Jo Haigh is an award-winning businesswoman, author and speaker, CEO and founder of fds, with bases in London, Birmingham and Yorkshire.
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 400 companies in the last 25 years specialising in owner managed companies.
Jo is a regular presenter for the Institute of Directors on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions, and a speaker for business events across the UK. She won Vistage Outperformance Award 2012, and was consecutively voted ‘Star Speaker’ and ‘Outperforming Speaker’ 2005 - 2008 at Vistage’s annual awards.
In television, she guest presented alongside James Caan on CNBC’s The Business Class in October 2012.
As a CEO of fds knowledge, a highly successful training and consultancy organisation she founded at the start of the 90’s, Jo has held circa 40 + Non-Executive Roles over that period in companies across the country and helped circa 400 + businesses through successful transactions. She has sold 3 of her own companies and undertaken 2 personal MBO’s.
Jo is currently Non-Executive Director of nine companies; Peak Guinea, Love Drinks Ltd, Ampersand Commerce, Devant, Care Plus Partnership, CTT Group, Jermyn Consulting, TQUK Limited and ICM Group Limited. She is Non-Executive Chair of six of these businesses.
Frequently rated among the best in her industry, Jo’s numerous awards include Yorkshire Businesswoman of the Year 2005, the First Women Award for Business Service 2014, and The Sunday Times NED of the Year award. She was named in Yorkshire Post’s top 100 entrepreneurs 2010, and is an Ambassador of Huddersfield. Jo is a finalist in the Women in Business Awards 2015, Inspiring Leader of the Year category to be announced September 2015.
Jo was one of the first corporate financiers in the UK 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.
Her first book, 'The Business Rules', published 2006, was such a success that a foreign rights deal has been confirmed with a publisher in China. Jo followed this with 'An Entrepreneur’s Guide' in 2007 and 'Tales from the Glass Ceiling - A Survival Guide for Women in Business' in 2008 which sold out of its first reprint in 5 days becoming Best-Selling Business Book of the Year, with over 500k copies. She has also published a book for the Financial Times called 'Finance for Non-Financial Managers'. Jo’s fifth title 'The Keys to the Boardroom' was published in January 2014 by Crimson, and she is currently working on her sixth book.