Case Studies


DRAX has had a long-standing relationship with Nucleus, which began when the business was James Hay Partnership. We were involved in the pre-deal process as the business was taken private by Epiris in 2019 and subsequently worked to build the senior management team, including the appointments of the Chief Commercial Officer (“CCO”), Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), Chair, Chair of Audit and Non-Executive Director (“NED”).

After Epiris acquired and took James Hay private, there was a need to strengthen the commercial side of the business and, as a result, we kicked off a search for the CCO. We needed to identify an individual who would upskill the function, ideally with knowledge of the platform space and business model. The successful CCO placed was Alex Kovach who had come from a PE backed, D2C platform business.

Following discussions with Epiris for their plans to significantly transform the business and build a platform for consolidation, DRAX introduced Richard Rowney who was successful placed as the new CEO. In 2021, Richard Rowney acquired Nucleus Financial and created a combined group with James Hay, maintaining the Nucleus name.

We worked closely with Richard around the next phase of growth for the business which would likely be supported by a new financial sponsor. We had conversations around both long- and short-term goals, including what the Board would look like for the next phase of the journey. The business was keen to be in a position to IPO the business in the future with the new investor (who has since been announced as HPS in August 2022). We needed to ensure the Board had both the ability to impact the short term value creation plans and credibility with the regulator, but also be favourable to the listed market, were the business to IPO in the future. Creating the right board was incredibly important to Richard and the business. The successful placement of the CCO and CEO was paramount to the success of the transaction of the business from Epiris to HPS.

Richard Rowney, CEO said “Mat and the Financial Services team at DRAX have just finished a major assignment helping to build a new Board with the capability and experience to help our business deliver its strategic ambitions. This included recruiting a new chairman, CFO alongside the chair of Audit and Remco.”

We needed to ensure the new Board was ready to be initiated immediately post-transaction and, through our discussions, the composition of the board was agreed as a proven Chair in the Financial Services sector, a Chair of Audit with IPO (situational) experience and an NED with platform (domain) knowledge to complement the skills of the remaining management team. Having conducted a thorough and extensive search, it culminated in the appointments of Gordon Wilson as Chair, Richard Hoskins as Chair of Audit and Judith Davidson as NED.

“I was delighted with process and the outcome. The team at Drax helped to consider the various interplays between the various roles and how this would drive Board effectiveness. They then mapped both the industry but also wider afield to bring in top quality candidates across all roles allowing selection from a very diverse candidate pool." said Richard.


I couldn’t be happier with the results. The team at Drax really are the best in their field!

- Richard Rowney, CEO at Nucleus

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