Team

Stephen Cooley
Director

Karen Drury
Associate Consultant

Mark Tobin
Senior Consultant

Elaine Smith
Business Support

David Plant
Independent Corporate Finance Advisor

We are a small team. It’s deliberate.  We like working together, we trust each other and we all add value.  We believe you get a better service by staying small.  Practically this means you deal with the same people end to end.

Stephen Cooley

0161 835 3377
07747 698829

Stephen founded Proventure in 2006 with Kevin Lavery, a former local authority Chief Executive. Prior to this he was a Board Director at Veredus (previously PricewaterhouseCoopers) where he ran the Leeds office and led local government and regeneration nationally.  Before joining PwC Stephen worked as a senior manager in local government for 10 years and was an elected member in a London Council.

Stephen has a national reputation for delivering, for giving clear, tailored advice and incisive judgement.  He has a clean sheet on recruitment with over 225 executive and non-executive appointments across all sectors in the last 17 years.  Stephen has coached more than 100 senior executives across all sectors, including Chief Executives, Directors, Assistant Directors and Council Leaders in local government.  Stephen runs leadership and management development programmes, provides outplacement support and supports strategic organisational development.

0161 835 3377
07717 725 844 

Mark Tobin

Mark is a consultant at Proventure, having joined from a specialist hospitality and leisure consultancy where he managed a team of six consultants recruiting senior executives and managers into the fast paced industry.  Clients and candidates praised his technical knowledge, sound judgement, care and adaptability. He has worked on all roles alongside Steve since joining the team in 2009.

Prior to his 14 years in recruitment, Mark managed businesses within Whitbread Plc. and the Spirit Group, gaining strong experience of people development, customer focus, business growth and organisational leadership.

Mark loves Yorkshire and sport in equal measure, from the sofa to the saddle – a competitive triathlete and was once described as “marooned on an island of 60/70’s rock music”.

0161 835 3377

07812 447482

David Plant

David trained as a Chartered Accountant, spending ten years in general practice before becoming Finance Director of a manufacturing group for nine years. On its subsequent sale, he became a director/shareholder in a number of SME’s engaged in an extensive number of sectors.

David has been operating as an independent corporate finance advisor for over 30 years, developing strong working relationships the many clients that have retained his services over the years. As Head of Corporate Finance at Proventure, David has been with the company since 1999 and has a reputation in the North West for his knowledge and networks in the corporate community. David primarily acts for buyers looking to acquire companies, but, nonetheless has a strong track record in all areas of corporate finance advice.

David is a keen follower of sport but having retired from playing hockey a few years ago, now walks his dog to the pub and sorts out the world’s problems.

Karen Drury

Karen Drury is an associate of Proventure.  She is a qualified coach (EMCC EQA Post Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching equivalent to CMI Level 7) and trainer. She is currently a coach with Civil Service Learning working with senior leaders, and an associate coach for the College of Policing, working with Director level civil servants as part of the Senior Command Course. She has also worked with the College of Policing on the Releasing Potential Programme, coaching senior police officers in several forces.  She also has a number of senior private clients from organisations such as GSK, the Ministry of Justice and Comic Relief.  Her training clients have included Chaucer Insurance, the Ministry of Justice, J&J, Shell and Camden Borough Council.

Her experience also encompasses senior internal communication roles and projects for global organisations including J&J, GSK, Vauxhall and BT and her agency work has been for Top 5 international agencies where clients ranged from Sun Alliance to BT to Investors in People UK.  She’s worked with several organisations on their vision and values including WYCA, the Qualifications Curriculum Agency, Teva UK (where she created a new set of organisational values following the take-over of Ivax), the Electoral Commission, the AAT and Teaching Personnel, where the work also encompassed the development of a new branding strategy. 

0161 835 3377

Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith has worked in administration within Executive Search & Selection for over 20 years and has been with Proventure since inception in 2005. Based at our office in Manchester, Elaine brings project oversight, efficient administration and communication, ensuring smooth service delivery across all of our services. 

Elaine is a passionate Mancunian, often found walking her dog Gemma in Heaton Park before rushing home to prep the next BBQ while watching the City game.