Client profile: fdu

  • "If you have belief in your own ability and your partner, the returns are potentially very good."
  • SIPP set up
  • Purchased preference shares in business

Finding a perfect match is never easy but when you are searching for someone to guide the financial fortunes of a major international company the stakes are high.

Add to the mix a commitment to growth and the ability to navigate through the potential minefield of change, and the pool of talent suddenly looks a lot smaller.

FTSE, AIM and Nasdaq-listed companies are turning to a team of executive search specialists with a proven track record of finding the cream of the executive crop.

“We are dedicated to providing finance professionals to companies that are committed to growth,” said fdu joint Managing Partner David Bloom.

“The challenge is finding the right culture fit and the right people for the organisation in question.”

That is something that fdu has proven particularly good at since they were launched by David and his business partner, Adam Bloch, in 2009, with over 300 projects successfully completed since then.

David, the former European finance director for Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU), a mobile gaming business and Adam, who worked for search specialists CTPartners after building two successful search practices, said they had the entrepreneurial bug.

Which is just as well as launching fdu was, as David admits, “quite a bold move in hindsight seeing as it was right in the heart of the crash”.

But fdu hit the ground running and soon needed working capital to recruit a team and for marketing. The head hunters were on the hunt again, this time for funding to expand their business.

“The challenge in our business is sourcing good quality recruiters and search practitioners to the standard we expect,” said David, highlighting the need to persuade the talented ones who are secure in larger firms to join a smaller, albeit fast-growing business.

One form of alternative finance caught David’s eye on the Funding Options website and, after reading more about Pension-led funding, he contacted us.

“fdu already had a supportive bank manager and a flexible invoice discounting facility. This worked well for working capital needs but we wanted to be masters of our own destiny,” he said, which meant the partners didn’t want outside investment such as venture capital money.

David met with one of Clifton’s certified Financial Consultants, Alex Wheeler, and a financing proposal was produced.

At the next stage a Preference Share Purchase from fdu by a UK-registered Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) was recommended as the most appropriate solution. To confirm all was suitable, research into both David’s pensions and an independent third party valuation of the shares took place.

Once all had been checked and the directors confirmed they were happy to proceed, the deal was good to go.

David said of Pension-led funding: “If you have belief in your own ability and your partner, the returns are potentially very good. I went into it with an open mind and was very impressed by how I was treated by Alex Wheeler.”

With funding in place the focus is now on growing to “20 quality recruiters as quickly as possible” and on a move from their present central London base in Soho to Mayfair in the New Year, a sure sign they are “very much in growth mode and expanding rapidly”.

David said: “We have worked for clients as big as Boots and Compass. We deal with a lot of exciting clients including Infectious Media, No 1 in the Deloitte Fast 50 last year, and a whole range of private equity and venture capital-backed businesses.

“Our sector specialisms are technology, media, telecoms real estate, professional services and multi-site retail.”

Their reputation is also spreading. “We have a good track record with ‘US inbound’, ie helping US companies looking to grow in Europe with London as a launch pad. We know how to speak American English!”


Finance and recruitment specialists David Bloom and business partner Adam Bloch set up fdu to find finance professionals for companies that are committed to growth with a pledge to deliver the “right culture fit”.

Funding needs

A supportive bank manager and flexible invoice discounting facility worked well for working capital but when it was time to fund the recruitment of a team and for marketing, the partners did not want outside investment. Wanting to remain “masters of their own destiny”, Pension-led funding caught David’s eye.


With funding in place, the partners are looking to appoint 20 quality recruiters as quickly as possible and move from their present central London base in Soho to Mayfair.

Going forward

The business has successfully completed over 300 projects since launch. Clients have included Boots, Compass and Infectious Media, No 1 in the Deloitte Fast 50 last year. Their reputation is growing fast with a proven track record of helping US companies looking to grow in Europe using London as a launch pad.

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