About Us

We are a research consultancy, with our roots in equity research. We are now applying the skills we have developed in that environment to a wider audience. The core of our offer is investment research, applied to unquoted companies as well as quoted companies.

Our team of talented analysts, mainly ex hedge fund, corporate finance or sell-side, produces quality and in-depth research. Our analysis of quoted companies and industries is very similar to that conducted in a top quality investment bank. Our analysis of unquoted companies is best likened to that of a top 4 accountancy firm - we endeavour to do all the research ourselves using source accounts documents from Companies House, which is the best way to avoid data quality issues from offshoring or purchased generic data, although we may on occasion use standard databases to extract industry data.

The page Why Use Us contains more on our abilities and this page is dedicated to the team descriptions and bios.


Our team consists of equity and debt analysts, communications specialists and old-fashioned stockbrokers (at Independent Insight). Some brief bios are outlined below.

Stephen Clapham

Stephen (Steve) is the founder of The Balance Sheet Surgery LLP, trading as Behind the Balance Sheet. Steve has been an investment analyst for the last 25 years. He has worked on the 'sell side' for a number of investment banks covering the transport, utilities and conglomerates sectors. In 2005 he moved to the 'buy side' where he was a partner at Toscafund Asset Management LLP then Head of Research at Altima Partners LLP, both then multi-billion dollar firms . Steve was consistently rated in the top 10 in various sectors when he was a sell-side analyst, including the prestigious Starmine Most Accurate Forecaster award, and as runner-up in the highly regarded Institutional Investor survey. Steve is on first name terms with many of the City's leading fund managers and is widely regarded as one of the top analysts in his sectors.

John Crichton

John has spent many years studying the economies of emerging markets, gaining his MSc in China and Globalisation from King's College London before going to become a China Equity sales broker at NSBO. Beside finance, economics and politics, John's other passion is UK/European football, in particular Chelsea FC where he is a season ticket holder, making our football analysis an exellent combination of his skills and interests.

Mahgul Ansari

Mahgul qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte LLP and has experience in audit and valuations. She also has experience working in house in the finance department of a FTSE 250 property company and more recently, at Henderson Global Investors. Mahgul graduated with a BA in German from University College London, and is a CFA level 3 candidate. She is fluent in German and a keen investor. Mahgul has been responsible for our analysis of the legal profession.

Richard Mail

Richard is a member of the analyst team and has been involved in various projects including the Football, Legal and Brewing Industry reports. He was previously a research analyst for Ochre Securities, an equity research boutique, where he assisted in the creation and development of various data control tools. He has specific responsibility for data quality, maintenance and manipulation; this is essential to ensure that our reports are of the highest quality and integrity. Richard has a BSc Hons in Technology and Business Studies from the University of Strathclyde.

Alistair Stewart

Alistair works in concert with the analyst teams and has a wealth of experience in market evaluation principally in the Retail, Services and Technology sectors. Alistair's roles include the European Chairmanship of a leading advertising agency, a non-executive Directorship of an Irish software company and he is a trustee of charity Basic Needs.

Alistair has a proven track record in advising multi-national organisations (AT&T, Philips etc) on strategy and has worked with a range of Private Equity firms to extract maximum value from their investments. Alistair has an acute understanding of the need for in-depth and objective football analysis, and has had extensive input into our football research.

Tim Keogh

Tim is a founding partner of April Strategy LLP and is an experienced strategy, innovation and customer experience consultant. As an example of his many projects, Tim has recently helped an NHS acute hospital trust to re-define its entire strategy, delivery capability and service culture around the needs of its patients. Tim is an expert at the translation and transformation of dull financial and other data into meaningful, interesting and engaging content. 

This skill is central to the content of our Footy Finance App and to the services we offer in employee communications. A graduate of Cambridge University, Tim was formerly CEO of a leading internet consulting firm and spent 5 years at Publicis running European advertising accounts for Intel, HP and Oracle. 

Stuart Davidson

As a member of the analyst team, Stuart was the primary analyst on our first Football Report. Prior to joining us, Stuart worked as an equity research analyst at London based broker VSA Capital, where he had responsibility for the Agriculture and Timber sector. In addition to this he has assisted in research into the both the Retail sector and macroeconomic analysis of the Central and European Economies. He holds a degree in Economics from Newcastle University

Monesh Kirpalani

As one of our senior analysts, Monesh was involved in the football project from the outset, and has extensive experience of building financial models. Monesh is a highly regarded analyst, and we thanks him for his contribution and wish him well in his new role as a stock-picker for a recently established long-short equity hedge fund in London.

Carl Wells

Carl is one of our senior analysts and has a total of 11 years of financial experience, most recently as the CEO of Systematic Equity Partners, a systematic equity advisory firm founded with a partner from one of London’s most successful hedge-funds.  Before that, Carl was the Senior Equity Analyst at Cork Street Capital Advisors, a research-intensive Goldman Sachs spin-out fund seeded by a top 50 hedge fund-of-funds, having previously worked as assistant hedge-fund manager at JO Hambro Capital Management, on funds totalling EUR 500m.  Carl started his finance career at Credit Suisse in M&A. He holds a Master’s degree in Physics from Imperial College, a certificate in quantitative finance, a graduate diploma in Law, and has done graduate work towards a Master of Science in Mathematical Finance from Oxford University.

Richard Alexander

Richard is Head of Marketing. He has several years’ experience working with companies in Canada, Australia and the UK. In his previous role, he helped Alexander Castle, an on-line sales business, grow to become one of the market leaders in its industry. His expertise is focussed on digital media and increasingly on social media. Richard attained a bachelor’s degree in Natural Science from the University of Birmingham.


John Holmes

John is one of the Independent Insight team,  with specific responsibility for liaising with NED clients. John started his city career in 1966 working as a research analyst at Hoare & Co. He moved into institutional sales in 1973 and for the following 9 years was responsible for the firm's Scottish clients as well as a number of senior merchant banking accounts in London. He joined the partnership of Hoare Govett in 1976. He set up the firm's operations in New York in 1982, selling global equities to US institutional investors. Moving back to the UK in 1985 he became Managing Director of Morgan Grenfell Securities, and then worked as an MD of Morgan Stanley and Head of equity sales at Credit Lyonnais Laing. There followed ten years in executive search as a Partner in the Berwick Group and head of the Financial Services Practice at Odgers Berndtson. He is currently Chairman of Dryden Human Capital and a senior adviser to Pure Recruitment.

Keith Hiscock 

Keith is one of the Independent Insight team,  with specific responsibility for liasing with CIOs at major investment institutions. Keith has over 30 years stockbroking experience. Most recently he was Managing Partner at Agency Partners, a leading research boutique. Previously he was a Director on the 5-man securities board at Evolution with particular responsibility for client marketing and product development. After reading PPE at Oxford he started his career at James Capel, at the time the top ranked research house in London. He was a founding member of Schroder Securities and has also worked at Wood MacKenzie, Panmure Gordon, Hoare Govett and Laing & Cruickshank.