Our Team

Nic Rixon Founding Partner of SGFE

Nic Rixon

As a successful entrepreneur who has built and sold companies in manufacturing, property, training and commercial design, Nic knows about the challenges of growing a successful business and managing people.

He was one of the founding partners of Shirlaws, responsible for driving the growth of the business. In addition to consulting with hundreds of mid tier businesses, he has worked with British Aerospace, Sony Pictures, HSBC, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Direct Selling Association and Oxford University.

Nic has also been invited to deliver keynote presentations at numerous Business Schools in the UK and Europe on business strategy.

Hobbies & Interests: Motorcycles, F1 Racing, Red Wine, Health & Fitness, Vinyl Collector, Reading, Personal Development

Skills: Board & Team Training, CEO Coaching, International Speaker, Strategy Consultant, Revenue Systems, Sales Trainer

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Julian Oldfield Partner at SGFE

Julian Oldfield

Julian has a huge experience in running successful companies using his wealth of knowledge and is committed to driving strategy and training business skills. He loves helping forward thinking business leaders.

Hobbies & Interests: Julian’s mantra is to live life to the max…his social activities include enjoying family life, watching football, fitness training, worldwide travel, walking the family dog, socialising and coaching swimming. He also loves fine wine.

Skills: An expert in management structures, corporate innovation, finance reporting/management accounts and problem solving. Julian makes companies grow fast through embedding revenue, management and cultural systems and has applied these skills in a large number of SME and corporate clients.

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Jason Walkingshaw Partner at SGFE

Jason Walkingshaw

Jason is passionate about a company’s culture, their brand identity and the role that values play in creating that. He helped OVO Energy grow from a start-up with 40 employees and £18m turnover to £750m and 1300 staff in 6 years. Jason was in charge of the people plan that led to OVO being ranked 20th best place to work in 2017 in the Sunday Times best places to work and the first ever Which? recommended energy supplier. Prior to that Jason ran his own direct sales business where recruited and trained a 125 person European sales organisation.

Hobbies & Interests: In his spare time you can find Jason on a golf course or following the Scottish Rugby team. A keen runner, he’s tackled a couple of marathons and climbed the odd high mountain. While sport is a big passion, he loves nothing more than spending the weekend with his wife and 18 month old daughter.

Skills: Jason is an expert in how a great employee experience translates to a great customer experience.

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John Edwards Partner at SGFE

John Edwards

John has more than 25 years of international management experience, including 10 years in international and emerging markets, primarily in rapid growth environments or in challenging turnaround situations. He has held senior roles in operations, finance and general management across a range of industries that include telecoms, forestry and renewable energy. John has spent 15 years as a business owner and partner in a number of professional consulting practices, where he has experienced the full range of entrepreneurial highs and lows.

Hobbies & Interests: John lives in Switzerland and enjoys the fantastic quality of outdoor life it offers, whether that’s up a hill, down a hill or around a lake. He likes to cook, read and play a bit of guitar when no-one is looking or listening.

Skills: John’s particular areas of interest and expertise lie around planning, process and governance– operational, organisational and financial – interlinked disciplines that many entrepreneurial businesses lack, yet which are absolutely key to realising full growth potential.

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Mike Smith Partner at SGFE

Mike Smith

With a background in Marketing, Sales and Engineering in the Technology sector, Mike is a business coach and consultant with 15 years’ experience of working with businesses of all types and sizes. Specialising in driving revenue generation, profitability and marketing strategy, Mike has a track record of success in taking businesses to their next stage of growth. Taking the role of Trusted Advisor to business leaders, Mike is challenging but supportive, using a blend of coaching and consulting to achieve outstanding results.

Hobbies & Interests: Mike enjoys cycling the byways and lanes of England, undertaking a couple of cycle tours a year, usually supported and encouraged by his son, or sometimes his wife, from the back seat of their tandem. He also loves sailing, being a member of Parkstone Yacht Club and landscape and wildlife photography.

Skills: Mike has considerable expertise in all aspects of business but has particular specialisms in driving efficiency right through the business from marketing and sales through to delivery and using his own management skills to keep your project on track.


Lucy Gower Partner at SGFE

Lucy is passionate about how purpose and people can align to make big impact and a happy and productive workforce. She led the first innovation team at the NSPCC helping teams work together to turn good ideas into action. Since Lucy left the NSPCC in 2012 she’s worked with hundreds of organisations coaching and training leaders and teams to build their confidence, work together, think creatively and get powerful results.  Lucy is author of the best selling Innovation Workout and a global speaker on innovation. She enjoys working on projects with the potential to make a positive impact on the world.

Hobbies & Interests: Lucy lives in Devon and in her spare time you can find her in, on or under the sea or exploring the countryside walks and pubs with her dog Gary.


Skills: Lucy is an expert challenging people to identify and confront what’s holding them back and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone and achieve the results they want.


James Pope Partner at SGFE

James started his career with the world largest Asset Manager, BlackRock Investment Managers. Covering Emerging and Frontier Market mandates he had over a decade of experience analysing balance sheets, cash flow statements and P/L reports alongside the operational running of the portfolios. Never short of a dose of entrepreneurial flair, he decided to flap his wings and leave the safety of the corporate world. After successfully building and exiting two businesses, he has now turned his sights on helping other businesses succeed.


Hobbies & Interests: What doesn’t James do…! From learning to fly a small plane in 2019 to donning the cricket pads in the summer, James is not afraid to live life to the full. A keen lover of any sport and a big passion for the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL, he loves to play sport as much as he does watch. An avid traveller nothing pleases him more than updating his “Been” app with a new country he has visited.


Skills: Comprehensive and direct experience with business strategy has allowed James to live his passion for being insightful, innovative and entrepreneurial. Lengthy experience in understanding corporate financial analysis alongside expertise in fundraising, building a business for exit and establishing distribution channels have been applied across a spectrum of different business characteristics he has worked with.