With both Barbadian and English heritage, Piers grew up in a small mill town in Lancashire in North-West England where he attended the local comprehensive school after failing his 11+. With aspirations of being his own boss even at the age of thirteen, Piers cut out his local newsagent by going direct to the wholesaler to start his own paper round, planting his entrepreneurial seeds by building it up and then selling it off. This continued as he made money selling household products door to door. As he grew older, Piers remained determined to get into business but was keen to further his education and set his sights on a professional career in law and finance in order to maximise his chances of success.
Subsequently, Piers went on to study Accounting and Law at the University of Manchester, successfully qualifying as a solicitor in 1997. This knowledge gave him the opportunity to work in London with renowned City law firm SJ Berwin where he specialised in venture capital and corporate finance and experienced management teams and investors cutting deals. Even during this time Piers remained involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures in business services, film and media. After qualification, he went on to become an investment banker working in mergers and acquisitions at Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW) and then Credit Suisse. The skills he learned in the City would create the basis of his success in the future.
Once Piers had accumulated a deep understanding of corporate and venture capital law and corporate finance, he realised that a job in the City could never truly fulfil his career desires. In 2000, he resolved to leave and start his own internet enterprise as he recognised the enormous and disruptive opportunity the Internet posed. Since leaving the City, Piers have been involved in a wide range of sectors and businesses through direct investments and via a number of funds ranging from property to pharmaceutical research to dance music. Ever seeking new opportunities, after running his own corporate finance and alternative finance advisory business, he also became a partner in an alternative investment fund, providing structured equity and debt finance to small cap publicly traded companies.
In 2007, Piers led, with his business partner with Simon Newton, the buyout of Genesis Communications, a mobile voice and data reseller company from a FTSE-100 company. By consolidating the market and moving to an online self-service model, the mobile business became a sector leader with revenues of £45 million before it was sold in 2011. With his visionary eye, Piers was convinced that business communications would converge with IT and become much more than just telephones, he could see the transformational potential the internet would have on communications, before anyone in his space. This created the birth of what we know today as Outsourcery.
Developed through four acquisitions, the Cloud Service Provider business showed the promise of achieving success from the outset and proved its potential in 2010 when it was named as Microsoft’s worldwide Hosting Partner of the Year. In 2013 Outsourcery was one of three award finalists and the only one in EMEA for Microsoft’s worldwide Server Platform Partner of the Year. Having invested £10 million of his own money developing the business, Outsourcery was floated on the Alternative Investment Market in May 2013 when it raised £13 million to fund the expansion of the business.
As an extension of his interests in the power of the internet and technology, Piers was a founding member of the governance board of the UK’s Cloud Industry Forum, a body which aims to provide transparency through certification to a Code of Practice for credible online Cloud service providers. Because of his industry profile in on cloud computing, Piers regularly appears in the media to discuss the benefits of cloud computing. His interviews have been featured on Bloomberg, Sky News, CNN, CNBC, BBC and widely in the national, regional and business press.
Piers appeared on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire in 2011 which covered the ten days he spent in Wolverhampton’s Brinsford Young Offenders’ Institution. Although Piers already knew the struggles faced by today’s youth, it was during these ten days when he realised the importance of inspiring other people; one of the young men Piers spent time with in the institution is now employed by Outsourcery plc. His potency in the media also stems from his prestigious position on the panel of BBC Two’s prime-time programme Dragons’ Den. On the show, Piers is able to use his skills of seeking out the importance of new innovations and his resources to invest in the aspirations of people.
Because of his business savvy and visionary ideas, Piers has been recognised as one of today’s top 100 most influential black Britons in the Thomson Reuters sponsored Power List. In 2009 he was also selected as one of the twenty “REACH” National Role Models representing the Government-backed programme whose initiative was to raise the aspirations and fuel the achievements of young black men.
As an extension to his interest in business, Piers is a founding Trustee of the Powerlist Foundation which aims to identify and support tomorrow’s leaders irrespective of their race, gender, faith or ethnicity. He is also a trustee of the innovation charity, NESTA. Piers is also involved with Virgin Unite and a range of other charities as a donor or Patron. He believes in doing good with success and in the power of business as a positive force for change. In his charitable activities, Piers is keen to capitalise on his years of experience and encourage the entrepreneurial talent which lies dormant in others as well as providing a level playing field so individuals are only limited by their own ability and aspiration and not social or institutional barriers. In addition to his work-life, Piers is a keen cycling and mountain-biking enthusiast, especially downhilling. He owns six bikes and finds himself involved in all aspects of the sport, the community and keeping fit.
Piers is a goal-orientated, success-driven man with a keen eye for new ideas in business. He has a profound grasp of both the technical and financial aspects of business with which he embellishes all of his own projects. Piers is passionate about helping other people achieve success. He is intuitive and excited about what the rapid evolution of technology and communications has to offer the business world and he enjoys sharing his own knowledge and experience with others.
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