Hear unmatched insight from over 30 experienced, high-calibre speakers discussing the hottest topics in over 7 hours of debates, panel discussions, interviews and presentations.
MANAGING DIRECTOR & CO FOUNDER, SKINNY BRANDS
After graduating in 2010 from Sheffield Hallam University as a Sport Scientist, Tom immediately started work with a Medical devices company. As a sales exec looking after the North West region, he found his passion for business and more importantly sales. Growing the NW territory by 250% in 4 years.
During his final year at the company he started a side-project, building ‘Skinny Booze’, the first and only ecommerce company in the world to sell a portfolio of Lower Calorie/healthier alcoholic alternatives. After 3 years of development he spotted a growing opportunity. Tom & Gary then worked together to co-create a range of better-for-you alcoholic beverages.
With a relentless thirst for success and innovation Tom lives for new ideas and concepts. He has a clear mission, to breathe life into the Alcohol sector and eventually to establish Skinny Brands as the number 1 lifestyle brand for alcohol.
CEO, APEX AIRSPACE
Arshad Bhatti is a pioneer in airspace development and founded rooftop developer Apex Airspace in 2016. The company converts unused airspace above residential, commercial and public buildings into new and affordable homes with the use of offsite modular construction. Through innovation, he has steered the business into a market-leader in its field and has secured over £25m in funding from BGF (formerly the Business Growth Fund), Homes England and the Mayor of London, which will deliver a programme of 625 new homes.
Research commissioned by Apex in 2016 indicated the potential to build 180,000 new homes on London’s rooftops, one third of which above public buildings. He sees airspace development as a vital means to helping solve the capital’s housing crisis, with the possibility to be implemented regionally and globally.
MANAGING PARTNER, NEXT WAVE PARTNERS
Jonathan Brod has approaching 25 years’ experience in private equity, investment banking and entrepreneurship, which he draws upon to add value to all aspects of Next Wave’s activities. Jonathan divides his time between investment, portfolio management and driving Next Wave’s growth.
An Oxford Graduate, Jonathan has founded several businesses as well as Next Wave, including Essential Escapes and Tots Too, a market leading, luxury family travel brand and The Bold Pub Company. Jonathan is involved with the majority of Next Wave’s portfolio companies at critical points of the investment cycle and holds or has held board seats on Fox International, The Delivery Group, Petainer and Molinare. He is the firm’s Chief Investment Officer on its Investment Committee.
Jonathan is also an active Series A high growth investor, with recent investments including SAM Labs (internet of things edtech), Car & Away (peer to peer car rental) and Laurel Canyon Ventures (restaurant concepts).
PRINCIPAL, BALDERTON CAPITAL
Laura Connell joined Balderton’s investment team in 2018 and focuses on growth stage investing. She spent the previous three years advising tech startups on their fundraising strategies as well as their early operational and financial structure in sectors ranging from online retail to healthcare and fintech.
Laura was previously at Goldman Sachs, first in the Investment Management Division and subsequently the Financial Institutions Group in M&A.
Laura undertook neuroscience research in the Brain Sciences Department of Imperial College’s Faculty of Medicine. She was a Fulbright Scholar and gained her MBA from Harvard, and she studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford.
Laura speaks fluent English and French and her primary focus is the Liquidity I fund, Balderton’s direct secondary fund for growth-stage European founded tech companies.
GLOBAL SALES DIRECTOR & CO FOUNDER, SKINNY BRANDS
Gary Conway is a Business and Finance graduate who was educated in Leeds. From here he did a post grad in International Marketing and joined Carlsberg in the sales team. After 7 years he moved to work for a pub company as a Business Development Manager and then on to Diageo for 8 years. At Diageo he worked in various senior roles in sales, brand management, category management and new product development. From Diageo he moved to an International role managing Corona Beer in UK, Ireland and India. He now Co- founds SkinnyBrands Ltd and manages the international trade, now entering the 11th global market.
PARTNER, PHOENIX EQUITY PARTNERS
Louise Corner has dual responsibility for investor relations and portfolio performance at Phoenix. She was previously a member of the investment team and has been involved in a number of the firm’s investments since joining in 2007.
Phoenix is a leading private equity investor in medium-sized, UK based businesses valued at up to £200m. Founded in 2001, Phoenix invests across a number of sectors, helping entrepreneurs and management teams with bold plans to build great businesses.
Prior to joining Phoenix, Louise spent four years in the M&A division at Lazard. She has an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge.
PARTNER, MAVEN CAPITAL PARTNERS
Andrew Craig is one of the founding partners of Maven Capital Partners, which was established in 2009 as a spin out of the Private Equity division of Aberdeen Asset Management. Headquartered in Glasgow, and with ten offices throughout the UK, Maven has over 80 investment and support professionals providing a truly nationwide coverage. Maven has £600million funds under management and ready to invest, and manages assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, UK regional fund mandates, Maven Investor Partners – a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors and recently announced a final close for the Maven UK Regional Buyout Fund.
He is a member of the Maven Investment Committee and is responsible for new Private Equity investments in Scotland and has over 20 years’ experience of investing in SME’s across the UK.
Andrew joined Aberdeen Asset Management in 2004 having previously been with Bank of Scotland Corporate Banking in Edinburgh where he was an Associate Director of Integrated Finance working primarily on UK mid-market buyouts. Prior to joining Bank of Scotland in 1999 he worked in Business and Corporate Banking at Clydesdale Bank for 10 years.
He is a Member of both the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and the Institute of Directors and is also Chairman of BVCA Membership Engagement Committee.
SENIOR PARTNER, FROG CAPITAL
Shirin founded, expanded and subsequently sold mobile communications business Arieso. A University of Southampton Engineering alumna, she has over 20 years’ experience in the software and mobile communications industry.
She is a senior partner at Frog Capital where she sits on the board of Skimlinks.
She is also the Non-exec Chairwoman of Opensignal, a UK based company that sets the gold standard for mobile experience globally.
She is a passionate advisor and board member to companies wishing to transform their business.
Alastair Douglas has a track record working with high-performing start-ups, including Worldpay Zinc, Podio and Simply Business.
At TotallyMoney, he’s focused on embedding a build, measure, learn culture across the business and creating an environment where employees have the structure and freedom they require to be empowered to make things happen. With extensive leadership experience, his focus has always been on start-ups and growing businesses.
PARTNER, ACTIVE PARTNERS AND NXD, LEON RESTAURANTS
Nick joined the partnership in 2007. He led our investment in Evans Cycles where he was Chairman until the business was sold in 2015. He is Chairman of Rapha Racing, where he has been an investor since 2006, and was Chairman of Leon Restaurants between 2008-2016, where he remains a Non-Executive Director. He is Non-Executive Director at Context, Finisterre, Honest Burgers, The Fold and TravelLocal.
Prior to joining Active, Nick was the CEO at MW Group in London (a group consisting of Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and TM Sutton) which he successfully returned to profitability and sold. He was the UK Managing Partner for Mitiska NV, where he led investments in Brantano UK, AS Adventure and Cotswold Outdoor. He was also a Partner at Net Fund Europe, a £70m private equity fund established by Mitiska. Nick started his career at Bain and Company in London, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Paris.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RECYCLING LIVES
William Fletcher is Chief Executive of Recycling Lives - a social business supporting life-changing charity programmes through its successful recycling and waste management operations.
He joined Recycling Lives in 2013 bringing with him a wealth of experience from years working at a national and international level in the financial management and retail sectors, but keen to use his skills to create social, as well as commercial, impact. He became Managing Director the following year.
The business - which recycles scrap metals, scrap cars and waste - has grown rapidly since, with a growing national footprint and sales more than tripling from £22m in 2013/14 to £75m in 2017/18.
Will has overseen Recycling Lives impressive growth in his time, growing from a regional, mid-tier recycler to a national top-tier recycler, exporting recycling materials to global markets. He was led on the installation of industry-leading waste management technology and opening of nine new sites across England and Scotland.
Will also works closely with leaders of Recycling Lives’ social enterprise and charity, supporting them to deliver a leading offender rehabilitation programme, a unique residential charity and food redistribution programme. These programmes are delivering significant social value, creating savings to society worth millions each year, by reducing reoffending, welfare dependency and costs for charities and community groups.
Recycling Lives is a triple-Queen’s Award-winning organisation, recognised in 2010 and 2014 for Sustainable Development, and in 2018 for International Trade.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO, BLOOM & WILD
Aron Gelbard is co-founder & CEO at Bloom & Wild, having launched the company in 2013.
Bloom & Wild's mission is to make sending and receiving flowers the joy that it should be, and, in doing so, to build the world's leading and most loved flower gifting brand.
Bloom & Wild is the UK's third largest and top rated online florist, and was named the UK’s second fastest growing company by Deloitte in 2017. The company has raised £22m to date and has expanded internationally to Germany, France and Ireland.
Prior to Bloom & Wild, Aron worked as a consultant to the consumer and technology sectors at Bain & Company in London and Silicon Valley.
INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, ROCKPOOL INVESTMENTS
Darran Green is an Investment Director and an investment committee member at Rockpool Investments, a lower mid-market private equity firm. His role is to invest in high growth businesses across the UK with a turnover of £5m to £40m, and to work with the boards of management teams in sectors including e-commerce, manufacturing, leisure, and learning & development. Darran has degrees in law and finance, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.
DIRECTOR GENERAL, BVCA
Tim Hames is the Director General of the BVCA. He started his professional career as a Lecturer in Politics at Oxford University where he obtained a doctorate and specialised in American and British Government. He became a journalist at The Times assuming the roles of Assistant Editor, chief leader writer and columnist. He regularly edited the newspaper as a whole between 2006 and 2008 as part of his duties. He has also served as Special Adviser to the Speaker of the House of Commons in 2009-2010. He is an Honorary Visiting Fellow at De Montfort University and a Fellow of the Institute of Travel and Tourism.
HEAD OF GROWTH CAPITAL, SANTANDER CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL BANKING
After graduating in Modern Languages & European Economics, Darren joined NatWest where ultimately he co-founded their last mezzanine fund in the late 1990’s. Since then, Darren has led mezzanine businesses at Legal & General Ventures and Barclays, giving him over 20 years experience in subordinated debt and a high profile in the market. He is a regular speaker at international conferences on the mezzanine asset class.
Darren has worked in credit risk as well as on the front line and his roles have spanned origination, debt and equity structuring, distribution, portfolio fund management, workouts and risk strategy, both in the UK and across Europe. The common theme is partnering with entrepreneurial management teams and investors in expanding businesses, from SME’s to mid corporates.
Darren was invited to join Santander in 2011 to create and lead the Bank’s Growth Capital proposition which is aimed at supporting high growth SME’s though development capital and M&A projects. To date, the team has completed very nearly 200 investments, supporting 130 businesses who are in the process of creating well over 7,000 new jobs through their growth. Total new debt facilities committed through the programme are now approaching £600m.
FORMER CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER, SKYSCANNER
Carolyn Jameson was Chief Legal Officer at Skyscanner during its period of rapid growth, ultimately leading the sale of Skyscanner to Ctrip International in 2016 for $1.7bn. Following the sale, Carolyn extended her role to work for Ctrip directly as their Head of International M&A until April this year. Carolyn is also a NXD for Visit Scotland, and two young Edinburgh start-ups - Wallet Services, a blockchain platform, and Cortex Worldwide, a digital marketing company.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF PRIVATE EQUITY – TECHNOLOGY, INVESTCORP
Gilbert Kamieniecky joined Investcorp in 2005. Previously, he was with Morgan Stanley as an Analyst in London where he worked in the Leveraged Finance Group, the Global Industrials Group and Firm Management. Gilbert currently serves on the board of Impero, Ageras, Calligo and eviivo.
Gilbert holds an MSt in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and also graduated as Valedictorian from Cass Business School with a BSc in Business Studies.
FOUNDING PARTNER, AV8 VENTURES
Miles Kirby is Managing Director AV8 Ventures. AV8 is a €150m fund investing at Seed and Series A stages in Next Generation Mobility, Big Data and AI, Digital Health and Cybersecurity in Europe and the US. Prior to AV8 Ventures Miles was Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures, leading Qualcomm’s investments in Europe. At Qualcomm Ventures Miles lead investments such as Call Sign, Formula E , Voluntis, Arieso, Chargemaster, Iridigm and A123 Systems. While at Qualcomm Miles formed and ran an internal incubator and developed Qualcomm’s effort in Augmented Reality, Wireless Charging and Machine learning and holds 34 patents. Miles holds an BA in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Bristol University and an MBA from University of California, Irvine.
FOUNDING PARTNER, HOXTON VENTURES
Rob is currently a founding partner at Hoxton Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm investing across Europe. He is an active board member at Immunio and Raptor Supplies. He was also an advisor to Jaycut (acquired by RIM) and SocialMedia.com (acquired by LivingSocial).
Prior to Hoxton, Rob was formerly a member of the investments team at Fidelity Ventures in London, focusing on consumer internet and software as a service sectors. Prior to Fidelity, he was on the new business development team at Google and was previously a lead product manager for AdSense's front-end systems. While at Google, he also launched the AdWords pay-per-action (PPA) product and was actively involved in the acquisition of Feedburner in 2008.
Rob began his career in Intel's highly selective technical sales program where he worked to grow their entrepreneurial reseller channel in the Federal Government vertical and later in Latin America from Bogota and Miami Beach.
He holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a Masters certificate in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.
PARTNER, WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
Michael Labriola is a partner working out of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Washington, D.C., and New York City offices, where he counsels public and private technology and emerging growth companies through all stages of their growth. Michael also frequently represents investment banks, venture capital funds, and private equity firms in a broad range of investment transactions.
Michael’s practice focuses on corporate and securities law, including general corporate representation, public offerings, venture capital financings, and mergers and acquisitions. He has assisted clients with matters ranging from formation and early-stage venture financing to listings of publicly traded securities on U.S. and foreign exchanges. He also has considerable experience in counseling publicly held companies on disclosure matters, SEC compliance, NASDAQ and NYSE listing matters, and other securities laws issues.
Prior to law school, Michael was a senior auditor with Arthur Andersen LLP’s Chesapeake-region growth, services, and products assurance practice and later with Ernst & Young LLP’s assurance and business advisory division. While at Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young, Michael audited public, private, and not-for profit entities in several sectors. Michael is a certified public accountant in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
CEO, BRITISH PATIENT CAPITAL & BRITISH BUSINESS INVESTMENTS
Catherine Lewis La Torre joined the British Business Bank Group in 2016 when she was appointed CEO of British Business Investments, the Bank’s commercial arm engaged primarily in direct lending strategies. In 2018 Catherine took on the additional role as CEO of British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary with a £2.5bn mandate to make long term equity investments in high growth businesses in the UK. Catherine was previously Head of Private Equity at Cardano Risk Management where she was responsible for managing a global portfolio of private capital investments
MANAGING DIRECTOR, STRUCTURED FINANCE GROUP, SANTANDER CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL BANKING
Sean Longsdale joined Santander in June 2012 to help build out the Structured Finance business in the Corporate & Commercial Bank. Structured Finance now incorporates five separate teams involved in supporting companies undertaking M&A; IPOS; Private Equity/ leveraged finance or project finance, as well as the Growth Capital team who focus on high growth SMEs.
Sean has a particular passion for supporting high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, to deliver their visions and ambitions. From leading Santander’s Trailblazers Research to spearheading Santander’s priority of helping high growth businesses – Sean is focused on finding the right funding solutions for high growth businesses in all stages of their development.
PARTNER, CHARLES RUSSELL SPEECHLYS
Malcolm MacDougall is a corporate lawyer specialising in private equity and mergers & acquisitions.
His experience includes a wide range of both UK and cross-border M&A and private equity work including acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, reorganisations, private equity investments and exits.
Malcolm heads up the wider Private Equity team at Charles Russell Speechlys, who advise on all aspects of private equity transactions including MBOs, MBIs, buy-and-builds, secondary buy-outs and exits. As a firm, we have an unusually broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal needs, which enables the team to originate deals and refer transactions to Private Equity houses.
CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, E-DAYS ABSENCE MANAGEMENT
Steve Mace is Chief Revenue Officer for e-days Absence Management, a high growth SaaS company in the $6.5bn Workforce Management marketplace. Steve joined e-days following the successful $2.3bn acquisition of Interoute by GTT in May 2018, where he was Vice President of Strategic Partners and Channel and responsible for the customer integration and growth of £40m+ ARR business unit into Interoute’s cloud networking GTM.
FOUNDER PARTNER, OXFORD CAPITAL AND CHAIR, BVCA VC COMMITTEE
David Mott co-founded Oxford Capital and is passionate about investing in and building businesses. David is focused on the expansion of the firm’s investment strategies and relations with its family office and institutional clients.
During his career as an investment manager, David led numerous investment and exit transactions, including both IPOs and acquisitions. In 2017, David was appointed Chairman of the BVCA Venture Capital Committee to promote the long-term sustainability of the UK’s venture capital sector and support the thriving enterprise economy. He is a member of YPO, the Young Presidents Organization, London chapter. David has also advised the government and the European Commission on investment policy.
Prior to establishing Oxford Capital, David worked in London, Switzerland and Germany with Result Ventures, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and in Hong Kong with Jardine Fleming. David has a BA in Economics and Japanese from the University of Durham and completed the Private Equity leadership development programme at Harvard Business School.
David speaks French, German and Japanese. David is a passionate collector of contemporary art and loves to venture north into the polar regions.
PARTNER, SCOTTISH EQUITY PARTNERS
Jan Rutherford is a Partner at SEP with responsibility for new investments and investor relations activities and works closely with the limited partners across our funds.
With an operational and commercial background in the pharmaceutical industry, she leads SEP’s healthcare investment activities, with a particular interest in digital health.
Jan was heavily involved in SEP’s investment in BioVex, a cancer therapeutics company, and supported management through its sale to Amgen in a $1bn deal. She also led SEP’s investment in Exco InTouch, a leading provider of mobile patient communication and management solutions for clinical research and healthcare providers which was sold to ERT in December 2016 representing one of the most successful recent exits for a UK venture capital backed business in the digital health market.
Currently non-executive director of healthcare informatics business Aridhia and e-cancer screening tools development company Abcodia, she is also a Trustee of the National Deaf Children’s Society.
MANAGING PARTNER, FPE CAPITAL
Henry Sallitt is joint Managing Partner and co-founder of FPE Capital. He is passionate about building businesses and has spent all his career with growth companies both as an investor and as an operator. Prior to FPE Capital he was a Director of Quester, one of the largest growth capital investors in the UK. This followed eight years at AFA Systems, a financial services software company which he co-founded and joined full-time immediately prior to its IPO in 1996. From its foundation, Henry was part of a small team that drove the development of the group, both organically and by acquisition, resulting in an 8-fold increase in revenues. He returned to private equity, following the sale of AFA in 2004 to a trade buyer.
Outside the office, Henry has a large competitive family who keep him on his toes. He is rarely happier than when with them all on the south coast of Cornwall.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MODULR
Myles Stephenson is the Chief Executive at Modulr and was appointed Deputy Chair to the Emerging Payments Association Advisory Board in 2018.
The Payments as a Service API for digital businesses. Modulr is the new integrated payment service, built around a new type of digital account. For businesses that need a faster, easier and more reliable way to move money. Modulr automates pay out, simplifies pay in and delivers new services for businesses across lending, payments fintech, payroll services, travel, marketplaces and more.
Myles is an experienced payments executive and entrepreneur, having founded CorporatePay in 2008, which grew rapidly to be a leading provider of commercial prepaid solutions. In May 2012, CorporatePay was acquired by WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) and Myles became Managing Director, WEX Europe.
Prior to founding CorporatePay, Myles spent seven years with Retail Decisions Plc, a world leader in fraud prevention and payment services. Myles’ roles included Director of Retail Decisions Europe, with P&L responsibility for the European business unit, and Strategic Development Director, leading investments and joint ventures.
FINANCE DIRECTOR, THE ALCHEMIST BARS & RESTAURANTS
Vic Stewart is Finance Director at The Alchemist, a group of premium cocktail bar and restaurants owned by Palatine Private Equity. Since she joined the business, the company has grown from nine sites to fifteen and has gone through a successful £16m debt fundraising to continue this expansion. Vic started her career at Deloitte then joined the private equity secondaries firm Coller Capital before moving in to industry, taking roles in private equity backed companies.
FOUNDER & CEO, ZIP WORLD
Conwy valley born and bred, Sean spent his early years as a Royal Marines commando followed by a stint as bodyguard for various celebrities. He then returned home after 26 years travelling the world to North Wales in 2007 and opened Tree Top Adventure, near the tourist town of Betws y Coed. This attraction soon became one of the most popular high rope adventure courses in the UK.
Zip World came about through a dream of building one of the biggest zip lines in the world over a quarry. The dream came to fruition in March 2013 after 2 years in planning and construction. Velocity is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe, and as such was granted a large amount of media interest. Within no time at all, Zip World Velocity had had visits from the likes of Ant and Dec and The One Show.
Zip World's expansion continues, its mission is to bring extraordinary adventure to the masses.
Emma Watkinson, 32, is the CEO & Co-Founder of SilkFred.com. Whilst working on buying and merchandising team at a fashion e-commerce site, Emma and her co-founders saw the opportunity to bring independent brands online (they were constantly banging on the doors of the buyers) and also show online customers something new and exciting they couldn’t get anywhere else. She quit her dream job at 24 to start SilkFred. A champion for female entrepreneurship, Emma is a Facebook ambassador for the She Means Business campaign and was shortlisted for Young Champion of the Year in 2017 at the Champion of Women Awards. With over 1m fans on social media, 600 brands, a team of 70 and a brand new London HQ, Emma & her team have big ambitions to take the company global and make SilkFred the number one place to shop exciting, affordable fashion.
As CEO of BGF, Stephen Welton is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the company. Stephen founded BGF in 2011 and under his leadership BGF has grown to become the most active provider of growth capital for small and mid-sized companies in the UK & Ireland.
Prior to BGF, Stephen was one of the founding partners of the global private equity firm CCMP (formerly JP Morgan Partners), and Managing Director of Barclays Private Equity and Henderson Ventures, which he co-founded.
In 2018, Stephen was appointed as a member of the first Council of Innovate UK, which forms an integral part of UK Research and Innovation. In 2017, he was a member of the Industry Panel for the Government’s Patient Capital Review and in 2013 served as an Advisor to the Government regarding the establishment of the British Business Bank.
He has served as an independent director on a broad range of companies both in the UK and internationally during the past 25 years, and is currently a non-executive director at ICG plc, the FTSE 150 alternative asset manager.
Stephen started his career in banking, has a law degree from Durham University and is a qualified Barrister-at-Law.
HEAD OF RESEARCH & CONSULTANCY, BEAUHURST
Henry leads Beauhurst’s Research and Consultancy team. He is an expert on business finance and has worked on briefs for clients including the British Business Bank, Penningtons Manches, Syndicate Room, and Innovate UK. Henry regularly gives presentations on market trends at events around the country. He studied Classics at the University of Oxford.