About Wyn River
Sofia, Bulgaria, 2010
In this section, read about:
You can also see what we think are our Unique Selling Points
Wyn River is a niche advisory firm of independent associates focused on improving business performance in Central and South East Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa. We advise business owners about debt and equity funding solutions as well as cash flow, profit improvement strategies and project management. We also advise stakeholders on new investment, project finance and restructuring issues acrosss our wide geography.
No Plan, No Money. Cash is King. Lessons you learn in school but can easily be forgotten while running a dynamic organisation.
Wyn River was established at the start of 2013 and has adopted the growing trend of being a highly networked organisation. We do not carry the cost of large staff numbers and overheads and pass that cost advantage on to our clients. Our team converts thought leadership into client leadership with an emphasis on execution not report writing. Plan. Do. Review.
We have a large number of well established relationships with other independent consultants, both individuals and firms, either from our chosen geography or with relevant regional experience. We also connect our clients to suitable third party professional services firms such as accountants, lawyers, and tax advisers. You can read more about some of those relationships in our International Connections section.
Wyn River is not an investor but we have links to specialist private equity firms and angel investors who support growth and stressed businesses during this unprecedented period of change and economic and financial uncertainty. We do not advise on capital market activity but work closely with FCA regulated organisations that do.
Our associates usually do not take executive director positions personally but we have access to a large selection of experienced professionals, both local and international, who act in that capacity for both private and listed corporations.
Project management is key to delivering solutions successfully. Wyn River Limited associates bring many years of project management experience. We have worked in challenging environments and situations in multi-disciplinary teams and across various countries. People, language, time zone, cultural barriers, deadlines and budgets must be managed with skill and sensitivity.
Wyn River, across all our solutions, works closely with clients to build a practical execution plan which clearly states who is responsible for what, why, when and how. On simple projects, that will normally be an allocation of roles and responsibilities between the Wyn River associate and our client’s team. On more complex assignments, Wyn River guides clients on how to build and manage the project team to avoid duplication of effort and eliminate inefficiencies. Planning in advance and clear communication structures unlock value-added elements from experienced advisers and pass maximum cost-benefit to our clients. This process alone can save money for our clients.
Athens, Greece, 2010
Wyn River Limited is not a partnership. Wyn River Limited is owned and managed by Nigel Davies but is a joint endeavour between him, his fellow associates and a selection of affiliated firms. Most Wyn River associates are freelance advisers operating their own private firms independently in their own markets. We share a common intent and we share a central branding platform. Our associates are known personally by Nigel Davies and have been selected individually. There is no sharing of profits or liabilities. A simple mirrored commission agreement between us gives incentives to cross refer assignments to those best placed geographically or by function or situation to serve our clients in the best way.
Wyn River associates meet prospective clients for an initial discussion without charge. Most of our work comes from introductions to businesses through banks, law firms and other intermediaries.
Our clients enter into a simple daily rate contract for a single named Wyn River associate for a capped number of days. We can introduce advisers from other organisations to our clients if necessary. No introductions are made unless agreed in advance with our client. All advisers from Wyn River and other third party organisations are contracted by our clients directly and separately. After initial assessments, we can develop a success fee structure to align our reward to the goals we agree with our clients.
All our client work is treated in strict confidence. Apart from previous projects which are already public knowledge, successful Wyn River projects will only be included in our marketing material with express agreement from our clients.
Wyn River Limited works in total compliance with the UK Bribery Act and US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and any related regional legislation.
Belgrade, Serbia, 2012
What inspires us? Where does our good energy come from?
Wyn is not an English word. It is the Welsh word for “white” and “pure”. However, we are happy for people to think “wyn” means “win”. We strive for a win-win situation with our clients and it also captures the competitive spirit of our founder and his family. We also hate corruption. We understand the crisis in management, leadership and the economy that followed the fall of the Iron Curtain, but now 20 years later, there is no reason for corruption within governments or companies other than personal greed. That is not in our DNA. We are very encouraged by the progress made in countries like Georgia and the landmark actions recently in Serbia. This remains a challenge for much of Africa.
Rivers are essential for distributing water for drinking and agriculture, as well as recreation, transport, sanitation and power generation. Water related industries across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa require a significant amount of infrastructure funding over the next twenty years. We believe passionately that rivers must be kept clean and healthy, kept “wyn” or pure. We also like the connection between rivers and money. Where are the peaks and troughs in your cashflows? Will your river dry up? When do you need extra reserves to finance expansion or to protect against the markets reacting in an unpredictable way? We can unlock new funding for you.
Triskele is the name given to the three-legged geometrical shape which is also part of our logo. This is of Celtic origin, several thousand years old, reflecting the Welsh links of the founder. Nigel Davies has three children each of whom has a Welsh name – Gwyneth, Bronwyn and Carwyn – all containing the Welsh word wyn. A further twist in this story is that the Celts of Ireland and Wales are most likely linked to the original Celts who emerged from … Central Europe!
Kingston-Upon-Thames, United Kingdom, 2013
Nigel Davies is an economics graduate and chartered accountant with 30 years of experience of providing quality professional services to his clients. Nigel started working in Eastern Europe over 20 years ago and in 2016 moved to the Ivory Coast to support the African Development Bank with certain underperforming private sector projects. You can read more of his project successes in the Team and Spirit section, but what of him as an individual?
A few points on why Central and Eastern Europe and his new African challenge.
A little bit about family legacy, early school days in Denmark, his love of rowing and the Olympic Torch. This bit is not compulsory reading but if you are curious, click here.
Nigel explains: “What’s in my DNA? My Welsh ancestors include a grandmother with a first class honours in Chemistry (when women didn’t do that sort of thing), a rugby playing great uncle who represented both Wales and the British Lions in South Africa (1924), and a link to Dr William Price, one of the most famous and rather eccentric Welsh legends, who fought the law and he won. My maternal grandfather was a bank manager. So that is my background - analyst, financier, sportsman and pioneer.
Why Eastern Europe? My father was Finance Director of Unilever Italy and before that had a post in Copenhagen where my brother and I attended Rygaards School, an international school run by the Sisters of Charity. I was about 9 then. This was where I started to loosen some of the ties to the UK and became a European, as I sat alongside ambassadors’ sons and daughters from Mexico to Israel. Some of my classmates were from Romania. Romania. 1974. Still behind the Iron Curtain. Interesting. But no breakthrough moment just yet. While at Rygaards I had the chance to meet and shake hands with Mother Teresa. A significant moment even at that young age. It was not until many years later that I learned that Mother Teresa was an ethnic Albanian from Macedonia. More South East Europe connections!
When I returned to school in the UK, we moved to a house near Hampton Court near the River Thames. Despite no family track record of rowing in the family, I felt drawn to the sport with the river on our doorstep and started rowing at 13. Successes followed initially with Kings College School Wimbledon, Cardiff University and Kingston Rowing Club. Putting rowing on hold a bit to get my career off the ground, I returned to proper competition in 1990 and achieved a lifelong ambition by rowing at Henley Royal Regatta for Quintin Boat Club in 1992. Rowing continued when I was seconded to work in Toronto in 1993, hopelessly unprepared for the 5.00am starts (sometimes 7.00pm as well) that the Argonaut Rowing Club expected! But I persevered, trained hard, lost weight, and returned home to London with 3 Ontario Championship gold medals.
My restructuring career started even before my Economics Degree at Cardiff University. My father used to play snooker in a local pub with Christopher Morris (sadly no longer with us and much missed) who led the Insolvency department of Touche Ross (later to become Deloitte) and offered me a summer job. Some 35 years later, I am still committed to restructuring and finding creative ways to preserve value and jobs, when that option is still realistically on the table. I feel very privilged to have been able to export and share best practice in this area into parts of Eastern Europe and now into Africa. My initial focus on underperforming businesses and debtor/creditor remedy options has been a fantastic learning environment which I have used in subsequent corporate, project finance and sector reform projects. When I decided to establish Wyn River in 2013, I was determined that working alongside hugely experienced like-minded colleagues, we would be well positioned to provide solutions across both positive and stressed opportunities in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa. I am a fortunate man to be able to realise that goal.
Why the long story about rowing? In 1996 I moved to Poland and rowed there. When I transferred to Bulgaria to set up Deloitte’s corporate finance function, I carried on rowing there too, in the eight for CSKA, the Bulgarian army sports team. In 1999, I had the privilege to become the first (and possibly the last) British rower to become a Bulgarian rowing champion. In the meantime, I got married to Anna who has also achieved high standards in rowing, competing at Women’s Henley and winning Swedish rowing championship titles on several occasions. One of our daughters is also winning medals in junior rowing events. I am now excited about the prospect to row with new friends across Africa, starting in the Ivory Coast.
I was honoured to be nominated as one of the 8000 bearers of the London 2012 Olympic Torch in recognition of my international work, international sport, rugby coaching of young kids and for my fund raising for a sports charity. I raised over £2012 by cycle commuting 2012 miles to work in London. £1000 of that came from a single donation from the Dutch bank, Rabobank International, to whom I am very grateful. Running with the Olympic Torch through the centre of Kingston-Upon-Thames will always be a special memory, as will the Games themselves.
This is the reason why Wyn River Limited supports several children and sports charities, to build on the success of the London 2012 Olympics and do our bit to “Inspire a Generation” as the athletes did in competition and expect them to repeat in Rio in 2016. Sport connects people even if you don’t speak the same language, and can provide structure and healthy activity for kids to help them to form part of a happy, fit and inclusive future society.”