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10 Things You Didn't Know About: Ed Nevens, Partner at BDO

Posted by Rebecca English

Ed is a partner in BDO's London tax team focused on private equity funds and their investors. Typical examples of Ed's advice include structuring private equity funds, their management and advisory functions and also fund executive co-investment and carried interest arrangements.

What three traits define you?

Collaborative, focused and enthusiastic.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

I used to play a lot of music whilst I was in university (mostly guitar in various bands around London) but I’m not sure it qualifies as a job!

How do you define success?

Helping clients and the team succeed - for me it is all about seeing happy clients get the solutions that work for them and a happy team that is learning and developing.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Something where I could create things and try to help people develop – given my mathematical background I’d most likely I’d be developing new maths, science or technology.

What is your personal philosophy?

Take people with you and share what you learn – the collective effects of a collaborative team where everyone can contribute and share ideas never ceases to amaze me.

How do you start your day?

Slowly – I’m more of a night owl so I’m not great in the mornings!

What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company?

I think the culture at BDO is fantastic. Whether I’m talking to the leadership, the client team or the support staff I find everyone listens, helps each other and works collaboratively with lots of good humour. I like being in an environment where everybody wants each other to succeed.

What are the secrets to good leadership?

I think having a vision and allowing people to be part of it and make their contribution. We are lucky in that our industry attracts very bright people at all levels and roles who really want to make an impact and achieve something. I think the best leaders identify this and are generous and trusting in letting others help them work towards their goals and be part of the success.

What makes your company unique?

Following our recent merger BDO is the largest UK accounting firm focused on advising entrepreneurial businesses. I think the firm really understands and embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and culture of our clients whether they are companies, individuals or owner-managed businesses like professional practices and private equity houses and the clients really respond to it.

Who do you most admire in your industry?

It has to be David Marks who recently retired from Apax Partners – a leading tax advisor in private equity whom I admire greatly. Regardless of the issue, he is the kind of tax person you would want in your boardroom if you needed advice on something really difficult or complex. He would advise you in plain English, make it all seem surprisingly simple and straightforward (despite it being hellishly complicated) and have a bit of time left over to chat afterwards. A model for us all to aspire to!

For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696320 or



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