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LAVA series: Working at a challenger boutique – having more effective partnerships with colleagues

Despite their varied experience, skillset and personalities, LAVA’s team members share one major professional milestone – they’ve all chosen to move from large corporates (the Big Four or international organisations) to continue their careers at a challenger boutique.

What enticed them to make this career switch? And how have they found the transition from the predictable environments of established corporations to the more dynamic, fast-paced setup of a new M&A player?

Our latest blog series looks to answer these questions by creating a space for our team to explore some of the differences between previous corporate experiences and their time at LAVA so far.

In this week’s instalment, Associate Director Tom Rowe-Jones addresses internal collaboration and idea-sharing, touching on the benefits of working as part of a smaller team, as well as the elements he, at first, found challenging.  

“Having more effective partnerships with colleagues and seeing your ideas come to fruition”Tom Rowe-Jones, Associate Director

‘Collaboration’, ‘partnerships’ and ‘idea-sharing’ are all buzzwords used by corporate organisations to describe the working environment they have fostered and expect within their businesses. Whilst this may be achievable to a certain extent, the natural barrier to individuals making a tangible difference to the way their organisations operate and perform through these practices is the size of the organisation itself.

One thing I’ve found to be incredibly beneficial since joining LAVA (and it took me a while to get comfortable with it!) is our mission to ‘use a beginners mindset’.


Bringing ingenuity and fresh thinking to our daily work, as well as each client interaction, means collaboration and idea-sharing are a bi-product of how we operate.

The simple fact that we can quickly ensure everyone in the business is on a Teams call or in the same room in the office means collating everyone’s thoughts and ideas is not only easy but also actively encouraged and enjoyable.

Being part of an M&A boutique and operating like this provides both a benefit to the business as a whole and to the individuals within the company itself. Given our size, we can be flexible, agile and quick to implement any ideas any one of us comes up with, allowing us to challenge our competitors, break the status quo and provide the best service for our clients.

As an individual working in that environment and seeing your ideas taken on board and implemented, it is hugely rewarding and encouraging to know that you can make a difference and contribute to the business’s success.


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