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Venture Forum: Succession Planning

Macfarlanes, 20 Cursitor St, London, EC4A 1LT
11 May 2022
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The next BVCA Venture Forum will explore the topic of succession planning and related issues, including partner churn and how to address legal complexities. We will be joined by an experienced panel of VCs who will consider questions such as what stage in your development you should start to consider how to replace the senior partners and discuss examples of firms that have successfully (or unsuccessfully) made that transition.


08:30 Guest arrival

09:00 Welcome from BVCA
Chris Elphick, VC Policy Manager, BVCA

09:05 Keynote presentation
Bill Tobin, Managing Partner, LearningEdge Leadership & formerly Kauffman Fellows Program

09:20 Panel Discussion and Q&A

  • Chair: Stephen Robinson, Partner, Macfarlanes
  • Houman Ashrafian, Managing Partner, SV Health Investors
  • Stephen Chandler, Managing Partner, Notion
  • Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital

10.30 Event close

Houman Ashrafian, Managing Partner, SV Health Investors

Since joining SV in 2016, Houman has founded six currently active SV companies. He co-leads SV’s Biotech franchise, which has a long history of building high value, successful new companies and bringing transformational drugs from discovery to market, having joined SV in 2016 as a Venture Partner, been promoted to Partner in 2017 and became a Managing Partner in 2018.

Houman has founded six companies; Sitryx, Enara Bio, TRexBio, Alchemab, Catamaran Bio and Mestag and serves on the board of four of these companies; Enara Bio, Alchemab, Catamaran Bio and Mestag. He also serves on the boards of Therini, Imbria, Quell and on the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) Investment Committee. Previously, Houman co-founded the services company Cardiac Report in 2003, as well as Heart Metabolics in 2008. Heart Metabolics successfully repositioned perhexiline, as a treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Perhexiline is now in advanced clinical trials and has orphan drug designation. He went on to become Vice President and head of the Clinical Science Group at UCB Pharma.

Outside of SV, following completion of his cardiology training, Houman was appointed as an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in 2011 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is Visiting Professor and head of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Oxford. Additionally, Houman is co-founder and Chairman of Weatherden, a boutique clinical development company. Academic credentials Undergraduate degree, University of Cambridge; BM BCh, DPhil, University of Oxford.

Stephen Chandler, Managing Partner, Notion

Stephen is Co-founder and Managing Partner at Notion Capital, the London-headquartered VC firm focused on B2B SaaS and Cloud. He is an entrepreneur-turned-investor, having been part of the founding management team of MessageLabs, sold to Symantec for $700m in 2008.

Stephen Robinson, Partner, Macfarlanes

Stephen is a partner and head of the investment management group at Macfarlanes. He advises a wide range of investment managers, fund sponsors and investors on the structuring, establishment and operation of investment funds and related activities. He specialises in structuring private equity, venture capital and infrastructure funds.

Bill Tobin, Managing Partner, LearningEdge Leadership & formerly Kauffman Fellows Program

Bill leads the leadership and team development practices at LearningEdge Leadership (LEL). He is an entrepreneur who was directly involved in five startups (and has advised dozens more) over the past 20 years and he continues to work with entrepreneurs, their teams and their investors. LEL is an organization development firm that specializes in helping venture-backed technology companies and investment groups build strong management teams. We help executives and teams navigate change and transitions with less pain and less risk.

Bill founded LearningEdge Leadership as an evolution of his work with Strayer Consulting over the past decade and a half. He brings 25+ years of consulting and high-tech experience from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), public companies such as Sun Microsystems, Intel, Ampex, RasterOps, and 3DO, and as a founding executive and board member at startups DotRocket and MediaFlex. He also spent ten years as a leadership development faculty member and executive coach at the Kauffman Fellows Program, a two-year venture capital educational curriculum, where he helped catalyze the development of over 300 global investors during his tenure.

Bill is an experienced business consultant and coach who brings technical savvy, business discipline and an orientation towards people to his work with clients. He specializes in helping companies implement major strategic and operational initiatives that require an integrated, cross-functional approach.

Bill is an advisor and former chairman of the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab and is active in a variety of Bay Area organizations working with entrepreneurs and early stage companies. He is an active seed-stage angel investor and emerging manager limited partner.

Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner, Cambridge Innovation Capital

Andrew is the Managing Partner of CIC and focuses on technology investments.

Andrew’s background combines R&D, start-up formation and technology investing. Before joining CIC he spent ten years in venture investing at Physic Ventures in San Francisco and True North Venture Partners in Chicago. Before moving into Venture Capital, Andrew led a research group applying High Performance Computing to materials science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Andrew has an MA and PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dress Code

Business attire


20 Cursitor Street

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Complimentary and exclusive to BVCA GP members

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