Principal Ryan Sorby leads BOOST&Co’s Manchester office, which provides growth capital to fast-growing and high-tech SMEs across the north-west of England.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m a principal, based in Manchester and responsible for originating, transacting and executing new deals across the north of England. Since I started, four months ago, we’ve seen 35 to 40 opportunities, with a handful of these progressing well. My background is in relationship banking, and the majority of opportunities are leveraged from my professional network or from contacting businesses directly.
What was your first job?
My first job was as an accounting technician in Sheffield, when I was 16. My spending money from my parents was £2.50 a week, but my salary was £70 a week, so I thought that was amazing – it was a pair of Nike Air trainers every week! We had businesses coming in with carrier bags full of receipts that smelled of whatever industry it was; one was a fish merchant, so that was pleasant.
How did you end up in Manchester?
BDO supported me through my chartered accountancy exams, and I worked for PwC before moving to Lloyds Banking Group, doubling the size of my portfolio over two years. The regional manager asked if I wanted to try to replicate my success in Manchester, and the city is great, so it was too good to turn down.
What appealed to you about BOOST&Co?
The opportunity to lead a financial institution in the north was a real draw. I was also excited by BOOST&Co’s people and culture, and the creativity we’re encouraged to bring to our roles.
Which item can you not work without?
My old-school calculator is archaic, but I use it all the time. I did my GCSEs with it, so it’s almost 25 years old.
Which football team do you support?
The blue and white wizards, Sheffield Wednesday. My first match was against West Ham United, in 1984; Martin Hodge, who was our goalkeeper at the time, saved two penalties in that game.
What’s on your bucket list?
My wife and I love walking, and we’ve always wanted to trek to Machu Picchu. One day I’ll hire a motor home and travel the West Coast of America, stopping at Yosemite National Park and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. I’d also love to watch the Rugby Sevens in Hong Kong.
You seem to be the active type…
I’ve been down the Olympic bobsleigh track in Turin, and I’ve crashed a Formula Three car; that happened at a track day, when I went into the side of the person who had invited me. During a lads’ holiday in Tenerife, I was going to do a bungee jump off a giant crane, but I had second thoughts.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’m an accountant – I’m Mr Risk-Averse. I’d probably buy my parents a new motor home. Those are pretty expensive, so they’d love it, but my wife might have something to say about that!