirmed my desire to get back into the industry a few years later.


What is your favourite part about working at Bluebox?

The team. Whilst it has evolved over the years, I do genuinely believe that the range of personalities and skillsets across the team enable us to continuously deliver first rate advice (which makes my job easier! 😊)


In these 10 years, what has changed the most about the company?

The sale of the company to the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) has change the overall dynamics within the business. We are now all owners of the Company and we see a more meaningful link with the future success of the business.


What is your favourite memory from these last 10 years working here?

There have been a number of interesting memories but I would suggest the team trip to Vegas after we closed a number of deals in the space of a few months was right up there! It was legendary.


What has been the most challenging experience you’ve had within the 10 years of working here?

As with most businesses, COVID had a dramatic impact in a number of areas. Remote working and the countless Zoom/Teams calls was a real change in the way we worked. I still cannot believe we closed a few deals during that period where we never met either the client or the buyer before the deal closed! There was one conversation from that period of time that I found quite challenging. At the outset of the pandemic, we were providing (free) advice to companies on the various government support packages they could benefit from. A regional zoo got in touch to say that they were running out of money and were struggling to see how they would be able to continue to feed their animals…. I appreciate that there were many businesses going through a variety of challenges but this was quite distressing. Thankfully all was resolved with the zoo in the end!


Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Continuing to work on a wide variety of deals (which is what we all enjoy) hopefully with the same team who will grow with the business, ably supported by the next generation of talent coming out of university.


What is the biggest piece of advice you could give to a company who is thinking about selling?

Prepare 2-3 years in advance of the eventual sale process – there is so much that can be done if you have the time to make the business more saleable and to a broader universe of potential acquirers. It was the main reason Bluebox was set up in the first place and we continue to support business owners on their journey in advance of a sale through our Blue Diamond pre-sale planning programme.


What keeps you most inspired and motivated on a daily basis?

Whilst it may sound cheesy, it’s certainly my two children. Whilst they can certainly be a handful at times (like most kids), their energy and thirst for knowledge is infectious. That being said, they still don’t seem to know what I do for a job even though I’ve tried explaining it to them many times.


If you could go back in time 10 years and give yourself some advice, what would it be?

When it comes to work, I’m not sure I’d have done anything materially different over the past 10 years. If I did have this power, I think I would just suggest buying shares in Amazon/Tesla as well as a few winning lottery numbers. I wouldn’t be greedy – just a few Euromillion rollovers 😊.

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