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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.