Taking Financial Advisory To A New Level

There is a certain aura about LUKE CANN especially when you learn that he is the type to be found sitting at a table with company owners, sketching out their companies’ future on a napkin! In fact, when it comes to the local financial advisory landscape, Luke today is a household name. He recently joined NOUV to head its specialist advisory company 36N Capital and lead its transaction advisory team.

Luke tell us a bit about yourself.

Personally, I like to define myself as an extrovert in public but as a person who prefers to spend time at home, especially over the weekend. It helps me focus on ways that I would never manage to otherwise. I also like to think that I have a positive attitude and always manage to see the positive even during the most difficult of circumstances. Having said that, I am practical, pragmatic focused and determined, client centric and project driven. The attitude I adopt for myself at work and what I try to instil in my clients is that “opportunities may be found in the murkiest of waters.”

What about 36N Capital?

NOUV set up 36N Capital in 2016 as a boutique consultancy arm specialising in capital raising, mergers & acquisitions and advisory services. Five years down the line, the founding partners have managed a combined net worth in excess of $250 million worth of angel investment, staged round funding, M&A activities, and emerging venture-based private placement transactions.

What about your experience and how do you draw from it as you assist clients?

I draw experience from capital raising, restructuring of companies, and assisting in strategic decisions of clients within a wide range of industries. Experience comes from years of learning and facing challenges which both myself and my clients would have encountered during our journey together. I have been involved in various projects and I have been lucky enough to have been involved right from their inception…. literally projects initiated during conversations over lunch. And what I bring to the table is my past experience and the ability to overcome or mitigate challenges which I would have already encountered on other projects. This makes me more efficient in obtaining quicker results and perhaps foreseeing certain issues which may arise.

You obviously bring many years of experience to NOUV. How did you find the set-up at NOUV and what is your opinion of the organisation?

When I joined NOUV, I found a very focused and dynamic organisation, intent on delivering true value to its clients. I also perceived an ambitious organisation that wants to grow, embraces change and welcomes new opportunities, that sees a lot of value in its approach towards consultancy and holds a clear vision and very specific objectives which it aims to achieve.

Did you bring your ‘methods’ to the company or did you need to adapt to NOUV’s philosophy of doing things? In what ways?

Interestingly enough, it was only when I joined NOUV that I found how its philosophy is somewhat aligned to mine. I did bring in my own methods of operation to the team, however I too needed to change and adapt to more efficient methods of operation which I have adopted from NOUV.

Tell me about your team. How do you operate and what are your strengths?

I am pleased to be working with a very experienced team which is determined to grow and evolve in areas relating to mergers and acquisitions together with capital raising, both locally and internationally. It is a team that has embraced our way of doing things alongside our mission “to transform private family businesses to public interest entities”.

Our work is to provide access to early-stage, interim- and growth-round funding, predominantly in property markets, shipping, financial, gaming and e-commerce together with M&A brokerage for more mature enterprises. Within this context, our strength is twofold: experience and the ability to source local and foreign providers of finance. We also enjoy considerable deal flow relating to the mergers and acquisitions sector.

What in your opinion are the values that drive you in your work?

I believe in the values of trust, respect, and honesty. Businesses come to us not only because they trust our good judgement but because they know that our strategic consultancy goes beyond business transactions and is built on mutual trust, understanding and a close relationship that we develop over time. They provide us with considerable amount of sensitive data and therefore, trust, is key to the development of our service offering. If one is not trusted, one can never and will not operate in this sector. Respect to all stakeholders in the industry is also paramount as is honesty in the way we conduct our business.

How do you currently see the commercial sector in the context of the current economic scenario? (What trends are you noticing? Is there an appetite for investment? If not, what could be holding people back?)

I am not the type who dwells on the negative aspect of the economy or problems in any respective commercial sector. I am one who likes to focus on discussing and identifying opportunities because I like to believe that whatever the economic scenario, there are always opportunities. The most important thing is that one must stop, think, analyse, and focus on identifying the opportunity and not wasting too much time before taking action on it!

Who would be your typical clients, from which sectors and what assistance would they be after typically?

Thankfully, we have clients coming from a very broad range of sectors, both locally and internationally. These include: renewable energy, waste, property developers, software development companies, fintech, retail, manufacturing, and shipping. Their requirements would generally centre around the raising of finance – from banks, capital markets or institutional investors. We advise them on strategic decisions such as diversification, investing in new sectors, new companies or new markets and we support our work by carrying out in-depth feasibility studies.

What in your opinion should clients look for when they seek advice from outside the company?

Clients seeking advice should look for someone who they can comfortably trust and who comes with a proven track record. The scope of seeking advice is wanting to be open to opinions from someone from outside the organisation who can bring factual and objective input which ultimately drives a fundamental change in the company or organisation.