Max WardCorporate Finance Director

About Max Ward

My Experience/History:

I bring a unique balance of skills and experience to both Ascendis and my role in Corporate Finance. Most advisory professionals have only ever worked as advisor but I have worked in industry; as Founder, CEO, Finance Director & NED in my own and sponsored corporates, as a senior leader in growing SME & Corporate Financial Services businesses (supporting a number of the most high profile lenders of the last 15 years) as well as acting as advisor to investors, lending institutions, entrepreneurs, start-ups, growth-stage SMEs & Corporates and assisting companies in distress to deliver turnarounds. This breadth of experience allows me to appreciate the needs and challenges of stakeholders key to delivering success in each of these situations.

What do you like about working for Ascendis?

At Ascendis we only work with Entrepreneurial and Owner-Managed businesses. Working with companies of this scale and directly with owners is where I see the biggest opportunity to genuinely add value. The days of being excited to work in a large institution are frankly long gone for me – it may pay the bills but It’s so much more rewarding to build relationships with owners and feel first-hand the influence of those collective decisions we have made over time.  The fact the leadership team at the firm is so young and embracing of new ideas only makes it an even more enjoyable place to work – it’s just a shame were all remote at the minute.

What makes Ascendis different to other accountants?

Given where we are in the economic cycle, now more than ever advisors need to focus less on the regimented outputs of old and focus more on understanding the people, the business and the market in which their clients trade. The next 10 years will present so many opportunities and threats for clients that its only those advisory firms built to tackle those proactively which will be really valued by their clients. Knowing the firm as I do, I am really excited to see how a young, progressive firm can help shape the fortunes of their clients during a one-in-a-lifetime period in history.

Favourite TV Show:

I don’t really watch much TV aside from the football (long suffering Spurs fan) but I really enjoyed Succession and The End Of The FXXXXXX World on Sky this year. If anyone at Sky reads this by all means send me a discount, after the amount I’ve spent its long overdue!

Favourite Destination:

We have another home in St Ives, which we go to frequently and that is such an idyllic location (6 hour drive aside!) but I do have a soft spot for South East Asia and aim to do more city breaks with the family once “normal” returns.

One thing you might not know about me?

In between my time building transactional risk teams at GE and Barclays, I started playing poker and amongst other titles won the UK Amateur Championships and played at the 2007 World Series in Vegas (at the time the richest sporting contest in the world).