Cape Town-based investment manager Cea van Wyk assesses the fast-growing, high-tech UK SMEs that apply to BOOST&Co for growth capital loans.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m an investment manager, and I work with our London-based principal Kim Martin. When we get a lead from a company that needs funding, I do the initial analysis to make sure that it meets our requirements, and that it’s an innovative and growing business that excites us. I then support our principals in writing documents to present at credit committees, where BOOST&Co decides whether to invest. This requires a lot of research into what each company does, because the businesses we fund are different from other firms – that’s why we invest in them.
How did you end up at BOOST&Co?
I hated maths at school and preferred languages, but I enjoyed studying accounting, so I went into auditing and spent six years at Deloitte before joining BOOST&Co. Auditing has a very structured, checklist-type environment, and working here is completely different – it’s much more interesting and creative. Getting involved with entrepreneurs is a great learning experience, and I’m finding out about different industries all the time.
What appealed to you about BOOST&Co?
I found the company’s culture different and exciting, especially its focus on being authentic and brave. And BOOST&Co’s interview process is so thorough that I knew the business employed the best of the best, so I was excited about working with everyone here.
Which item can you not work without?
I love using colourful sticky notes; they help me to be more creative than working in a notebook all the time. It can be quite chaotic when I have a lot of them lying around, but I enjoy a sticky note.
Like many people at BOOST&Co, you’re a real globetrotter…
I love travelling. Bali is one of my favourite destinations – my husband and I went there for our honeymoon – and I’ve visited Mozambique, Namibia and Botswana. I was an exchange student in Austria for a month, and I worked for Deloitte UK for four months, when I jumped in a car to make a trip every weekend. I love Cambridge, where BOOST&Co now has an office: it’s a beautiful city.
How do you spend your time when you’re at home?
My husband and I enjoy cooking; I love pasta and pizza, and I have a weakness for chocolate and red wine. Sometimes I find myself lying on the couch for a full day watching movies and TV shows – we’re catching up with Suits and recently watched an entire season in one weekend. We also cycle together, so at least we get on the bike before we start lying on the couch.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I grew up on a farm in South Africa’s Western Cape province, in a small town called Oudtshoorn, which is known as “the ostrich capital of the world”!
What’s on your bucket list?
A ski trip in the Alps, and travelling to Portugal and Spain.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d take my entire family on a trip to Europe, and I’d buy a huge, four-bedroomed house and kit it out with nice furniture – I love interior design. Then I’d invest the rest.