• Creating quality.. Realising success...

CQRS Values

Our values are based upon the highest professional standards


We aim to provide our services and assistance in an ethical way, with our interests aligned directly with the sponsored businesses in whom we invest.

CQRS’ network comprises specialist service delivery partners and investors who have themselves been successful entrepreneurs and who know the critical drivers to allow businesses to achieve their potential.

We don’t arrange investments, but sponsored businesses are invited to present to our network.

Businesses that join the CQRS family have access to our expertise and guidance to assist them to navigate the business and funding mazes.


Our Network

CQRS sponsored businesses have access to our network.

Each member of our network has broad experience and expertise in his or her specialist industry.

Members of our network want to provide their experience and to deploy their wealth in investment areas in which they are knowledgeable.

Each sponsored business has a CQRS Partner appointed to work with them to help draw on the network and to reduce the risks inherent in building any business.



Creative solutions to complex problems are a part of CQRS' DNA.

Each business is unique, each entrepreneur, each leadership team also unique – ‘one size/one way’ definitely does not fit all!

Our team is proud of the diverse range of businesses we have supported and the solutions we have developed to ensure progress whatever the roadblock.



We say what we will do, and we do what we say. We like to work with others who deal in the same way.

Integrity and clarity are critical.

We don’t want to confuse people, and we don’t want to be confused either.

We know that unexpected things happen, we might not like what we hear, but it is far better to know the real position and have a chance of influencing what happens, than to learn too late. Facts are, as they say, friends.



The CQRS partnership key is having our interests aligned with those of the sponsored business.

Once we have agreed to sponsor a business, our commitment is to support it in any way that we can.

The most value members of the CQRS family receive is from the knowledge and advice of those who have been there before, and who know where (or to whom or how) to go to get to the next point on the development route.

The tangible value-adds include financial modelling, legal, accounting, presentational and HR advice; the intangible value comes from being part of the CQRS family and its network.


Social Responsibility

We are privileged to be able to support less profit oriented, but socially valuable, projects.

We are able to sponsor sustainable, albeit less profit oriented projects, by putting them in a commercial wrapper and giving our network the opportunity to support a good cause - sometimes taking advantage of tax breaks, even if they do not expect to make a financial return.

We take pride in helping a number of medical research organisations, educational initiatives and disadvantaged people to access the experience and generosity of our network.


We enable entrepreneurs to build their businesses

CQRS advises unlisted businesses, regarding their structure and preparation for investment. We help entrepreneurs navigate the maze of legal, financial, organisational and business planning thereby enabling better decision making and clear documentation which is essential for growth and securing funding.

For the investor, CQRS creates opportunities to access the Sponsored Businesses and make contact with other investors who may be participating in the funding. CQRS and Partners may participate in the financing of some of these businesses. In addition, we provide services for investors which enable them to centralise certain administrative functions, thereby providing efficiencies and security.

CQRS partners represent a diverse talent pool. The CQRS team members have an abundance of business experience and provide perspective on strategy and market context for all investment opportunities. Commonly sponsored businesses invite a CQRS partner to join their board to help ensure that the business receives the full benefit of CQRS support.

CQRS Limited is a limited liability company, registered in England with number 08521440 and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 764618.

Investors want access to exciting innovative businesses and to back success. Entrepreneurs need capital, but capital alone is no guarantee to success as they also need access to expertise, market knowledge and a networks of contacts .... the business building assets that require a lifetime to acquire. CQRS offers this expertise, knowledge and network, enhancing the prospects of success


Services for Sponsored Businesses

CQRS provides most of the key support skills that early stage companies require including legal, financial, HR, strategy, marketing and sales.

These are provided on an advisory basis as part of the relationship and, as needed, on a project basis.

The CQRS partnership comprises many individuals with substantial skills in many areas including:

  • legal
  • human resources
  • strategy and business planning
  • financial modelling
  • accountancy and tax
  • acquisitions
  • outsourcing
  • web development
  • online marketing

Our partners are not on our payroll and are available on an ‘as needed’ basis. Having low fixed overheads we don’t need to force services on our investee companies. Partners with appropriate skills are available for sponsored companies to call on for high level discussion and advice as needed and can provide ad-hoc support or conduct projects for sponsored companies very cost effectively and with high value added.


Helping Sponsored Businesses Secure Funding

CQRS has access to and experience of a variety of funding options. We support sponsored companies that are raising funds.

Our goal is a fair deal for all.

CQRS Partners invest alongside others in the initial rounds.

Most advisors say they can help companies raise funds, but CQRS is unique in several ways:

  • our partners and associates have their own significant funding capabilities, often enabling them to underwrite the whole of a fund raising
  • our partners invest at the same value as other early stage investors
  • we have in house legal and accounting capabilities avoiding the “clash and cost” of multiple advisors
  • we have experience in all stages of fund raising from pre-money idea financing to flotation on the main markets
  • we are able to deal with all aspects of EIS and SEIS funding purely in-house

… the key is that we are not driving for a quick, profitable transaction… business building takes time; our aim is a fruitful, long term, mutually rewarding relationships of trust with both our investors and the companies we invest in.


Managing Partners

Colin has worked in banking and financial institutions for over 35 years. Starting as a trainee at Barclays bank in Park Lane he then worked extensively in the foreign exchange, bond and finance markets in various geographical locations including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, New York and Chicago. He was instrumental in setting up several overseas branches of the National Commercial Bank in the offshore banking sector in Bahrain and then went on to open the New York office in the mid 1980’s before being transferred to London to replicate the process.

In 1988 Colin joined E D & F Man company (Man Group) to head up their non- commodity trading area and was involved in all aspects of Treasury until the flotation of the brokerage unit in the USA during July 2007 where he was part of the senior management team during the IPO.

Colin retired from the City in May 2008 and is an active investor in a range of organisations in technology, media, packaging and logistics, property and various not for profit organisations. He holds numerous Board appointments.

Quentin is a corporate finance lawyer. Having trained with Pinsent Curtis, spent a dozen years in the City (many as a senior partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner) and established his own firm in 2002, specialising in corporate and commercial advisory services for high growth technology businesses, including several that he led through IPOs (one of which successfully transferred from the London market to NASDAQ). He was engaged by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as a corporate consultant in its London office from 2004 to 2007 and transferred his firm to Burlingtons Legal LLP in 2012, where he continues as a consultant.

Quentin was also one of two founders of Eurovestech PLC, an early stage technology investment company, which was listed on AIM for over a decade, he remains on the Board. He has a wide range of interests, having trained as a mediator, lectured at CASS and Cranfield School of Management and been an adviser to the Investor Relations Society he has also been a partner in a Far Eastern merchant banking advisory business and introduced a company to AIM and then transitioned it to NASDAQ.

He specialises in advising early stage companies both on aspects of funding and structuring commercial deals, he commonly takes an equity position in the company he advises and sits on their advisory boards.

Robin’s career has been for the most part in management consulting and advisory services (Price Waterhouse, Crane Davies, Penna plc). He has worked for a range of FTSE/International companies:
AT&T, BT, BP, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Diageo, National Grid, Novartis, Standard Life.

His expertise is in change management: from strategy to organisation design to leadership and team development. He has been coaching Executives and Boards for 30 years + and travels globally presenting on leadership and change.

He has over the last 30 years been investing and supporting ‘young’ companies in the technology/software, media/social media, music, professional services and manufacturing sectors. He has also worked with and alongside some of the leading venture capital firms to:
• Improve their approach to evaluating the management capability of potential investee companies
• Work with the CEO’s/Boards of investee companies during the difficult times.

Robin is/has been Chairman of several companies and has been a non-Executive Director on the Board of many: currently TORI Global (IT Professional Services), Eskimo (creative marketing to music and media), Intent HQ (social media marketing and data analytics), westbrook International (Salesforce Platinum Partner for implementation).

Steve started his career with Pinchin Deny & Co a jobbing partnership, moving to Morgan Grenfell as Head of Equity Trading and as a member of the management committee.

He joined County NatWest with responsibilities for building customer and proprietary trading teams.

After six months as a consultant to The London Stock Exchange Steve joined Hoare Govett as a director and was promoted to The Global Equities Directorate as head of equities trading. During this growth phase Steve had periods based in New York Sydney and several European financial centres, building and supporting equity teams and developing client relationships.

Since 1997, Steve has pursued private investments, one being TORI Global, a consultancy specialising in innovation, change and leadership development in the financial services sector, where he was a partner and still remains an active shareholder and advisor on corporate actions (since 2002).

In 2003 he became a Director of Meon Capital and then a director of IAF Securities in Feb 2006 until it ceased trading in 2009. In 2012 he became chairman of the Pallite Company a manufacturing business based in Wellingborough.

Over the last twenty five years, Steve has supported many private companies by assisting them in raising capital through his city network as well as advising on structure. Etc.


Sarie has a degree in English and Italian. Having worked with project teams in a range of multinational and start-up businesses she has developed first class project management, sales and design skills.

Her first project management role was for Regent International helping to develop its first hotel in Milan. She subsequently relocated to London and was appointed by the Four Seasons Hotel group as its group co-ordinator for conferences and incentive plans. Sarie has also worked in an international pharmaceutical business on an Italian merger for a cancer research project.

Taking a "family break", Sarie provided temping services for an office relocation and fitting out service; the family break plan didn't quite work when she was appointed as the company’s design manager!

We are delighted to have tempted her out of “retirement” to work with CQRS.

Jacques has over 25 years’ experience of consulting, technology and business management and is currently the CEO of BQu a business services company based in the UK and Sri Lanka which he founded as well as a partner of TORI, a technology consultancy to financial institutions and a non-executive director of the charity nacue, the national association of college and university entrepreneurs.

Jacques developed leading consulting capabilities and knowledge management capabilities as Vice President of Mercer Management Consulting, Principal of Booz|Allen|Hamilton in the UK, France and USA and as a founding Director of Spicer and Oppenheim Consultants. His focus in was mainly in Financial Services with an additional focus on Investment Banking and Capital Markets

He was also the CEO of Patsystems plc, a leading on-line trading software developer, where he took the company from a 6 man start-up, through a London Main Market flotation; growing it into a £200m market capitalized company in 3 years. Jacques was also a Director of ICL Financial Services in the UK and France. Over the last years Jacques has been involved with over 15 start-ups as founder, mentor or funder.

Jacques has an MA in Physics from Oxford University and an MBA from London Business School and is married with three wonderful daughters.

Sarah has worked in the field of financial regulation for over 25 years, with a focus on investment banking. Latterly, she was European Head of Compliance for MF Global UK Limited and from 2005 to 2010, at BNP Paribas, she held various roles including Deputy Global Head of Investment Banking Compliance; Global Head of Fixed Income Compliance; Regional Head UK/Americas, Investment Banking; and throughout, Head of UK Territory Compliance across Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management, Wealth Management and Retail. From 2003 to 2005, Sarah was Global Head of Fixed Income Compliance and Head of UK Compliance at West LB, following her roles at UBS from 1992 to 2002, where she was Global Coordinator for Fixed Income/Commodities Compliance in addition to Head of UK Compliance for Private Banking, On-Exchange Derivatives, and Corporate Banking. Sarah's Compliance experience followed a Head of Operations role, prior to which she worked outside the financial services sector and primarily in the fields of architectural and environmental conservation.

Sarah has had in depth experience of building and managing Compliance teams across different cultures; upgrading Compliance advisory expertise and developing Compliance systems and controls to create a function delivering the identification, measurement, mitigation and management of Compliance Risk; handling regulatory inspections and investigations, including Section 166s; and working through regulatory enforcement proceedings and the wind up of a company under 'Special Administration'. In addition to Sarah's Compliance experience, her involvement in projects to enhance Governance arrangements across a number of firms, in response to regulatory scrutiny, has given her a broad understanding of the potentials for effectiveness through efficient interconnectivity between Risk functions and Management strategies, structures and rewards.

Sarah is married with four children and has helped her husband develop a small holiday letting business in the UK and France.


Celia Elmey

Celia is a former Director of PwC (1987-2005) and EY (2006-2008) who has worked in governance, risk management, audit and assurance for nearly thirty years. After a number of years working in IT audit and project assurance, she specialised in Internal Audit, undertaking secondments as the Head of Business Controls at Safeway plc (2000-2002) and interim Head of Internal Audit for Balfour Beatty (2003-2004) and Tate & Lyle (2006). After leaving EY, she was the Head of Internal Audit for IT services company, Logica (2008-2012), leading audits and investigations into all business activities in Europe, Brazil, the Middle East and India.

Celia has extensive consultancy experience, working with companies including Astra Zeneca, British American Tobacco and SAB Miller whilst with the ‘big four’. More recently, she has been working for Grant Thornton, Burberry and Rolls Royce, with engagements including reviews of effectiveness of risk management and internal audit. Her experience means she has a depth and breadth of knowledge of business process effectiveness and efficiency across a range of industry sectors, most notably IT services, construction, retail and FMCG

Jacques de Cock

Jacques has over 25 years’ experience of consulting, technology and business management and is currently the CEO of BQu a business services company based in the UK and Sri Lanka which he founded as well as a partner of TORI, a technology consultancy to financial institutions and a non-executive director of the charity nacue, the national association of college and university entrepreneurs.

Jacques developed leading consulting capabilities and knowledge management capabilities as Vice President of Mercer Management Consulting, Principal of Booz|Allen|Hamilton in the UK, France and USA and as a founding Director of Spicer and Oppenheim Consultants. His focus in was mainly in Financial Services with an additional focus on Investment Banking and Capital Markets

He was also the CEO of Patsystems plc, a leading on-line trading software developer, where he took the company from a 6 man start-up, through a London Main Market flotation; growing it into a £200m market capitalized company in 3 years. Jacques was also a Director of ICL Financial Services in the UK and France. Over the last years Jacques has been involved with over 15 start-ups as founder, mentor or funder.

Jacques has an MA in Physics from Oxford University and an MBA from London Business School and is married with three wonderful daughters.

Tim Doyle

Tim Doyle began his career as a Graduate Trainee in the Bank of England in 1973. He received an MBA from the Scottish Business School at Edinburgh University in 1981 and then focused his career in Human Resources within the finance Industry. He has significant experience in Recruitment, Employee Relations, Training and Development and Talent Management gained within Investment Banking and Investment Management Companies in a variety of senior positions. Having been involved in the Finance Industry prior to ‘Big Bang’ in the 1980s he has been very much involved with managing change throughout his whole career.

He retired in 2010 and is now heavily involved with a charity supporting prisoners wishing to transform their lives. He has a degree in Modern History awarded by St Andrews University.

Ross Jones

Ross started his career at Gerrard and National Ltd, a Discount House, in 1977 and was appointed as a director of the Gerrard Group Plc in 1986 in 1993 he completed the International Executive Programme at INSEAD before being appointed CEO of Gerrard & National Ltd. He was elected as the inaugural Chairman of the London Money Market Association in 1996. Ross remained with the Gerrard Group post the takeover by Old Mutual PLC in 2000 before leaving in 2004 to found JTP Partners LLP. Over the last 20 years Ross has served as a Non-Executive Chairman and Director of a number of listed and Private Companies and current positions include being Chairman of The International Racing Bureau and a Director of The Alternative Pallet Company Co Ltd.

Yogi Patel

Yogi is a former partner of KPMG and Reuters and is responsible at TORI for future business development and exploring new channels to market. Yogi has extensive business development experience particularly in India and the Middle East. He is also extremely creative in how to generate sales and relationships for new companies particularly in the technology sector.

Michael Covington

Michael is an active deal originator and adviser with nearly 25 years experience in investment banking, accounting and cleantech & renewables financial consultancy. He is one of three partners in SI Capital, a specialist energy efficiency private equity investment firm as well as being a founder director of one of the UK solar PV development pioneers. Before his move into investment and business, he had a career of 15 years in international investment banking including eight years at Dresdner Kleinwortworking on over £7.2 billion of announced M&A (28 deals in 6 jurisdictions) and £350m of equity raising.

He is an investor representative on the boards of a number of growth companies including ReEnergise, Smart Energy Finance One, Black Dog Biogas and The Alternative Pallet Company where he brings significant accumulated knowledge and practical experience of corporate finance, investor relations and business development.

Michael has an MA in Chemistry from Oxford University, qualified as an ACA at PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent time as a research scientist in the United States.

Corporate Partners

Its network complements CQRS' own network.

Burlingtons Legal LLP

Burlingtons Legal LLP is a full service corporate law firm based in the heart of Mayfair with international offices. It offers partner-led service and is committed to the same service quality levels as CQRS: valuing professionalism, trust, discretion, integrity, loyalty and independence.

City House Capital

City House Capital is discrete corporate finance adviser which assists early stage businesses and facilitates capital investment across a broad range of sectors focusing on interesting and innovative investment opportunities. City House Capital uses a network of industry specific professionals to assess new projects and provide specialist guidance and support as well as being a key source of investment capital. City House Capital is able to assist in the structuring of new ventures, developing investment propositions and tailoring the documentation to suit the investor community whilst ensuring compliance at multiple levels.

David Rubin & Partners LLP

David Rubin & Partners is a firm of restructuring professionals, specialising in business turnaround and rescue, corporate and personal insolvency, forensic accounting, and litigation support.

The firm works with CQRS to identify creative and pragmatic solutions to challenging situations, both in the corporate and personal sphere. These solutions extend across the spectrum from sourcing additional capital investment to both formal and informal insolvency processes.

Tori Global

TORI Global is a leading supplier of Change Management solutions to global enterprises. The brainchild of chief officers of multinational financial services businesses struggling to find delivery partners that they wanted to work with, TORI (Trust, Openness, Respect and Integrity) was established in 1990. Partners of CQRS have invested in and worked with TORI since formation.

The hallmark of TORI’s success is placing the very best (senior level) practitioners, with years of real-world industry experience, to support the successful execution of Change Management and "business transformation" projects.

TORI’s expertise encompasses handling change for people, processes, systems and technology. Today, TORI works with some of the world’s largest financial services organisations, in some of the most technology intensive environments. The core service focus has been in delivery to “Tier 1” global enterprises. Clients include leaders in banking (retail and investment), insurance, asset and fund management, data, e-commerce, telco, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors.

Our References

CQRS partners and inner circle members have ongoing working relationships with numerous companies, most of them from start up, which are quite diverse in their products and offerings.

The Perfect Little Company
Open Stage IT

Ball Street


The Right Solution at the Right Time in the Right Format at the Right Price

BQu provides web and software development, online marketing and business analysis support to companies. BQu’s approach is “issues and solutions”-led, and focus on understanding the exact needs of their clients and tailor their solutions to provide the best value possible in a timely manner.

Services offered:

  • Web & App Solutions Development: BQu focuses on development of web sites that form a part of the customer value of their clients and require the management of information and content to make it both useful to management and easy to find and use
  • Online Marketing & SEO: BQu has an experienced team which can assist clients with all or some of their online requirements from on-site SEO optimization, through social media management, blog writing, email marketing to online advertising
  • Business Research & Data Analysis: BQu Analysts have all been trained in the Issues based analytical process and with Barbara Minto’s Logic in Thinking and Writing that are the two building blocks of the training of Associates in leading consultancies.

Products offered:

  • BQu TMS: BQu has developed a unique capability - the BQu Time Management System (BQu TMS) and BQu Student Attendance Management System (BQu SAMS), where time and attendance information capture is highly configurable and reporting tailored to the specific needs of each individual user.
  • BQu eLibrary: BQu has both purchased many business books and configured other resources in a format that enables this to be available to institutions and individuals at a low per person cost



Crisp Thinking – Protecting the Brand, Customers and Online Communities

Crisp’s solutions take care of moderating, monitoring and managing all types of User Generated Content. Crisp remains the market specialist in protecting against brand risks online by dealing with offensive content and malicious users, enabling global brands to focus on delivering a world-class social experience.

Colin is a non executive director and shareholder and individually each of the CQRS principals has supported Crisp for many years.



A company that produces lightweight, CO2 friendly pallets. The Directors of CQRS are all involved as founder investors with Steve as Chairman and Quentin as legal counsel. The company has evolved over 3 years into a fully operational factory (located for ease of distribution in the Midlands) with a capacity to produce 30,000 pallets per month.

We have provided guidance, structure, resources, seed-funding and now, as the business is growing sales and client base in the UK and mainland Europe as well as through an agency in Ireland, we have recently raised over £1m from our network as well as an institutional investor. Now the business is established and production is secure, the next phase is in the sales and customer acquisition, the first phase of which is concentrated on air-freighters and Healthcare producers.



Founded in 2013, Eskimo provides marketing support to brands particularly through digital platforms and the deployment of smart tech to create distinctive events (concerts, festivals…) that promote brand affinity, customer acquisition and retention.

Robin (Chairman) has four partners specialising in media and entertainment, marketing, technology and programme execution. Key clients include Samsung, Mastercard, Festival HQ (a majority owned subsidiary) and Da Banda. Whilst young, Eskimo is winning client/accounts that the major agencies would envy and has demonstrated remarkable growth and innovation.

CQRS are helping to expand the investor base and providing support on the fund-raising now needed to support the growth and the continuing development of technology and IP.


Form Tool

TheFormTool has developed an incredibly powerful Microsoft Word plug-in that allows simple and highly intelligent document automation, fitting perfectly with CQRS’ mantra of working smarter not harder – the embodiment of Creating Quality to Realise Success.

The business model that TheFormTool follows is based on Adobe’s winning formula of a free reader available to all ( TheFormTool), a powerful one time purchase authoring tool (TheFormTool PRO) and a sophisticated lockable, intelligent, database dipping, document-suite creating top of the range version using the “Fetch” and “Folio” library clause facilities (Doxserá DB) – and even more sophisticated versions being released regularly. CQRS invested in the TheFormTool’s A Round.



Founded in 2001, TORI provides expertise to the financial services sector with three areas of focus:

  • Operational strategy and support in implementation of technology change in all areas (architecture, service management, data, digital)
  • Programme and Project Management support during transformation and change, drawing upon experienced ‘C’ level practitioners to provide the ‘hands-on’ expertise to accelerate the change
  • Innovation and capability development – providing the organization support to change including leadership development and coaching, team-building, communication and engagement, planning workshops.

Steve and Robin were founding Partners in TORI and Robin is Chairman. Key clients include Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Old Mutual and BNP Paribas.

TORI is now in acquisition mode and CQRS are supporting the appraisal/due diligence of the target organisations and the commercial negotiations and deal structures.


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