Jane Gomez is Director of Prelude Group, whose mission is to help make Britain the most enterprising nation in the world. Prelude is home to The Supper Club, a membership club exclusively for fast-growth entrepreneurs and The Directors Club, offering peer learning and strategic development for directors. Jane has chaired hundreds of events and discussions, giving her an unparalleled insight into entrepreneurial sentiment in the UK and the challenges facing business leaders and their teams. As the strategic leader of the business, Jane works closely with both members and partners to develop greater value within Prelude’s services.
Our two stage judging process increases robustness, ensures credibility and enhances prestige for all those recognised for the Growth Investor Awards.
Open to any organisation involved in putting investment to work in UK SMEs, the Awards are judged on information supplied in an online entry form – with questions specific to each category.
Guided by an Advisory Board, Intelligent Partnership’s Research Team conducts an initial shortlist of all entries* to identify finalists – who are announced in July. Finalist entries in each category then go to a second round of judging by at least three people drawn from an independent panel of at least 35 judges** to provide a diverse mix of qualified perspectives. All of the judges’ scores are collated to determine the winner and to generate a personalised Feedback & Benchmarking Report – so all finalists receive insight on areas of improvement. The judges decision is final.
*All information supplied in your entry is completely confidential and will not be published or shared with third parties.
**To avoid any conflict of interest, sponsors are not invited to judge, entrants cannot be sponsors and sponsors cannot enter.
The role of the Advisory Board is to offer guidance on the judging process to ensure the criteria recognises best practice and awards reflect key industry trends and developments. Bringing a mix of perspectives – and influence across all relevant segments of the SME investment, advisory and business community – the Advisory Board includes:
Angel Investor, Entrepreneur &
London Stock Exchange
Entrepreneur in Residence
Risk Capital Partners
Egg & First Direct
Drawn from within the alternative investment industry and wider business community, our panel of independent judges bring a range of perspectives to level the playing field, increase robustness and credibility, and enhance the prestige of each award presented. Our independent judging panel includes:
Sarah leads Grant Thornton’s national Growth Finance practice, providing advisory services for dynamic, growing businesses seeking up to £10million in equity or debt finance. In addition to her work at Grant Thornton, Sarah sits on the Membership Committee of the EIS Association, the UK trade body for the Enterprise Investment Scheme, and lectures at Cranfield University on Entrepreneurial Finance as part of its Executive MBA programme. In 2015, Sarah was commended as “Best Rising Star in EIS” at the EISA Awards at the House of Lords, and was a finalist for the 2017 Women in the City Awards.
Stuart is the Head of Corporate Finance at FinnCap. He qualified as a chartered accountant at PwC and subsequently worked in the corporate finance department of Beeson Gregory and Evolution Securities. Stuart has extensive knowledge of advisory roles for ambitious growth companies both on the public markets and privately which includes IPOs, all aspects of fundraising and M&A
Stuart is currently a member of the AIM Advisory Group which is an external committee of senior executives who provide input and advice on all matters affecting the operation and regulation of AIM.
Andrew is CEO of MRM Group, an independently owned media services business that specialises in helping organisations operating in and around the financial services sector communicate more effectively and efficiently with the people that matter most to them.
One of the industry’s best connected and most experienced operators, he has advised a wide range of UK and international organisations, from large established players to business start-ups, on a diverse range of communications issues.
Prior to starting MRM in 2006, Andrew worked at Mainland PR, which he helped set up in 2002 having previously worked at Financial Dynamics (now FTI Consulting).
Away from MRM, Andrew is co-founder of award-winning personal finance website Mouthy Money. He is also a director of employee benefits platform WorkLife and a non-exec director of market leading digital wealth adviser OpenMoney.
Glen Atchison advises ultra-high and high net worth individuals, family offices and trusts on UK and international tax and succession planning, establishing tax efficient planning, asset protection and succession structures. He also advises on international asset recovery.
Glen’s client base is highly diverse, ranging from those involved in the financial sectors and funds, to those in the technology, media and entertainment industries.
Glen is also the Firm’s Managing Partner.
Areas of specialism
- UK and international tax and trust planning for individuals, both UK and non-UK tax resident and whether UK domicile or non-UK domiciled
- Asset protection and recovery
- Corporate tax structuring and re-structuring
- Advising on dealing with HMRC enquiries and tax investigations
- All aspects of private capital planning
Toby Austin is co-founder and CEO at Beauhurst. The Beauhurst platform provides professionals with rich, curated data on UK startups and high-growth companies. Toby previously co-founded Transentia, a specialist IP commercialisation firm which was acquired in 2012. Toby holds an MA in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.
Iain began his career at stockbroker’s Strauss Turnbull and Co and has been involved in UK and European Capital Markets for over 35 years as a trader of both equities and corporate bonds, culminating in heading European credit trading as a Managing Director of Salomon Brothers. Iain was also a founding director of LBDP, a successful agency broker in European credit.
From 2003 to 2007 Iain was CEO of MarketAxess Europe, the leading platform for electronic execution in the credit market. Before founding Asset Match Iain was Head of Fixed Income at Christopher Street Capital.
Aside from his role at Asset Match, Iain is a regular investor in early-stage businesses.
John has worked at Burges Salmon for over 20 years and is head of the firm’s private client services department.
He provides tax advice to a wide-range of high-net worth individuals and many leading banks and other financial institutions. He has a particular focus on entrepreneurial clients, many of whom are not domiciled in the UK or have business or other interests abroad.
John chaired the CIOT’s Capital Gains Tax sub-committee from 2006 to 2014 and since then has been a member of the CIOT’s governing Council. He was a member of the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) panel that approved HMRC’s initial GAAR guidance.
He has led the CIOT’s response on a large number of capital tax policy discussions with HMRC and HM Treasury since 2006 including in particular the domicile changes since 2008 and the statutory residence test.
John has been named in eprivateclient’s 50 Most Influential every year since 2014.
Azhic has particular experience of capital markets, especially IPOs on AIM and listings on the Official List. He also has experience of M&A and fundraisings from private equity sources.
His clients come from a range of sectors, but he has a particular focus in the technology, resources (including Oil & Gas), leisure, property and investment funds sectors. Azhic acts for a number of companies listed on AIM and the Official List and is a frequent presenter on the issues surrounding publicly listed companies to both clients and the wider business community.
His previous experience includes strategy consulting with The LEK Partnership and corporate finance experience with Kleinwort Benson prior to joining Smith & Williamson. Azhic is Managing Director of Smith & Williamson Corporate Finance and leads its Capital Markets practice.
Louise Beaumont has over twenty years experience in growing companies – from initial spark, to operationalisation, results delivered, and value created. Having previously worked for organisations such as Siemens, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and Capgemini, Louise has focused on the UK’s fast growing alternative finance sector since 2010, including co-founding one of GLI’s investees. Louise has advised key UK government departments and units on FinTech and AltFin including; HM Treasury, British Business Bank, Government Office for Science, Cabinet Office, UK Trade & Industry, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and Number 10 Downing Street’s Policy Unit.
Paul is a Partner in the corporate finance team in the Crowe UK London office. He specialises in UK capital markets transactions and has acted on 66 successful admissions, introductions and reverse acquisitions to date. His sector specialisms include mining, oil & gas and energy and his clients have operating activities in Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia-Pacific.
Liz has worked at Grant Thornton since 2001 and became a tax partner in 2008. She heads the mid-market corporate tax department in the London Euston office. Liz represents Grant Thornton at the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA). Grant Thornton is a sponsor of the Association for 2014.
Liz has been a member of the Media and Entertainment team since joining the firm in 2001 and works predominantly with entrepreneurial, AIM listed and offshore media businesses advising them on a range of tax issues including in respect of venture capital and creative tax reliefs.
As partner Liz is responsible for coordinating the provision of tax services across the team’s client base and her role has included planning for efficient structures, planning for transactions (mainly new equity financing) and development of clients eg employee equity participation, restructuring and eventual exit in addition to delivery of tax advisory and compliance services.
With regard to EIS, Liz advises on structuring for EIS, advising companies and funds raising EIS funds as well as EIS investors. Her work includes obtaining HMRC Advance Assurances and reviewing Information Memoranda. Recently she has been involved in discussions with HMRC Policy concerning EIS and media co-productions.
Annabel Brodie-Smith is Communications Director at the Association of Investment Companies (AIC). Her role is varied but chiefly focuses on communicating the uses and features of investment companies to the media, opinion formers, advisers and private investors. She has been at the AIC for 21 years and regularly comments in the media on investment issues. Annabel also heads up the AIC’s training and information programme for advisers and wealth managers. This aims to increase awareness and understanding of investment companies through seminars, conferences and online training.
After obtaining a B.A in Geography from LSE/King’s College, and an M.A from Syracuse University in New York, Annabel went on to obtain a postgraduate diploma in public and media relations from the University of Wales. Prior to joining the AIC Annabel worked at Hill & Knowlton, the PR Agency, where her work included working on the winning Athens 2004 Olympic bid, before joining the AIC in November 1997.
Annabel was a board member of pfeg (the Personal Finance Education Group), the registered charity whose goal is to promote and facilitate the education of all UK school pupils about financial matters from 2004 – 2014. She is passionate about financial education and diversity in financial services.
David is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has over 20 years’ experience in tax compliance and advisory work.David is the Head of Tax at BDO in Reading and leads BDO’s specialist team dealing with SEIS/ EIS / VCT, inheritance tax business property relief (BPR) and other tax efficient investments.
He has acted for both the fund promoters and the high net worth investors. He also acts for estates and deals with HMRC queries on inheritance tax BPR claims.
David writes the ‘Venture Capital Taxes’ book which covers EIS, VCT and CVS and also chapters in ‘Revenue Law – Principles and Practice’ and ‘Tax Planning’, all published by Bloomsbury Professional
Mark has over twenty years experience in Financial services and prior to being appointed Director General at the EIS Association, he was Head of Research and Development at Mazars, a leading UK financial planning firm. Mark is highly qualified being a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and also sits on the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments Accredited firms committee and TISA’s Distribution Policy Council.
Elizabeth Budd is a partner in the Financial Regulation and Investment Funds Team with extensive expertise advising asset managers, fund managers, depositaries, wealth managers, fund distributors including platforms, and insurance companies on the constantly shifting landscape in the UK and EU.
On the funds side she has established UCITS and AIFs structured as unit trusts, open ended investment companies and limited partnerships, on-shore and off-shore. She has also advised extensively on the distribution of fund and other products.
Elizabeth acts regularly on investment management agreements, custody arrangements and administration agreements for direct portfolios and fund mandates. She also advises on perimeter issues, applications for authorisation and variations of permission, as well as regulatory implications of employment and LLP disputes in authorised firms.
Until recently she was a member of the EIS Association’s Regulatory Committee was involved in the creation of the EIS Diploma, assisting in drafting the syllabus.
Legal 500 describes Elizabeth as respected as a leader in the fund management world and Chambers describes her as highly regarded in the investment fund community for expertise and reliable advice. She is the editor to Sweet & Maxwell’s Collective Investment Scheme: Law and Practice.
Rebecca Burn-Callander is the former enterprise editor of the Daily Telegraph, and now writes about entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and fast-growth businesses for the British press. Former web editor of Management Today Magazine and deputy editor of small business advice website Smarta, she is one of Gorkana’s top 100 UK journalists to follow on Twitter.
Bella has 17 years’ experience in the research and analysis of the UK, European and Asian asset management industries. She set up Fundscape in 2010. Before starting Fundscape, she worked for Lipper FMI as Global Head of Research and Publications and was the author of numerous publications and reports including the popular European and Asian Data Digests, the Fund Market Profile series of reports and the UK Platform guide.
Early in her career she worked in investment banking and a London-based consulting firm where she specialised in market entry strategies for retail and institutional asset managers. She has a master’s degree in International Business and is fluent in four languages.
Bella is particularly fussy about grammar and punctuation, and loves going to the theatre, disco dancing and pub quizzes.
Reece is founder & CEO of the award-winning VC firm RLC Ventures. RLC Ventures invests in seed-stage businesses within technology, Proptech, fintech and technology for social advancement. Reece has invested in 14 start-ups, become a board member of five companies.
Reece has been award top 5 Asian tech investor 2018 & is the youngest ever investor to be profiled in The Sunday Times and is a mentor to the Mayor of London’s Business Start-up Entrepreneur’s Programme London and Partners.
Reece also gives his time to the startup community by being a keynote speaker at reputable institutions such as Imperial College, Cass Business School, LSE and various conferences such as Startup Grind.
Janet is Director of SVC2UK for the annual summit in 2015 and leads the programme out of London & Partners together with the commercial partners, students, and advisers. She is also developing a new strategy to offer a step change in the way London’s high growth companies can do business in overseas markets, a programme for the Mayor of London. Janet’s is co-Chair of the Tech London Advocates Scale up Working Group that is also supporting high growth companies to scale up. She is non-exec Director at Rocketseed, an email media company. She was previously a Diplomat for the UK Government, serving in a number of posts including San Francisco. She also led the Mayor of London’s Business Programme during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
Matthew is co-founder of Worth Capital – finding and funding the brightest entrepreneurs with the smartest ideas. They run the Start-Up Series, a competition where each month an entrepreneurial receives £150,000 in SEIS funding, and where investors are able to back the winners through subscribing to an SEIS Fund. He started angel investing well before the generous current tax reliefs. Alongside finding and investing in start-ups, he helps the leaders of very large businesses, such as SABMiller and IKEA, to create new products, brands and experience and to instil a culture where innovation can thrive.
Andy has a longstanding interest in the business finance market, previously as Editor of FT Weekend and more recently as a researcher, commentator and advisor on the game-changing developments unfolding in the SME funding market. In 2012 he published the first comprehensive research on the emergence of Alternative Funding Platforms in the UK.
The AFN provides a much needed forum for harnessing and sharing market intelligence and thought leadership on the issues that matter in SME finance.
Annabel Denham is Associate Director at The Entrepreneurs Network and Head of the Female Founders Forum. She joined from City A.M., where she was Entrepreneurs Editor and Deputy Business Features Editor. Interviewing a different entrepreneur each week for the paper, Annabel quickly came to realise that too many remain unfamiliar with government schemes designed to help them. And while many were keen to link up with other entrepreneurs, share experiences or offer advice, they lacked the platform to do so.
At The Entrepreneurs Network, Annabel is responsible for media outreach, edits research and runs our Female Founders Forum project. She has a particular interest in female entrepreneurship and the gig economy. Annabel writes regularly for the Telegraph, City A.M. and The Yorkshire Post.
Prior to City A.M., Annabel was a researcher for former Member of Parliament Peter Lilley and worked for the Conservative Press Office in the run up to the 2010 general election.
Hannah is a partner in KPMG Enterprise, focusing on owner managed and privately owned businesses. Hannah joined KPMG as a partner in September 2015 and co-leads the TMT (technology) team within Enterprise. Prior to joining, Hannah was a director for 5 years in the entrepreneurial team at PwC, and a latterly a partner for 7 years indirect tax team at Smith & Williamson LLP.
Whilst Hannah has 20 years’ experience advising entrepreneurial businesses on indirect tax issues (with a particular reference to cross-border transactions and technology businesses), her focus has always been working with technology businesses throughout their growth lifecycle. Hannah’s work with “tech” businesses commenced with the “dot.com” era towards the end of 2000, working on clients such as Lastminute.com, and seeing QXL Ricardo.com through its eventual IPO.
Hannah’s focus at KPMG is working with all “tech” businesses both at the early Stage (Series A funding and beyond), through to a future exit. Hannah coordinates the work streams at KPMG (tax, corporate finance, IT consulting etc) to grow a business and ensure it is in a robust position for any future exit. Hannah is also currently leading KPMG’s drive to coordinate early stage funding (Series A) between investors and “tech” investee clients.
The majority of Hannah’s clients at KPMG are very much “tech” businesses at various stages of their growth or exit lifecycle; and include Madbid.com, Smarkets.com, VE Interactive, Neyber Ltd etc.
Richard is a marketing and business development professional with extensive professional services experience.
Richard has developing all aspects of digital marketing, brand management, events, PR, social media, thought leadership, print, research, tenders and bids, telemarketing and CRM. He has developed business development strategies and support to drive fee earners in their efforts to win new business and develop existing clients.
Tom Elliott is National Head of Private Clients based in London. He has more than 25 years’ experience advising high net worth clients on the UK tax issues arising on their personal and business interests. In recent years, he has acted for a diverse range of clients, from dynastic wealth and successful entrepreneurs to full-time business angels, property investors, family offices and international families.
Tom has been listed as one of the ‘Top 50 Most Influential’ practitioners in the private client profession in 2018 and 2019 by eprivateclient. The accolade highlights those providing the best possible advice and service to high net worth clients and for driving innovation in the way the needs of these clients are met.
He is a Chartered Tax Advisor and sits on the Private Client Technical Committee for the Tax Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.
Nathan is Chief Investment Officer at Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation. He sits on the Nesta Trust Investment Committee and runs the organisation’s direct investment portfolio supporting transformational technology ventures and arts organisations. Nathan has been involved in venture capital and private equity investment in high growth businesses for over 20 years and has successfully invested in companies in a wide range of sectors and from start-up stage through to buy-outs. As well as investing, Nathan has been involved in setting up a couple of companies in the creative sector that have become reasonably successful. Originally an engineer, Nathan is a Chartered Accountant and previously worked at handful of places where he wore suits before switching focus to early stage, technology and socially focused enterprises.
Nathan is also an advisory board member and founder mentor of Emerge Education, a leading ed-tech accelerator, on the investment committees of the Sporting Assets and Shared Lives impact investment funds, on the board of a multi-academy schools group, an active business angel and non-executive director of a number of businesses.
Alex joined TALiNT after three years at The Supper Club, which helps an exclusive community of high growth entrepreneurs to learn from each other, and four years running the National Business Awards, leading year-round content-led campaigns with corporate partners in both roles. TALiNT Partners is home to industry-leading events and publications for HR and Recruitment leaders. Alex leads the development of leader communities for all of TALiNT’s audiences, including the PointSix network for senior executives of the UK’s largest and its most dynamic recruitment companies.
Tim has worked for over 30 years in private equity and was Chair of the British Venture Capital Association for the 2014-2015 term. Tim chairs the Palatine Impact Fund, PCB Partners and The Lakes Distillery. He sits on the boards of BSVT plc, Vinoteca and the Advisory Board of Beechbrook Capital.
Richard leads PwC tax services to owner managed businesses and their shareholders in the East Midlands. He has more than 25 years experience advising on all aspects of the UK tax system but especially income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
Passionate about tech, startups and innovation, Eleonora runs projects to support the development of an ecosystem where companies can grow. She is the Director of European Operations at Mind the Bridge, an innovation advisory firm that enables corporate and startup collaboration headquartered in Silicon Valley, which she launched in the UK in 2014. Experienced strategy and innovation, Eleonora has a background as a management consultant. Qualified business coach, she has supported organizations to reach their goals, define disruptive business models and work on their pitching, fundraising and go-to-market strategy. She is a mentor at SeedCamp, 01Ventures, MTS, Invest Horizon and the European Commission. Eleonora is also Teacher Assistant in Strategy and Economics at HULT International Business School.
Martin has been in financial services marketing all his working life! After a range of roles at Legal & General, he became Marketing Director at Prolific, and then General Manager Marketing at Pearl.
He then took the opportunity to set up the strategic marketing arm of a London agency, where he launched ABN AMRO into the UK retail market, and launched Just Retirement from scratch.
Today he runs Bulletin Marketing, and has a wide portfolio of financial services clients, across product providers, banks, investment houses, EIS managers, wealth managers, family offices and service providers. Bulletin provides research and marketing consultancy and support to enable companies to become more profitable.
He is one of the judges of the Sustainable and Ethical Investment Awards run by Incisive Media, and he also chairs the judging committee of the EIS
Association awards and is chair of the EISA Financial Planning Committee.
Throughout Andrew’s career he has been implementing technology and business change with global corporate venture units, advising on spin outs, investments and partnerships.
Andrew has been the founder and leader of a number of businesses in tech change, corporate venturing, new online travel products and new retail propositions. He has worked and travelled extensively in China and USA, as well as being based in Europe.
Andrew’s latest book is ‘Purpose to Performance – Innovative New Value Chains’. Testimonials and reviews of the book from board members of leading global organisations are on Amazon.
Andrew is also an early stage investor in a number of tech start ups and a founding member of Henley Business Angels. Andrew has an economics degree from St John’s College, Cambridge, CIMA and MBA. He is visiting fellow and Chair of the Business and Technology SIG at Henley Business School.
Andrew is a husband and proud dad of two daughters.
Steve Gazzard has over 30 years experience in financial services across a diverse range of professional bodies, platforms, banks, advice businesses, and life & pension providers. He has operated a number of leadership roles including; board membership, operational management, financial management, education governance, policy, strategy, sales & business development across a range of channels. Following his seven years as COO and then Interim CEO at the Institute of Financial Planning, he set up S J Gazzard Consulting Ltd which offers consultancy services across a range of financial services disciplines including strategy, policy, professional standards, distribution, and governance.
Edward Grant, Head of Strategy and Divisional Director Technical Connection, with a wide ranging remit leading the technical services and accreditation teams including our drive to grow our Chartered community with our regional and national symposiums.
Edward is a passionate advocate of the financial planning profession and during his extensive career spanning over 30 years he has sought to support, mentor and lead the development of initiatives to build consumer confidence and trust in financial advice. A Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, Edward has built a reputation as a technical specialist having written a number of tax and trust articles and regularly presents to large and small audiences of advisers, professional connections and clients across the UK.
A past president and board member of the Personal Finance Society, the largest financial services professional body, Chartered Insurance Institute past Vice President, Insurance Institute of London Vice President Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers, Chartered Insurance Institute Professional Standards Board member during implementation of the Retail Distribution Review and Chartered Insurance Institute Pension Trustee.
Tax partner. Specialisms: corporate restructuring, tax structuring of investment funds, property taxes. Cases include a number of demergers, structuring inward investment into large renewable energy projects, recapitalisation of the UK subsidiaries of a large multinational and structuring several private equity and property funds.
Trained Pinsent Masons; qualified 2003; Addleshaw Goddard (assistant–tax), 2003-05; Hackett Windle (partner), 2005-10; Lupton Fawcett (partner), 2012-11; Freeths partner 2012.
Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Tax.
Sheffield Hallam University (1995-99 LLB); University of Sheffield (1999-2000 LPC); University of Bristol (2002-05 BA dual hons Philosophy and Mathematics).
Chris joined APFA in January 2012 as Policy Director and was appointed as Director
General in June 2013. Chris joined PIMFA when APFA and WMA merged to assist for the
transition of combining the organisations. Chris has 20 years’ experience on public policy
and working with government on a range of business and financial services issues. Chris
started his career working in the, then, Department for Trade and Industry and HM Treasury.
In 2003, he joined the ABI working on regulation and distribution of general insurance and
financial crime. Most recently he has been Policy Director at the British Chambers of
Commerce and Head of Representation at the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
Philip Hare is a co founder of Philip Hare & Associates LLP, a tax consultancy business which specialises in the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed EIS, Venture Capital Trust (VCT) and Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). He and his team advise small and medium sized companies and their investors in respect of the tax relief available for investment and the conditions that need to be met by the company and the investor. They are in regular contact with specialists at HMRC discussing solutions to technical and administrative issues that arise from the schemes.
Philip is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor. He was a senior tax manager at PwC for 15 years. From 2006 to 2014, he led the team at PwC supplying services to VCTs, EIS and SEIS companies and their investors. EIS Association members voted his team the EIS Tax Advisor of the year for each of the last eight years.
Victor Hawrych is a senior partner at Edwin Coe LLP law firm. Victor specialises instructuring and setting up of funds and advises many investment funds on their financial services regulatory matters as well as on their investments. His firm is regularly winner or runner up of Best EIS Legal Adviser.
Victor has acted for brokers and growing companies seeking venture capital, as well as publicly traded companies on their admissions and subsequent corporate transactions. He is experienced in handling public and private company acquisitions and disposals and has acted in many capital market transactions.
Paul is the founder of Bluebox Corporate Finance. He is a chartered accountant with a wealth of
experience in both selling private companies and preparing them for sale. He has sold over 70
private businesses for values ranging between £2m and £200m across a range of sectors including a
number of well-respected UK businesses such as Models Own, Gü, Princess Yachts, Mappin & Webb,
Smythson, Watches of Switzerland, TXM Plant and The British Retail Consortium.
Paul originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) where he
specialised in Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and private company valuations. In 1998 he moved
into private equity with an award winning London-based team before joining a corporate finance
boutique in London where he was promoted, over a 13 year period, to become one of the Senior
In 2012, James Caan, backed Paul to start Bluebox Corporate Finance, having experienced first hand
the value that he helped create for two of his own private disposals. Since then, Paul has successfully
grown the business to a team of 20 people and Bluebox have completed numerous high profile
Paul also sits on the board of Pilltime.com, a revolutionary new pharmacy disruptor that enables
Patients to received their medication delivered to their home in pre-sorted, easy to open pouches.
Stephen is Head of Taxation in the Institute of Directors’ Policy Unit. He graduated from Manchester University with an honours degree in Economics & Politics. He is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Stephen has specialised in taxation for over thirty years and, before joining the IoD in September 2013, he was a partner in three global accounting firms (Grant Thornton, Ernst & Young and BDO) for a total of twenty-eight years. He was appointed by the Exchequer Secretary as one of the (then) eight independent members of HM Treasury’s Tax Professionals Forum. He often speaks on taxation and related matters at conferences and regularly appears in both the national and tax technical press and on the broadcast media. He is a strong supporter of tax simplification and reduced tax rates for both businesses and individuals and believes that it is imperative that the misconceptions about tax planning which are regularly asserted by anti-business lobbyists are aggressively refuted.
Jack is a Relationship Manager at ELITE, the London Stock Exchange Group’s membership platform for the world’s best private companies. He focuses on UK based member corporates, supporting management teams to execute their strategy, connect with capital and achieve their ambitions. Prior to joining London Stock Exchange Group Jack has worked for an executive search practice.
Stephanie is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management. As part of her role she is the Director of the full-time MBA course and Co-Director of the Business Growth & Development Programme (BGP), the longest established owner-manager programme in the UK. Stephanie has a passion for early stage and growth companies. Besides working with entrepreneurs, Stephanie cooperates with charities and firms on how to encourage and implement intrapreneurship. Her current research focuses on entrepreneurial resilience and business survival. Stephanie has written several prize winning case studies and is now frequently asked to give talks about case study writing and teaching.
Aine joined Big Society Capital from Barclays Wealth where she most recently spent four years as a private banker. Prior to that she worked for 18 years in institutional equity markets, initially at Kleinwort Benson and then at J. P. Morgan and Citigroup. She has a wide experience of introducing new investment opportunities to financial investors and has covered UK, European and Asian equity markets. Aine has worked in London, New York and Zurich. She holds an MSc in Finance from LSE, an MA in Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin and MCSI membership. Alongside her executive role Aine has oversight of the education strand of Big Society Capital’s social issue work and sits on the boards of the Triodos New Horizon SIB and Clearly So.
Dan Kiernan is a careers consultant at Henley Business School, looking after students studying
finance at the ICMA Centre. He coaches them on their career choices, helps them prepare job
applications and tries to teach them some of the skills they’re going to need in the workplace
(although to be candid, he learns as much from the students as they learn from him!) He also
organises the Industry Insights programme of talks, where industry thought leaders from the world
of finance come it to share insights and debate with students.
Prior to working at Henley, Dan spent six years at Intelligent Partnership, a small business that is the
UK’s leading provider of education and insights on alternative investments. He headed up the team
that produced Intelligent Partnership’s award winning reports on the UK’s tax-advantaged venture
capital schemes, curated and presented the CII accredited adviser education programme and
pounded the pavement as a conference speaker.
For the first ten years of his career, Dan worked in performance and risk analytics for an organisation
that (after four or five take-overs and mergers) became part of BNY Mellon. He rose from a lowly
investment performance analyst to be a VP and operations manager and was responsible for teams
in Leeds, London, Edinburgh and India.
Dan’s a qualified Discretionary Investment Manager and has had his work published in titles
including FTAdviser, Money Marketing, Professional Adviser, Fundweb, Moneyfacts, The Investor’s
Chronicle and Investment Life.
Scott is the Head of Audit and Assurance at BDO and also a member of the firm’s Leadership Team and their Risk Committee. As well as leading the audit and assurance practice nationally, he specialises in the Natural Resources sector, acting for more than thirty AIM and fully listed companies both in the UK and internationally. Scott has considerable experience in advising fast growing clients from both the London and New York offices of BDO. He is a ‘hands on partner’ who recognises the need to develop a full understanding of his clients businesses in order to provide practical, commercial advice that is tailored to their needs.
Financial Services strategic and marketing professional consultant with over 30 years senior experience.
50% corporate management and 50% in consultancy, non executive and interim director roles.
Helps businesses – providers and advisers- achieve optimum marketing integration in line with strategic goals. Interest in the relationship between strategy and communications.
Through Adviser Home, helping adviser practices create clear marketing differentiation and run their businesses more effectively.
Armchair Critic – columnist for Incisive Media – on www.ifaonline.co.uk and in Professional Adviser.
Chairman of Judges – Investment Marketing and Innovation Awards
Specialties: Financial services proposition development, brand creation and management, new company development and launch, distribution strategies and implementation, creative innovation, copywriting and management of virtual agencies.
Af Malhotra is a leading tech entrepreneur, investor, speaker, advisor on digital disruption, and co-founder of GrowthEnabler – an AI tech company that is radically changing how corporations’ partner with, procure from, and invest in the global digital ecosystem. Af is also a dedicated philanthropist. He is the founding partner of an advisory firm, Zone Capital Advisors, an advisory board member of Exogenous, an Inc and Research Fellow at the Centre for Study of Digital Life, Chair of Tech India Advocates. Most recently, in response to the COVID pandemic, Af is co-founder and co-host of StraightTalk.Live – a weekly podcast focused on influencing the world’s leading enterprises to transform and prepare for the impending digital revolution.
Manish is an Investment Director in Nesta’s Impact Investment Team, working across sectors and leading our Healthy Ageing fund in partnership with UKRI. Manish is responsible for Nesta’s investments in Sumdog, Empiribox, and MEL Science, and has also led various portfolio investments to exits including Futuregov, Q Doctor, BeApplied, Digital Assess, and Synopsis Healthcare.
Prior to joining Nesta in 2015, Manish has been involved in venture capital and private equity for more than a decade, both as an investor and a consultant. He has worked at Sovereign Capital, Terra Firma Capital Partners and Aureos Capital. At Sovereign Capital, his main focus was on Education and Healthcare, where he was involved in key investments including Hillcrest (Outcomes First), GSM, Astrum and Lifetime as well as bolt-on investments for Eden Futures and World Class Learning. Manish started his career as a marketing manager at Colgate Palmolive followed by strategy consulting at Accenture.
Manish is a Mentor to the NHS Innovation Accelerator and grows superhot peppers in his garden during the short English summers.
Scott Moeller is a professor in the practice of ﬁnance at Cass Business School, City, University of London where he also is the director and founder of the M&A Research Centre. Scott is a frequent commentator on business issues on television (BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC) and in the press (Financial Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Newsweek).
His most recent book, published in September 2016 for The Economist business book series, is entitled Why Deals Fail & How to Rescue Them: M&A Lessons for Deal Success (co-authored with Michel Driessen and Anna Faelten). He has co-authored Intelligent M&A: Navigating the Mergers and Acquisitions Mineﬁeld , now in a second edition (John Wiley, 2014) which received a number of awards. Scott has also written Surviving M&A: Making the Most of Your Company Being Acquired (John Wiley, 2009).
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Scott worked ﬁrst at Booz Allen & Hamilton management consultants for over ﬁve years and then at Morgan Stanley for over 12 years in New York, Japan, and then Germany where he was country co-head and member of the board of Morgan Stanley AG. Scott is a graduate of Yale College (BA with honors), the Yale Graduate School (MA), and the Yale School of Management (MBA).
Dan is the CEO of Buyagift & Red Letter Days, having been a founding director of the Buyagift business back in 1999.
Over the past 20 plus years, his team has managed the business through many transitions to become the industry leaders generating in excess of £100m in annual transaction value.
They completed a successful sale process resulting in the Buyagift business becoming part of Smartbox Group in August 2010. His team continued to run the business for the new owners and in November 2017 we led the acquisition process for the Red Letter Days business, adding another industry leading brand to their portfolio.
In May 2022 they managed a secondary exit process for the Smartbox Group, assisting in the sale of Buyagift & Red Letter Days to MoonPig Group Plc. for £124m.
From a personal perspective, he has made early-stage investments in several companies with a view to helping new entrepreneurs and new businesses grow.
A selection of the companies he has invested in include:
deepcrawl.com – driftrock.com – techspert.io – youralcove.com – grubby.co.uk – buygreen.co.uk – & move.ai
Louise is part of PwC’s Venture Capital tax team. She builds relationships with companies and funds looking for SEIS and EIS investment. Louise works closely with these companies to help them understand the complexities surrounding the tax legislation and provides support from dealing with HMRC to advising on transactions to ensure the qualifying criteria is met and maintained
Nick O’Donohoe joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in January 2016 as Senior Adviser for Blended Finance, where he originates, executes and manages blended finance transactions.
Between 2011 and 2016, Nick served as the founding Chief Executive of Big Society Capital. Nick helped to produce the blueprint for the government-backed social investment wholesaler and became its chief executive when the organisation was launched.
Prior to that Nick was Global Head of Research at JP Morgan. He was responsible for the firms Equity, Credit, Interest Rate, FX and Commodities research groups in addition to the firms Economics research department. He was also a member of the Management Committee of the Investment Bank and the Executive Committee of JPMorgan Chase.
Nick joined JP Morgan in 1996 and became Head of European Equity research in 1999. A year later, he assumed overall responsibility for European and Japanese Cash Equities and, following the merger with Chase, became Head of Cash Equities for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He was appointed Global Head of Equity Research in 2002 and Global Head of Research in 2005.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Nick worked at Goldman Sachs where he served as Resident Manager of its Zurich office, Head of Alternative Investments in Europe and Head of International Marketing at GSAM.
While at J.P. Morgan, Nick was also the senior sponsor for the firms Social Finance Unit, which invests in and delivers capital markets services to Social Enterprises around the world.
He is a board member of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).
Nick has a B.A. in Mathematical Economics and Statistics from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Donna O’Toole, CEO of August – The Awards Consultancy, has helped hundreds of businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, and leaders across the globe to raise their profile by achieving valuable awards for their work and achievements.
Donna is a national awards judge for multiple industry awards and she supports awards organisers to ensure their awards programmes are robust, fair, and highly successful. Her knowledge and experience has led to an outstanding success rate in the most prestigious industry awards competitions in the world including the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, and her work has resulted in some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs, business leaders, VIPs, and community champions receiving personal recognition (MBE to knighthood) from Her Majesty The Queen.
Using her exclusive awards insights, Donna has now developed a unique awards training programme to help businesses and individuals win the awards they deserve
Kavita is Head of Investment Funds and Regional Head – South at law firm Shakespeare Martineau LLP. She specialising in private equity and corporate finance transactions including the establishment of investment funds, public and private fund raising, venture capital and private equity investments, takeover, mergers and reconstructions. She is a renowned structuring specialist, particularly in relation to the venture capital schemes. Kavita sits on the EIS Association Regulatory Committee and the AIC VCT Technical Committee, and is also a director of The Nottingham Building Society.
Andrea is the Co-Founder of Bizfly.
Bizfly Limited is an active company incorporated on 21 April 2016 with the registered office located in London, Greater London. Bizfly Limited has been running for 2 years
Andrea is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, qualifying with KPMG Ireland, then transferring to the London Management Consultancy division working within the Financial Services and Aviation sector.
Helen leads the £10m Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, set up with the generous support of Peter Cullum CBE, a successful entrepreneur and alumnus of Cass Business School. Helen has been involved in VC for 17 years, investing in a wide range of sectors from medical polymers to B2B software. She has an MSci in Physics from Cambridge and started out in management consultancy before switching to early stage finance for SMEs. Helen also has her own company, Expert Ventures, which has undertaken advisory and compliance work for firms in the venture space.
After a first career as a RAF Regiment officer, Paul has had over 17 years’ experience in numerous roles within the sector primarily in the marketing and sales of financial products. This has included being an equity broker with Redmayne Bentley, a banker with RBS, through to being the Divisional Sales & Marketing Head for an investment house in the City where he was responsible for their monthly magazine that not only covered the FTSE but also fledgling British companies. He has also been the Chairman of a London Chamber of Commerce whose membership was mainly SMEs and where he assisted these companies to grow and develop. In his latest role at The Share Centre as Head of Corporate Sales & Relationships he is responsible for the Department that provides the administration and custodial services to an ever growing number of SEIS, EIS, Investor Relief & BPR fund managers. Furthermore, he is a contributor of articles to magazines & websites on the Alternative Investment sector.
Titus Sharpe is Co-founder and CEO of MVF, one of the UK’s fastest growing tech and digital marketing businesses. Titus’s background is in artificial intelligence; he began studying for a PhD in collaborative robotics before leaving to launch his first tech business. MVF is Titus’s fourth successful venture to date, with previous notable success with B2B marketplace Approved Index which he sold to Reed Elsevier in 2008.
Founded in 2009, MVF is a cutting edge customer generation platform built to grow sales and tap into new customer audiences for businesses all over the world. Under Titus’s guidance MVF has transitioned from dynamic startup to established international business, working across 120 countries and servicing some of the world’s leading corporations.
Tim is CEO of LendingWell and is passionate about Direct Lending, and P2P in particular. He has built up a deep knowledge of the industry over the past eight years through being a significant Lender on many of the leading platforms. LendingWell has been co-founded by Tim and Liberum Alternative Finance, a leading strategic advisor and development partner to the Alternative Finance sector, to provide a simple, single point of access for financial advisers and retail investors to the loan investment products offered by leading peer-to-peer platforms. LendingWell’s mission is to make investing in P2P lending easier and better by guiding investors through the evolving and exciting landscape of this new asset class.
Prior to his involvement in the Direct Lending sector, Tim had founded, in 1998, and built the market leading document and data management operation in Central & Eastern Europe, operating in 8 countries and 37 cities. Tim also had previously co-founded, in Hong Kong, a private mail service that distributes business mail between member companies through a closed exchange network, which today remains the market leader.
Ruby McGregor-Smith (Baroness McGregor-Smith CBE) is the Chief Executive of Mitie Group plc, the strategic outsourcing company. She joined Mitie in 2002 and was appointed as CEO in 2007. She is one of a small number of women holding the position of Chief Executive in the FTSE 250 or FTSE 100 and is the first Asian woman to be appointed in such a role within that group of companies. Since joining, she has seen Mitie grow its revenue from £0.5bn to over £2.0bn, continuing its track record of profit and revenue growth.
In 2015 she was appointed a Life Peer in the House of Lords. She is also Senior Non-Independent Director of the Board of Page Group plc. In 2016 she was appointed by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, to lead a review looking at the issues faced by businesses in developing black and minority ethnic (BME) talent from when they start work through to executive level. She also chaired the Women’s Business Council, a working group that seeks to maximise women’s contribution to economic growth, from 2012 to 2016 and remains a member of the Council.
Stephen is a tax partner specialising in advising privately owned and PE backed businesses. He also leads our national Venture Capital taxes business.
Steve has been with PwC for over 20 years and recently returned to the Midlands after two years in Belfast and the last four years in London.
Martin is a passionate and highly motivated commercially focused chief financial officer, experienced non-executive director and Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at The Bettany Centre within Cranfield University’s School of Management.
He has a differentiated skill set being both a chartered accountant and barrister-at-law (non-practicing) with a proven track record of delivering real improvements in business performance across a range of sectors and business types and he has founded, built and exited two businesses of his own and a number as a non-executive.
Martin has spent the last 10 years working with high growth and venture capital backed companies, including making several angel investments and sitting on the investment committee of a leading SEIS and EIS investment fund and his specialism is helping entrepreneurial ventures to grow by providing strategic financial direction and skills.
At Cranfield Martin teaches on both graduate and executive education courses and his areas of focus are entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance with a particular interest in valuation methodologies for early stage and high growth companies.
Wendy Spires divides her time between WealthBriefing, the leading industry news and thought-leadership platform, and findaWEALTHMANAGER.com, the online matching service for High Net Worth Individuals, serving as Global Head of Research and Director of Client Research and Content respectively.
Wendy has been a wealth management journalist and research writer for a decade, and has also spent time working for a PR agency specialising in the sector. This wide-ranging experience has led to her being called upon to consult for banks, wealth/asset managers and IFAs on branding, communications and client research-focused projects for both internal and external purposes.
Wendy has written a huge array of research reports on issues affecting the industry, including client experience, branding and marketing, client due diligence, onboarding and risk-profiling methodologies, and she is known as a specialist in technology and operations trends.
Having developed in-depth knowledge of international wealth management markets and the strategic challenges firms face, Wendy regularly speaks at and chairs high-profile conferences both in the UK and abroad.
Emma is the founder and CEO of All Street. An economist by trade, Emma is dedicated to enabling everyone to get involved in the new financial system that crowdfunding is creating. She brings significant experience in financial services across corporate banking and asset management, an MBA degree from Oxford University and two Masters of Science. She believes in the power of shared knowledge to transform the alternative finance space. Emma’s a whizz at finance and a fan of plain talking. She’s the brains, brawn and buoyancy behind All Street.
Ashley is a Growth Advisor playing a leading part rolling out Grant Thornton’s innovative Growth 365, it’s a service designed specifically for leaders of medium businesses to increase certainty of achieving ambitions. As a former 7x CEO with 4 IPOs behind him he is passionate about helping businesses reach their potential using a pragmatic range of methods which combined with the talent, reach and facilities of a global organisation mean that clients receive a unique boost to maximising achievement of plans.
Simon is responsible for the strategic direction and management of Thompson Taraz Managers, supporting real estate and venture capital fund managers, as well as business angel networks, through fund support services including consultancy, outsourced fund management and fund administration. Simon has been a Director or Board Adviser to a number of high-profile, multi-national fund management and funds services businesses.
As well as fund management, he has been involved in smaller company development, fundraising and corporate finance for more than fifteen years. He also has particular expertise in strategic compliance and risk matters and sits on the Institutional Committee of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants. Simon has twice acted as a ‘Skilled Person’ appointed to prepare reports for the UK regulator.
Simon’s sector knowledge, clarity and perception allows Thompson Taraz’s clients to concentrate on what they do best, secure in the knowledge that they have considered and expert support to call on as needed.
Rhodri is a corporate partner based in Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP’s London office. He leads our funds practice and can draw on over 20 years’ experience auditing and advising investment funds, private equity and corporates both in the UK and abroad.
Prior to joining Crowe, Rhodri was a lead audit partner on the audit of listed and private investment funds at a top 10 firm and was responsible for the audit of funds including VCTs with gross assets under management in excess of £1.5bn, across a range of asset classes including real estate, healthcare, tech and renewable energy.
Rhodri is a member of the AIC VCT Technical Sub-committee and he has hosted a number of workshops covering a range of subjects topical to the investment funds sector ranging from financial reporting, governance and valuations.
Rhodri is a member of our national valuations team and has worked extensively with the IPEV Guidelines.
Tom is the partner at Shoosmiths LLP who heads up the firm’s enterprise investment scheme and venture capital trusts (VCT) tax practice.
He is one of the UK’s leading experts in this field, with extensive experience advising investors and investee companies on structuring and implementing tax efficient investments, reorganisations and exits in compliance with the EIS and VCT regimes, ensuring that returns from investment are optimised.
Tom’s in-depth experience also includes advising clients on share option schemes including EMI options, employee shareholder shares and company share option plans, as well as negotiating with HMRC on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Tom is ranked at Band 1 in Chambers 2018, which describes him as an “esteemed practitioner…singled out for his detailed knowledge of enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts.”
Sophie is the Senior Policy Advisor at The ScaleUp Institute, a recently established research and policy centre which aims to build the most effective economic and policy environment for high growth businesses to scale up. She has a background working in a range of policy, research and project management roles promoting economic growth, access to investment and entrepreneurship at various international NGOs, the UKBAA and London Business Angels. Sophie coordinated the ‘Angels in the City’ Project aimed at attracting individuals from Financial Services in the City to become mentors and investors. She also developed an ‘ICT Entrepreneurs handbook on Access to Finance’ on behalf of the European Commission to support entrepreneurs from R&D phase to investment readiness.
John specialises in corporate law, focusing primarily on the business needs of entrepreneurs, SMEs and family businesses. He has particular expertise in advising on investments into businesses, the sale and purchase of businesses, joint ventures, and shareholders agreements both in the UK and internationally.
John also has specialisms in partnership matters, including limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships with a particular emphasis on property investment and the fund management sector, and in advising on shareholder and partnership disputes.
John acts as a trusted advisor to his clients, and has demonstrated a broad business perspective and the ability to quickly grasp and deal with complex issues, which is highly valued by his clients. He also has experience advising companies seeking to qualify under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), as well as advising companies listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, AIM and Nex.