An Interview with Nick Shephard

What do you do for Rockpool Investments?

I head up the Relationships Team at Rockpool, which is a team of eight individuals who look after a large number of private investors and intermediaries. We help our clients to build portfolios of private equity and private debt investments. What do you love most about your role? I particularly enjoy building relationships with interesting entrepreneurs who have built up and later sold successful businesses. I find it fascinating learning about the different industries they have been involved in. One of the other advantages of my role is that it often comes with the opportunity for a nice lunch!

How has your business adapted in light of COVID-19? 

Rockpool has been incredibly resilient in the face of a very challenging two-year period. The team adapted well to working from home and now work three days a week from the office. During the pandemic we had regular check-ins via Teams to ensure the team stayed in contact – and to keep up morale we even had a company-wide virtual beer tasting! A number of our portfolio companies adapted, some made use of the furlough scheme and CBILS loans and the majority reduced overheads where possible. Despite COVID-19, Rockpool invested into 5 deals in 2020 and 6 deals in 2021 however focussing on more resilient UK SMEs. 

What has been your greatest achievement? Personal or professional. 

My greatest achievement was working with the Rockpool relationships team to transition our business model after sweeping industry changes at the end of 2017. Rockpool previously focused on EIS asset rich and growth investments and our clients were typically IFAs and wealth managers. We transformed the business to focus on fast growing and profitable UK businesses and needed to build a loyal client base of private investors looking to invest in these types of companies. In order to do this, I developed a capable team of Relationship Managers and Rockpool successfully pivoted into a lower-mid market private equity and private debt investor. 

Why did you join PCD? 

One of my close colleagues Louise had previously attended a PCD event and met some very interesting people in the private wealth and trust sector. Having looked at the delegate list, I saw it as a great opportunity to expand my network, learn about the industry and meet a diverse mix of professional individuals. 

Have you attended a recent PCD live event or webinar? What did you think? 

I attended the recent March event in the Corinthia Hotel. Louise and I thought the event was excellent. It was well attended, with plenty of networking time at the drinks reception and during the dinner. I enjoyed some fascinating conversation and heard fresh perspectives on issues such as COVID, Brexit, and Russia from across the private client industry. 

On a weekend, I am most likely found... 

Wedding planning! I got engaged at New Year and I am heavily invested in ‘wed-min’ most weekends.. I also enjoy tennis, watching the rugby, the occasional ski trip, and heading out to see my family in the country. And more often than not, cooking a hearty Sunday roast for friends.


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