Thanks to his interest in a wide array of topics, Henry Willis took a hands-on approach to his education. Rather than relying on professionals to help guide him through difficult decision-making processes, he took the time to study and learn about numerous applicable fields so that he could tackle any situation, from financial accounts to legal matters to tax structures. For Henry, it is important for him to be responsible and thus held accountable for each and every result he produces because, as his favorite quote goes, ‘It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.’ He applies this not only to himself, but to all of the clients he seeks to help, because of his desire to maintain the utmost integrity in all of his endeavors.
Henry Willis’ resume is a lengthy one; prior to his time at Saltwater Ventures, he served as Head of Trading for London-based FinTech company Swift Fox. In addition to this position, which fell under the category of foreign currency exchange, Henry Willis has been involved in venture capital. He built Asser Willis, an equity and contracts for difference (C.F.D.) private client stockbroker, from the ground up. At Asser Willis, Henry and his business partner advised and traded FTSE 100 equity and C.F.D. shares to high net worth (H.N.W.), private clients. Henry Willis later sold Asser Willis to Alexander David PLC, which has maintained a number of their original clients to this day. It is from Asser Willis that Henry then moved onto the position of Head of Business Development and Partnerships.
Before founding Swift Fox, Henry joined London Irish Partners, a venture capital firm where he spent ten years aiding in mergers and acquisitions primarily in construction, real estate, financial services, and renewables. As a partner of London Irish Partners, Henry identified suitable merger and acquisition targets. By performing due diligence, disclosure, debt and equity funding, restructuring, socialisation, and eventual exit strategy, Henry and his team ensured the transition was as smooth as possible.
Henry Willis moved on from London Irish Partners to form AEG1440, a venture capital firm. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to forensically analyse audited financial accounts to identify discrepancies, ensure competitive funding, and contribute to negotiations. AEG1440 partnered with a number of exciting companies, including Swift Fox, CPLY, Homelyfe, London Irish Partners, Baluba Energy, Norton Place Pictures, and many others. Most recently, Henry joined a new venture capital firm, Saltwater Ventures, which focuses on innovative new technology-related startups. To date, he has invested in Amplify, Dugout, and Wakelet, a football platform and an app that lets users curate articles from around the web, respectively.
One of the aspects of working in venture capital that excited Henry the most is the way that each day is unique. Whether he’s at the office or traveling the globe and experiencing new cultures, Henry Willis loves the unpredictability of his job. He also loves the opportunity to take companies that are struggling and help turn them around, creating a stable and secure environment for all of the employees, and helping build a better future for everyone involved. It’s extremely rewarding for Henry to witness the level of dedication within these companies to see them succeed.
Henry Willis finds the flexibility and variety available as a venture capitalist appealing, as well. He has the opportunity to take part in numerous industries that interest him, from FinTech to home security, to real estate, to smart technology, and more. This lends itself well to Henry’s renaissance man approach in life in general. He is always learning something new, particularly when he travels, which he is fortunate enough to have a career that allows him to do so regularly.
One of his other favorite quotes that he does his best to abide by each day is, ‘Know what you know and know what you don’t know.’ It is equally as important to not only know what you don’t know but how you intend to acquire the knowledge to change that status. Throughout his extensive career, Henry Willis is grateful to have been able to acquire so many different skills throughout the years!
Outside of work, Henry Willis is a family man who loves spending time with his wife and being a devoted father to their three children. At the end of the day, he knows that they’re the reason he pushes himself as much as he does in the hopes of giving them a bright future and instilling in them the value of hard work. Henry also enjoys serving as an officer for the Samaritans where he is involved in charity work, as he also highly values giving back his community wherever possible.
He’s also extremely passionate about continued adult education and enjoys any opportunity to learn more about economic history, even as far back as Tulip Mania in 1636. It is Henry Willis’ belief that by identifying economic patterns throughout history that he will be able to add value to his professional career and put those concepts he has learned in the classroom to practice in the field.
At present, Henry is certified in financial regulation, commodity derivatives, securities, and accounting, in addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies and Master’s Degree in Wealth Management. As Henry is always seeking to help others, he has also obtained qualifications as a First Aider and Dephibulater.
To learn more about Henry Willis or Saltwater Ventures, visit Henry’s blog or Saltwater Venture’s official website, which is always being updated with new information.