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CFO Selling Businesses with David B Horne

Today we have David Horne with us, talking about selling businesses. He’s from big London, but originally Canadian (though Graham though he was American – faux pas there!).

But what’s a Canadian doing in Ealing? He trained as a chartered accountant with PWC in Canada. Because he can speak fluent German, he wanted to work in a German-speaking office and so he went to Switzerland. From there, he got offered a job by his biggest clients and then transferred with them to London. And the rest his history, we guess.

David B Horne on The Next 100 Days Podcast with Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby

What are you up to today?

Today (and for the last 10 years) David has been working exclusively with founders of business. Initially this was in a part-time CFO position. But since, he’s done Key Person of Influence programme, by Daniel Priestly (whom Kevin has mentioned on the show).

That changed everything. It caused David to change the way he approached who he was, what he did and how he utilised his skills. After that training he became more niche and works with businesses who are looking to scale up and acquire other businesses.

He has developed F-A-C-E in order to help businesses scale and develop:

  • Fund
  • Acquire
  • Consolidate
  • Exit

AND he’s written a book about it!

Though it took David 3 years to start writing the book from being on Priestly’s programme, it was a game changer when it came out last year. In its first week, it went to number one in the corporate finance category. And this March, it won the best business self development category in business books. Amazing!

Selling businesses and FACE

In the noughties, David was CFO for two business and raised a whole lot of equity for those businesses. He’s done a lot of work in raising money through both private and public channels.

Fund – This is all about the process by which you raise money. How do you go about doing that? What do you have to prepare and what are the different types of investors (family and friends for early stage, angels, and then more institutional means like venture capital).


Acquire – Acquire within David’s framework is for more established businesses who want to scale up. The fastest way is through acquisition. David wrote many case studies for this in his book. The key point is that, if you’ve never done this before, don’t try do it on your own. There are minefields out there. You need professional people who know what they’re talking about there with you.

Consolidate – Putting two businesses together. The key challenges are values and culture. The value destruction that comes after a small company and big company are acquired and merged is almost like night follows day for some. But, David does have some examples where it worked.


Exit – Realising your dreams. Begin with the end in mind. A lot of entrepreneurs start off because they’ve never really though about their ‘why’ and the drive that pushes you in your endeavours.

This FACE methodology is about getting step-by-step exponential growth in your business. It’s about selling and buying businesses for growth and development.

What else have you got planned to impact the world?

Big question. David has focussed on his long term goals, which are Focus4Growth and another project where he contributes 10% of his profit to a giving pledge that other businesses can get involved in too.

He hopes that by giving 1000 kids the opportunity for a University education, that’s pretty cool and philanthropic. It’s about impacting a life. It’s also about giving so that women and BAME individuals can apply for equity funding with a level playing field. As, at the moment, there is a huge discrepancy between funding awarded to these demographics and white men.


Every success to David on the conception and birth of his second book. What a brilliant guest and a brilliant methodology for those selling their businesses. As a result, we would like to link his book, here, for your purchase.

If you want to know more about Graham, click here.

If you want to know about Kevin Appleby, click here.