By entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs

South Yorkshire Partners

The Connect Gazelle Partners will be drawn from leading professional service firms in Sheffield which will include accountants, lawyers, recruitment and marketing consultants, finance providers and insurance brokers who will provide expertise in their respective disciplines.

We are delighted to have Irwin Mitchell, PwC and HSBC as our partners.


Working with businesses with sales of £0.5m to £7m, we help clients expand into existing and new markets by leveraging HSBC's UK and international capabilities.

  Mike Swift
Mike is Area Corporate Director for South & West Yorkshire Mid Market and has worked for HSBC for over 30 years. He has a wide experience, particularly covering Corporate and Commercial business, and has worked in many locations including the North West, Scotland and London before moving to Yorkshire some 20 years ago.
  Andrew Bennett
Andrew is Area Director for South and West Yorkshire Business Banking, and has worked for HSBC for 29 years. He has a wide experience working with commercial clients, and currently leads a team of 21 Relationship Managers based in and around Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Sheffield, Huddersfield and Halifax.
  Andy Follington
A Post Graduate with Distinction in Business & Management from Durham Business School with 26 years experience in Financial Services. Andy is responsible for leading HSBC's Corporate Banking team from offices in Harrogate, Hull, Scarborough and York.


PwC are private business specialists with over 16,000 private business, family business and entrepreneur clients across the UK. In Yorkshire, we have more dedicated specialists on the ground than any other firm to help businesses spot opportunities for growth, manage risk, save money and create value. We will work with you to put all the pieces together in a strategy to help you achieve your objectives. We are focused on building long term relationships, based on honesty, trust and commitment and work with our clients through the ups and downs.

The PwC Team can help on a broad range of themes, including:

Growth Strategies: both organic & inorganic
Financing Strategies: debt, equity, and non-traditional financing means
Managing Growth & Driving Profitability
Formulating succession or exit plans
Management of personal wealth and taxation

Kevin Strauther
Kevin is a director in our Assurance department with over 13 years experience helping a wide range of private, owner managed and private equity backed businesses from start up, pre turnover through to realising value through deal related activity. Kevin specialises in the manufacturing sector and whilst being based in our Sheffield office is also part of our UK manufacturing team bringing the best of PwC's experience to manufacturing businesses across the Yorkshire region and beyond. Kevin is an avid sports fan and has a Formula One team in his client portfolio.
David McNeill
David is an experienced Commercial Development professional who specialises in PwC’s Private Business practice. Sitting across the entire breadth of PwC’s service offering, he is responsible for developing relationships and offering insights based on business objectives. David enjoys racing his road bike when not helping businesses. He was a Captain in the Army and trader for a large investment bank before joining PwC. His favourite comment from a PwC client is “you’ve helped me sleep at night for the first time in years.”
Safeena Ali
Saf is a Senior Manager at PwC working in the Tax team with Private Businesses of all sizes across Yorkshire. Her can do attitude combined with her energy, passion and enthusiasm ensures she delivers, but in a fun way. Being authentic and bringing the breadth of her extensive network at PwC allows her to build strong, trusted and long term relationships with clients and contacts. Saf enjoys living life to the full, which includes jumping out of planes and racing her motorbike.
Matthew Blakely
Matt has 15 years’ experience working with SME businesses. With a varied background including 8 years as a business banking manager, he is now leading the promotion of My Financepartner for PwC in Yorkshire. With his broad experience he provides insight and clarity about the support required for growing businesses and is a great asset for unlocking the right support and advice that you business will require. Matt is an avid cyclist and has the claim to fame of having hit and England International for six at Headingly