Principal Seth Vaughan, based in Manchester, provides growth loans across the north and Scotland for innovative, fast-growing SMEs.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I’m a principal, which means that I go into the local community and speak to advisors and businesses that are looking for capital. We provide debt financing to support their growth, typically at an important point in their life cycle, whether they’re investing in M&A, growth capital, working capital or shareholder reorganisation. We focus on tech companies but we operate in a range of other sectors, too.
How did you get into this field?
After taking an economics degree, I trained as an accountant to get a professional qualification and a good grounding in how businesses work. I moved to Clydesdale Yorkshire Bank in 2007, just before the credit crunch: the world then turned on its head, but it was a good time to learn about risk. Meeting people has always been my favourite part of the job: it’s a privilege to see how super-smart people design and deliver products and services.
What appealed to you about working here?
Having handled large clients in my time at Lloyds Bank, I wanted the opportunity to work with smaller businesses, where you can build a relationship with the people who founded and own the firm. I also wanted to be part of something that was growing. BOOST&Co is investing an incredible amount of money across the UK, particularly in the north and Scotland, and it’s exciting to be involved in accelerating the next stage of our growth.
How did you end up in Manchester?
I met my wife at Durham University, and after we graduated, that was where we decided to make our home. I joined PwC in Manchester in 2003 and, aside from a stint in Leeds, I’ve worked there ever since. But I support Liverpool Football Club, so I would never say that I’m an adopted Mancunian: my mates would shoot me.
Which item can you not work without?
Coffee. I used to have five or six cups a day, but I’m trying to wean myself off it with peppermint and nettle tea: you can’t really taste the nettle, but it sounds more manly than peppermint. When you work from home, the risk is that you keep snacking, so hot drinks help me to get through the day without putting on three stone.
How do you spend your leisure time?
Anything outdoors: I grew up in the Lake District, doing a lot of walking, and now I live in north Manchester, close to the moorland and the fells. I do some trail running and cycling, and I also coach my sons’ football team, for which I had to complete a Football Association course. You come away thinking “I’m going to do this the right way: structured sessions, quite European, no screaming on the touchline”, and it’s the total opposite – after five minutes, you turn into Sam Allardyce, dancing around like a lunatic.
How did you become a Liverpool fan?
I grew up in a tiny village called Hawkshead, where my nearest team was Carlisle United. In the mid-1980s, when I was getting interested in football, Liverpool were winning everything – so, yes, I was a glory supporter at first, but I’ve stuck with them for 35 years. Now, my local club is Ramsbottom United, and I like to take my three boys there on Saturday afternoons.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’ve skied since I was a kid and we’ve started skiing as a family, so I’d love to do a full ski season in Europe and become really good. I’d also love to buy a Winnebago and do a tour of Europe or the US, taking 12 months out to cruise around.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’m an accountant, so it would be something boring. First, I’d personally de-risk, but then I’d goon around on a jet ski, take tennis lessons and buy a chalet in Switzerland. I’d definitely take some time off work – before coming back as a more rounded individual, of course.