Steve Williams

Head of Mergers and Acquisitions

Throughout my career, I’ve focused on making things better using technology. The same principles apply in businesses and public sector organisations. At Waterstons, I lead the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice and also focus on the Higher Education sector, while also supporting programme delivery across the business. My other interests are in the governance of IT, in developing the skills of bright people, and in creativity. I serve on the Board of a Housing Association, so I also have an interest in this sector.

For me, it is equally important to concentrate on running good operations and on a clear vision of how the future might look. I try to put into practice the ideas in my favourite business book, Jim Collins’ ‘Good to Great’. Collins speaks of the need to ‘confront the brutal facts’ – that is to say, make an honest assessment of the current position of your organisation in working out how to move forward.

I’ve worked for Mercedes-Benz, for a German software company, for ICI for ten years, for a US venture-capital backed manufacturing company and for a UK retailer. I’ve moved between roles in organisation design, project management and business analysis. I’ve led business planning and a finance team. Most recently I’ve been the IT Director of two businesses, Sunderland City Council and, from 2008-2016, Newcastle University. I’m qualified in Project and Programme Management (PRINCE2 / MSP) and am a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. This was the first time this award – for strategic influence across the sector - was made to an IT professional.

I knew Waterstons well for many years prior to joining in 2016, including as a client. The ethos of the company being arranged around serving our customers is very attractive to me, as is the focus on valuing and developing our own people. Good people, treated well, deliver good service.

Outside work you’re likely to find me swimming, biking or running – I’m a triathlete, competing up to half-ironman distance, and an open-water swimmer. My other passion is playing the drums – call it therapy! I enjoy reading German literature too, to keep my German to a reasonable standard.


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