Paul Nicholson

  • Beachhead Advisor, Europe

Paul is a Kiwi entrepreneur and businessman with extensive working knowledge of a diverse range of sectors in Spain and Portugal.

Based in Madrid where he heads up the distribution of clothing label Canterbury of New Zealand, he has developed the market from scratch to include multiple channels to market including own-stores, wholesale and online. Paul has a finance background having held senior positions at Morgan Stanley, both in Madrid and London. He is also involved with the start up community and mentors young entrepreneurs looking to build a business in the Iberian Peninsula. 

Originally from Auckland, Paul is a Kiwi with more than 25 years' experience in the corporate world, start ups and at SMEs. Having been an entrepreneur in Spain for 14 years, he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges New Zealand companies face when developing business in Spain and Portugal. 

For the past eight years, Paul has been a mentor in the Venture Lab of IE Business School, one of the leading business schools in Europe. Paul has assisted start up ventures to obtain access to funding and develop a strategic pathway to market across an array of sectors. 

Paul’s passion for entrepreneurship has led him to become involved with angel investments. He advises start-ups in the technology, travel and distribution sectors.  

Paul began his career as an analyst at Countrywide Bank during the acquisition of United Bank. Later he was appointed as business manager in the editorial business of HarperCollins Publishers. He went on to work in a number of senior roles within Morgan Stanley, including managing the acquisition and integration of the largest private bank in Spain at the time into the Professional Wealth Management business of Morgan Stanley.  

Paul has a BCom from Auckland University, CA from NZICA and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid. Paul has lived and worked in the UK, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. He has current responsibility for businesses in Spain and Portugal. Paul lives in Madrid with his wife and two children. He is fluent in Spanish and an avid sportsman. 

Advisory areas 

Spanish business culture, international growth strategies, retail and distribution, channel selection and pricing strategy, apparel, travel, aviation services, finance and sports marketing, the start-up environment in Spain.  

Sector experience

Tourism, Fashion/Apparel. 


Paul has experience working across Spain, Portugal, and Europe.


Read more about Paul on LinkedIn.