Social Chain


Social Chain are a highly profitable, fast-paced and entrepreneurial global social media marketing agency based in Manchester. 

After raising $2m of funding from the Germans “Dragons’ Den” (“The Lions’ Cave”, they needed to:

  • Expand into international markets.
  • Improve reporting standards and controls.
  • Build out a Board team.

Rowan were retained by Social Chain Founder, Steve Bartlett and CFO, Christian Grobel, to appoint a new Head of Financial Reporting.

Andy Hanselman | Social Chain: A Fantastic Example Of Culture As  Competitive Advantage!


Rowan worked closely with the Social Chain founder, along with the Investors, to:

  • Understand the challenging balance needed between the ”old school” investor approach of the German Investors who needed to preserve & model cash flow to allow international expansion.
  • Appreciate the unique & dynamic culture of Social Chain; office slides, ball pits, pool tables etc – something they wanted to endure for the long term.

Rowan completed a Search & Assessment process to:

  • Find a long-term fit for the company who could be part of and encourage the culture; yet bring financial discipline.
  • Examine the technical abilities of candidates to implement improvements to a standard that would please the investors and the Social Chain Board.


Rowan appointed David Cawley – who had highly relevant experience as Head of UK Finance for a privately-owned, international tech business that went on to be AIM listed 

Rowan assessed beyond the CV & understood David’s personality was adaptable to suit both the merge the culture & expectations of both investor & founder.

After being appointed by Rowan, David Cawley successfully:

  • Built & led Social Chain’s first finance team (growing from zero to 7).
  • Supported an 900% international revenue increase from £7m to £18m.
  • Worked with the founder and investors to achieve listing on the Dusseldorf Stock Exchange (2019).
  • Moved into the Group Finance Director position.
  • Won the Manchester Young Finance Director of the Year award (2019).