Formed in 2018, our mission is to disrupt the highly fragmented TICC industry by partnering with selected niche, independent TICC companies that serve a variety of sectors. From these platforms, we will provide investment and strategic leadership, support people and business development, always with the goal of ensuring each portfolio company delivers it’s full potential. Our aim is to give our customers ‘peace of mind’ by delivering first class assurance services. Our unique partnership approach enables us to invest in companies for the long-term.
- We do not sell companies
- We do not change brands
- We retain and develop people
- We back your plans
- We do not apply overheads
- We do not burden any business with HQ bureaucracy
- We reward success
Our ideal portfolio companies meet the following criteria:
- £1-10M+ EBITDA
- £5-50M+ Revenue
- 5%+ CAGR
- Have strong leadership teams
- Generate strong recurring revenues
Contact us and we’ll talk about whether a partnership is the right move for both of us.
Based in the UK, Paul has extensive experience in both M&A and in TICC leadership in various sectors throughout the world. Before creating Phenna Group, he was Global MD and Interim CEO of Exova Group Ltd (£320M T/O with global footprint). Earlier in his career, he was the CEO of NWE Region in Bureau Veritas (£200M T/O) and before that, served as Managing Director of Europe & Middle East Region of Germanischer Lloyd (GL) / Advantica (£100M T/O). Paul’s expertise in successfully running TICC businesses; from start-up, through transformation/turnarounds, through strong organic growth platforms or through rapid M&A buy and builds make him the ideal person to drive the development of Phenna Group.
Prior to joining Phenna Group, David worked for a US-based family office where he led investments totalling more than £200m in value across various sectors including TICC. Prior to this he gained experience in financial management, debt markets and M&A in institutions including Mitie, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. In his role as Chief Financial Officer at Phenna Group, David leads finance and M&A activities as well as focusing on initiatives to the advancement of the group’s strategic objectives. David graduated from Strathclyde University with a BA Honours in Accounting and Finance. David is a Chartered Certified Accountant and a CFA charterholder.
Our Portfolio Business Leaders
CEO at Hansen Aerospace
Eric graduated from Dartmouth College in 1994. He spent the next 12 years in Boston, MA working in the financial sector for Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., UBS, and Trillium Trading, LLC. Eric is a fourth generation member of the Hansen family, and in 2006, he left finance to manage two family businesses. He was the GM of Hansen Aerospace Laboratories, Inc., and CEO of Hansen Engineering & Machinery, Co. Inc., before joining ELI Global becoming CEO at Hansen Aerospace, LLC in 2018. Eric currently lives in South Hamilton, MA with his wife and two children.
Group MD at First Scottish
Ian began as a trainee in 1972 at Millar & Bryce where he became a fully qualified Searcher. In 1978, he joined Bristol & West Building Society as a Clerk before eventually reaching the position of Regional Admin Manager. Six years later, Ian re-joined Millar & Bryce as a Development Manager and reached the position of Managing Director. In 2010, Ian joined First Scottish Group as Group Depute Managing Director and became Group Managing Director during 2012. Ian is also a lifelong Hibernian Football Club supporter, who enjoys golf and time with his family. He has two grandchildren.
Managing Director PSL
Russell’s Geotechnical career began in 1986 when he joined South Yorkshire Regional Laboratory, a department within British Coal, whose task was to market the vast quantities of colliery spoil for reuse within the construction industry and rid our countryside of unsightly and unsafe spoil heaps. With the closure of the department in 1992 Russell was recruited by Thyssen Geotechnical as a senior technician, he quickly joined the Management Team alongside his current business partner, Anthony Watkins and between them they ran the department for the next 12 years.
In 2004 Russell and Anthony orchestrated a M.B.O and Professional Soils Laboratory was created. In the 15 years since, they have turned PSL into one of the country’s leading independent soil testing facilities with state of the art testing equipment, currently employing 50 staff.
Managing Director PSL
Anthony commenced his career in the geotechnical testing sector with Thyssen GB in 1988, and in 1992 established a northern laboratory in Doncaster for Thyssen. In 2004, Anthony and Russell established Professional Soils Laboratory and acquired the Doncaster laboratory from Thyssen. During the past 15 years, they have invested heavily in the business, acquiring the most modern automated testing equipment and recruited and trained a best-in-class team of over fifty professionals and become the largest independent geotechnical testing laboratory in the UK.
Anthony is a keen sportsman and lives in South Yorkshire with his wife and 2 children, and he and Russell are staying with the business and will continue to drive it forward.
Group MD at BET (Building Envelope Technologies)
Brian holds an honours degree (BENG) in Building Services Engineering graduating in 2007 from Dublin Institute of Technology & is a chartered Engineer. He has direct responsibility for compliance, testing activities & leading a vastly experienced management team within BET. Brian was responsible for rapidly growing BET from 1 accredited testing services in 2008 to more than 30 accredited testing services over many disciplines by 2019. He has presented various technical papers on building airtightness, defect analysis, thermal performance and related issues at conferences exhibitions and on behalf of many professional institutions in Ireland. Brian lives in Wexford Ireland with his wife & 3 young boys.
Steve Cressey MIET
Managing Director at GMES (Group Management Electrical Surveys ltd)
Steve began his career in 1990 when he joined Crown House Engineering as an electrical engineering trainee. Following completion of his training in 1995, his career progressed into Building Services Project Management with EI-WHS and EIC Limited. He joined GMES in 2009, with a remit to develop and grow the business and in 2011 was appointed Managing Director, where he relocated the Company to its current home in West Yorkshire. In 2014, Steve successfully delivered a Management Buyout and has gone on to treble the size of the business in the last five years. During his early career Steve worked all over the UK, serving as Project Manager on some of the UK’s most prestigious projects. Steve has a passion for electrical safety and compliance and is an active member of the IET. He has recently taken up the role of Regional Chairman for the ECA (Electrical Contractors Association).
Steve lives with his wife and son in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire and is looking forward to the partnership with Phenna Group and the continued success and growth of GMES.
MD at ACS Group of Companies
Mike is a technically capable and highly experienced business director and manager, with over 40 years in civil engineering construction and waste management industries. He has 25 years experience as MD in construction companies, laboratories and engineering consultancy businesses across UK, Europe, Middle East and the Caribbean.
Managing Director, Approvals Specialist Pty Ltd and Austest Laboratories
Martin began his career in product testing and compliance 30 years ago, initially with Austest Laboratories, followed by management positions in Singapore and Silicon Valley with BABT Product Service, TÜV Product Service and TÜV SÜD. Martin returned to Austest Laboratories in 2008 as Managing Director and has grown the company to become the most comprehensive full-service compliance test facilities in Australia by encompassing testing and approval services covering Electrical Safety, Energy Efficiency, EMC (emissions and immunity), Telecommunications, Wireless and Environmental product and component compliance for the commercial and defence sectors.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Build Check Ltd.
After graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree in Environmental Engineering, David started his career with Haden Young as Building Services Design Engineer and which, during this 12 year period, was involved with some of London’s largest construction developments. He then went into the piping Industry working for Victaulic Pipe Systems and then Glynwed Pipesystems as their Technical Support Manager – leading a team of engineers providing technical support to the construction, water, gas and mining industries. In 2004 David and business partner Richard Bate, co-founded Build Check which provides UKAS accredited testing and Product Certification services to the Construction and Fenestration industries.
He is a Charted Engineer, a Member of the Charted Institute of Building Service Engineers and a Board Director of the Building Compliance Testers Association
Co-Founder and Technical Director, Build Check Ltd.
After graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biology, Richard embarked upon his career working with a number of market-leading companies within the TICC sector. In 2004, Richard joined forces with David McKenna to co-found Build Check, bringing to market a shared vision of a fresh approach to building regulation compliance testing and product certification, underpinned by excellent customer service.
As Co-Founder and Technical Director, Richard has been instrumental in leading the successful growth of the Build Check business and is well-recognised throughout the industry for his technical expertise, working closely with key industry steering groups. Richard now has day-to-day responsibility for laboratory testing and product certification services as well as managing Build Check’s innovative online calculator software. Richard lives in Cookham, Berkshire with his wife, 2 children, a dog and his motorbikes!
Managing Director, Code A Weld.
David originally trained as an Accountant in private practice before going on to work for and manage, a major client’s business in the FMCG/Logistics sector. He then transferred over to the family business in the mid-nineties, firstly managing and then buying into the weld testing, training and welding operations. After focusing solely on the testing business a decade ago and achieving RTPO status and enhancing the UKAS accreditations already in place, he has grown the Company fivefold. It is now recognised throughout the industry as one of the leading names in weld testing.
David is based in the Bristol area and lives with his wife and two children.
Phenna Group was formed in late summer 2018, when two leading TICC services companies were acquired: Hansen Aerospace (USA) and First Scottish Group (UK).
Paul Barry, Group CEO, had a vision to disrupt the highly fragmented TICC sector by grouping together a number of leading niche, like-minded TICC businesses across the world. Today, we have 9 that share common values and a focus on delivering exceptional customer service.
Each of these Companies have their own unique stories and share an entrepreneurial spirit, culture and ambition that is essential to our future strategy and success.
Paul’s vision started to take shape in summer 2017, when following a highly successful corporate career, he developed a strategy to create a unique buy & build model that would differentiate Phenna Group from its competitors. This led to a short spell within a privately owned investment firm, where he met David Harrison, our current CFO, and completed the acquisition of Hansen Aerospace, a leading NDT business based in Boston, MA.
Following several regulatory challenges with its parent company, Paul, David and the Hansen/D’Orio family (previous owners of Hansen Aerospace) seized the opportunity to complete a MBO of Phenna Group in April 2019. Since then, the expansion strategy gathered momentum which saw the business expand from initial concept to revenues in excess of £40 million by end of 2019. This strategy was achieved through fundraising, several mergers & acquisitions and the delivery of an ambitious organic growth plan and of course, the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ of its leadership team who remain as committed and driven today as they did when each story began.
Today, Phenna Group’s portfolio consists of 9 businesses, spanning 3 Continents, several end markets and is home to over 400 employees.
And it’s just the beginning
MBO from ELI Global