FT Masterclass Series 2009-10: Jo Haigh, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, ATF Group

18:30 - 20:30
Yorkshire Bank Lecture Theatre, Leeds University Business School

'Be who you can be'

Jo Haigh
Partner and Head of Corporate Finance
ATF Group

The FT Masterclass Series is a series of lectures organised by Leeds University Business School in partnership with the Financial Times.

Over the course of an academic year the series comprises up to eight early evening lectures delivered by key business figures and prominent journalists/editors from the FT. The lecture series is open to Leeds University Business School post graduate students, our alumni and local businesses.

The speaker for this event is Jo Haigh, Partner and Head of Corporate Finance for the ATF Group who will be discussing how to be distinctive in business, how to survive the economy and how to be true to yourself with her talk 'Be who you can be'.

Jo Haigh is a Partner and Head of Corporate Finance for The ATF Group; a company based in London and Yorkshire, and a partner in the fds Group, a specialist training and development business. An experienced dealmaker, Jo specialises in putting together the right deal at the right time and in the right format for growing businesses throughout the country. She has bought and sold over 300 companies in the last 20 years specialising in owner managed companies. She is a regular presenter for the Institute of Directors on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. As Partner of fds – a highly successful training and consultancy organisation she founded at the start of the 90’s, she has held circa 40 + Non-Executive Roles over that period  in companies across the country and helped many businesses through successful transactions.

She is a Visiting Fellow at The University of Leeds where she delivers the Corporate Governance development programme for all academic staff wishing to hive off new companies, in addition to training and developing non-executive directors appointed to University Companies whose role is to represent University interests. She is a mentor for Enterprise Challenge undergraduates at Sheffield Hallam University providing her experience and knowledge as part of the training process. She is currently Non-Executive Director of 3 companies; Anchor Magnets Ltd, Hayes Davidson Ltd and Sticky Content Ltd


  • Short listed to final 3 stage in the Women of the Future Awards – Mentor of the Year category 2009
  • Winner of IoD Business Advisor of the Year 2009 and 2006
  • Nominated for Financial News’ Top 100 Most Influential Women in Finance 2009.
  • Entered into the 2008 edition of “Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite”.
  • Short-listed finalist in the First Women CBI Awards 2007, in the Finance category.
  • Voted ‘Star Speaker’ and ‘Outperforming Speaker’ at the Vistage Annual Speakers Awards 2008  2007, 2006 and 2005.

Jo is an Ambassador of Huddersfield along with Joanne Harris.

Selected as a ‘woman of achievement’ at the prestigious Women of the Year lunch, which brings together outstanding women from all walks of life. The ceremony was held in London on October 16, 2006.

Jo was one of the first corporate financiers in the country to receive a new qualification based on her past experience alone.  The prestigious advanced diploma in corporate finance was awarded by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.

Recipient of a 2006 Woman of Achievement Award by the American Biographical Institute.

Yorkshire Businesswoman of the Year 2005.

Her first book, The Business Rules, published 2005 and 2006, has been such a success that a foreign rights deal has been confirmed with a publisher in China.  Jo’s second book, An Entrepreneur’s Guide, was published in March 2007 and her third book, Tales from the Glass Ceiling - A Survival Guide for Women in Business, was published in June 2008 and sold out of its first reprint after 5 days It was best selling business book of the year 2008 selling over 500k copies.

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