Chris Smith

  • Partner
Photo of Chris Smith


I joined Clearwater International as a Partner in 2009 to found the debt advisory service line and complement the M&A activity of the firm. I am proud to say that the team has grown from those humble beginnings to now encompass nine people within the UK, 17 across Europe and is still growing.

Together with Mark Taylor, my role entails leading and developing the debt advisory team in the UK, working with our clients to find the optimum funding solutions for their businesses and fostering relationships with sponsors, lenders and professionals.

I am a Chartered Banker and bring over 20 years’ corporate finance experience, having worked at HBOS and Lloyds Banking Group for more than 10 years. Whilst at HBOS I spent five years working as an investor within integrated finance, backing management teams to buy their companies with a blended package of debt and equity. The latter part of my banking career involved restructuring a number of companies during the last economic downturn, including complex private equity deals and multi-bank syndicates.

The lending landscape has changed dramatically over recent years and highlighted the need for companies to seek experienced advice on the financing options available to them. Since joining Clearwater International I have advised on more than 50 fundraising transactions across all sectors and financial structures, with more than €2bn debt raised to date.

One of the most enjoyable parts of my role is getting to know our clients and working with them to help realise the ambitions of their business. Whether our clients are private or family owned or have private equity backers, taking time to understand their requirements is key to a successful finance raising process.

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