Roland Rudd was already a successful journalist when he set up Finsbury in 1994. He traded in a 10-year career with the Times, the Independent on Sunday and the Financial Times to run his own financial public-relations company.
At the FT, Rudd had become disenchanted with the way in which financial PR was handled. 'The industry was not overflowing with talent. People were unfocused and had little understanding of their clients. There was too much sloppiness, and the ratio of staff to clients was too high.'
He founded Finsbury on the idea that each consultant would be responsible for only a handful of clients, whose businesses they would know inside and out. His staff would be financially literate, and there would be specialists in mergers and acquisitions, an area that Rudd had covered extensively at the FT.
The business has grown impressively, achieving a turnover of £3 million last year, and winning important clients from its bigger rivals. It is now in third place in the M&A league tables by value of transactions handled.
Rudd has no regrets about leaving the world of journalism for business. 'There is no such thing as after-work hours when you are setting up your own business. But it is hugely rewarding as you affect so much more with your decisions.'