23rd November 2018

Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, 45 Prescot Street, London, E1 8GP

Speakers 2017

Thank you to all the speakers at our 2017 VCT & EIS Investor Forum.

Sir John Timpson CBE 

The Timpson family business was taken over in 1973, but 10 years later John led a £42m management buyout.  In 1987 he sold the shoe shops and concentrated on building the shoe repairing and key cutting business.

Timpson now has over 1300 branches nationwide with a turnover of £195m.  It is a private business wholly owned by John Timpson and his family.  Timpson is the UK's most active employer of people from prison.

Recently widowed, John was married to his wife Alex for 47 years.  He has five children and John and his wife were foster carers for 31 years during which time they fostered 90 children.

He describes his business philosophy in his book, 'Upside Down Management' and has a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph.

In 2004 he was awarded the CBE for Services to the Retail Sector.

Ian Livingstone CBE

Ian Livingstone co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop with Steve Jackson in 1975, launching Dungeons & Dragons in Europe. In 1982, he co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first title in the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series which has sold almost 20 million copies worldwide. When serving as Executive Chairman at Eidos, he launched global video games blockbusters including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Ian is an investor in 11 UK games companies, including The Secret Police for whom he acts as chairman.

Patrick Birley, NEX Exchange

Patrick Birley brings to NEX Exchange over 25 years’ worth of industry experience. During these 25 years, Patrick has held senior positions at a number of exchanges and financial institutions, including NYSE Euronext, the London Stock Exchange, LCH.Clearnet and the South African Futures Exchange (Safex). 

Patrick’s vision for NEX Exchange is to create an exchange where companies can join a public market easily, cost-effectively, efficiently and, most importantly, with pride.

David Scrivens, Clubfinance

David is a serial entrepreneur, corporate financier and accountant. David’s early career was centred around providing Corporate Finance advice to regulated industries and infrastructure transactions. In 2002, he set up Clubfinance Ltd, an investment broker designed to disrupt the sale of investment product to private clients. 

David learned the hard way that actually running a regulated business is not as easy as it appears, starting off just as the Personal Investment Authority was replaced by the Financial Service Authority, then followed by a relentless change in the market. Despite this Clubfinance Ltd is now one of the market leading execution-only brokers for EIS, VCT, IHT as well as offering discount stock broking and fund supermarket services.

Alongside Clubfinance Ltd, David co-founded a number companies including Clubfinance Project Finance Ltd, an accounting practice which delivers financial modelling and debt-raising services, Amberside Capital Ltd, FCA-regulated fund management company offering EIS investments to retail clients, and Amberside Energy Ltd, an energy consultancy, asset manager and developer. Newer companies include Amberside Power Ltd, an owner of rooftop solar and electric vehicle charging points, and Amberside Technology Ltd a company created to exploit a patented energy efficiency device.

Dr Brian Moretta, Hardman & Co

Brian Moretta leads Hardman’s research of tax enhanced products and companies, financials stocks and investment funds.

He has had a 20 year career in financial services, including over a decade as a fund manager. He specialised in analysing financial services companies at SVM Asset Management as well as managing two traded endowment funds, an equity fund and working on hedge funds. Since then he has taken on various consulting roles, including company and sector research for diverse clients.

In addition to his role with Hardman, Brian has lectured on actuarial science and financial economics at Heriot-Watt University and is an examiner for the Faculty & Institute of Actuaries. He joined Hardman in February 2013 and holds a PhD in Applied Probability and a BSc in Actuarial Maths and Statistics.

Vanessa Bradley, BDO

Vanessa has over 20 years’ experience of auditing FCA regulated firms with a focus on regulated investment management firms and funds. She has a combination of investment trusts, investment companies, VCTs and private equity fund experience.

Vanessa has a strong understanding of the regulatory challenges affecting investment firms and as well as provision of audit services, she has advised on control design and effectiveness reviews, client assets compliance and on regulatory changes and investigations.

Vanessa has experience of the regulatory and financial reporting environments in the UK, US, Dublin, Channel Islands and Cayman Islands. She is also a qualified CPA in the US, having spent 2½ years working in our New York office.

Robert Whitby-Smith, Albion Capital

Robert is a partner at Albion Capital. Prior to joining Albion in 2005, Robert worked in corporate finance at KPMG, Credit Suisse First Boston and ING Barings. Robert is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment. Robert is responsible for investments in the technology, advanced manufacturing and business services sectors. Robert is a director of Convertr Media, Elateral, ELE Advanced Technologies, Grapeshot, OmPrompt, PSE and SBD Automotive and is responsible for a variety of other investments including Antenova, Anthropics, Perpetuum and Symetrica.

Alistair Kent, Arie Capital

Alistair has been involved in excess of £500m of fundraising for deals working alongside innovative and exciting companies and individuals, as well as larger advisory groups in technology, real estate and media and has helped to explore and develop business ventures within them.

Having spent the majority of his career in the finance and investment sector, he has access to an extensive network of contacts to originate and fund new and existing commercial opportunities for high net worth individuals, wealth managers, accountants and funding networks.

Paul Williams, Black Arrow Space Technologies

Paul Williams is a career Engineer/Technologist, with 33 years’ experience in the European space industry, primarily in Chemical Propulsion and Business Development disciplines. 

He has operated his own businesses since 1994 and continues to find new challenges and develop new ideas within the space industry. In working around Europe, in UK, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, and the US, Paul has experienced a wide range of approaches and operating philosophies that have given a great deal of insight into how ‘space technology' operates, as well as providing the benefit of exposure to a range of operating philosophies. 

Paul has been a Member of the Institute of Engineers and Technologists since 1993.

John Mather, Booth Wealth Management

John has been in financial planning since establishing his own brokerage in 1973 which was sold in 1988 to a major international institution. He then established a small family office for high net worth clients which was sold to public company in 2000, after which he formed a small boutique business for just over a 100-high net worth clients managing over £300 million. During that time he also held a non-executive directorship with a Global Macro Hedge Fund. John currently works alongside Booth Wealth Management and has designed and worked on several current EIS offerings including Harley Street Worldwide Laboratories and Secret Police Games.

Matt Ovenden, Borrow A Boat

Matt is a leading British serial entrepreneur, a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE, with a Masters in innovation, who has founded, lead and grown a series of successful innovative businesses always on the forefront of emerging trends and technology.

From leading innovation and technological change at London Underground in his early career, to building 3 cleantech startups since 2009 ranging from energy consultancy, to renewables and building eco-islands in the Caribbean; Matt is now at the helm of one of the most exciting sharing economy tech startups in the UK, www.borrowaboat.com, the “Airbnb for boats”. 

Richard Blakesley, Capital Pilot Limited

Previously a TMT mergers and acquisitions specialist, Richard has been directly involved in 12 startups in the past 15 years and has the scars to prove it. He founded Capital Pilot in 2016 to help companies avoid the same problems that he has encountered numerous times, aiming to bring velocity, efficiency and transparency to the early stage tech funding marketplace. In the process he has found his dream job. Capital Pilot currently has 300 companies registered on its investment readiness and investor matching platform and aims to become the trusted marketplace for high quality EIS and SEIS investment activity.

Charles Owen, CoInvestor

Charles is the founder of CoInvestor, an investment platform which enables private investors to co-invest alongside established EIS fund managers on a deal by deal basis.

A specialist in start ups and early stage companies Charles has extensive experience in smaller company funding. He was a founding Director of Cresco Capital, an FCA authorised corporate advisory firm based in London. Cresco advises its corporate clients predominantly in relation to strategy and fund raising. Charles is also an advisory Board member for Seraphim Capital, a venture capital fund, and has previously been a Director of a listed venture debt fund.

Kieran O'Gorman, Deepbridge Capital

As Technical Partner, Kieran leads the Deepbridge Capital investment management team.  With a wealth of experience in financial services, including institutional fund management within the Lloyd’s of London insurance community, and HNW private client stockbroking at Popes Stockbrokers (now Brewin Dolphin), Kieran has an in-depth knowledge of the private capital markets, involving capital raising, investor relations and communication, and is responsible for the fund-raising activities at Deepbridge. Kieran has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments since 2001.

Oliver Woolley, Envestry

Oliver is CEO and Co-Founder of Envestors Private Investor Network which has invested over £100m into more than 200 companies. Oliver sits on the Board of the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA) and sat on the Board of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) from 2006 to 2014.  He is also a Member of Court at Imperial College (London). Established in 2004, Envestors Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is one of the leading private investor networks which sits “above the crowd.  

In 2016, Envestors launched Envestry™ its online investment platform which it licenses on a white-label basis to 30 organisations and networks wanting their own FCA regulated funding platform. The Envestry software is now available to license at www.envestry.com.

Ilian Iliev, EcoMachines Ventures

Prior to founding EcoMachines Ventures in 2013, Dr Iliev co-founded and was CEO of CambridgeIP Ltd (2006-2012), which he built into a leading technology strategy player in the innovation space (partial exit through sale of data & software business to multi-billion US investment fund). Before that he was strategy advisor to the Board of Allen & Overy (2004-2006).

Ilian holds a PhD from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, focused on Venture Capital business models in emerging economies; an MCom in Economics, and a BA in Politics, Economics and International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand.  He has published widely on issues in the energy and cleantech space, innovation finance and innovation policy. He is an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, focused on energy and resource efficiency.

Daniel Rodwell, GrowthInvest

Prior to co-founding GrowthInvest Daniel worked in finance for nearly 20 years, managing institutional and private funds focusing on equities and derivatives. Daniel managed the UK division of Van der Moolen Equities AG and more recently founded the equity derivatives boutique Ten Derivatives LLP. Daniel has been an angel investor for over ten years, he mentors growth businesses and sits on numerous panels assessing such businesses. He is passionate about increasing efficiency in the alternative investment sector, having witnessed first-hand the automation of Open Outcry traded products in the late 1990s.

Dermot Campell, Kuber Ventures

Dermot Campbell’s career as a wealth management professional has spanned 23 years across a range of disciplines, including management, private banking, financial planning, product specialisation and as an independent financial adviser. This range of experience and knowledge gained through high profile Directorships and management roles has seen Dermot’s reputation as an industry expert and thought-leader grow considerably over the years. Since 2012, Dermot has been Chief Executive of Kuber Ventures Ltd, developing the business from its initial launch to the successful EIS investment platform that it is today.

Andy Hasoon, Milamber Ventures

Founder of Milamber Ventures, an incubator for technology and education businesses and projects, Andy has been a serial entrepreneur and a media, technology and education strategist for over 20 years.

Has been involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions, securing various types of equity funding from a range of sources to help develop process and profitability improvement; and is the co-Author of the 28 book series “Lessons Learned” published by Harvard Business Press.

He set up Courseleader.com, a business which specialized in IT training and founded 50 Lessons, which was acquired by Skillsoft.com in 2011.

Andrew Castell, Par Equity

Andrew is a co-founder of Par Equity, a boutique investment firm based in Edinburgh.  Par Equity has been making EIS investments since 2009 and offers investors both an EIS fund and a non-discretionary EIS portfolio service.  A Chartered Accountant with extensive corporate finance and corporate restructuring experience, Andrew has responsibility within Par Equity for a range of operational functions and chairs the Investment Committee.  He has an MA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University.

Harvey Elliott, PlayFund

Harvey is an industry leader whose 20 year career spans EA, Acclaim Entertainment and Marmalade, where he led two successful capital raises.

Having finished his 4 year tenure as Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, Harvey’s extensive experience leading, financing, developing and publishing great games has lead him to found a new games publisher and become Investment Director of PlayFund, investing for growth across the games industry.

Grace England, Resonance

Grace is an Investment Manager at Resonance, where she currently leads the development of Resonance’s Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Funds across the UK, as well as the Resonance Angel Investor Network (RAIN). This has included Grace taking a lead role in arranging the UK’s very first SITR deal back in 2015 and, subsequently, in developing the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund - the first SITR fund to be launched in the country. Grace is now based in Resonance’s Birmingham office where she is working towards the imminent launch of Resonance’s second SITR Fund, dedicated to tackling poverty in the West Midlands through investment in Social Enterprise. 

Daniel Brewer, Resonance

Daniel leads the growing team at Resonance, one of the UKs leading and longest standing Social Impact Investment firms. His passion is supporting social enterprises to access investment so that they can scale the social impact they have. He has seen the company flourish as it has created demand-led, impact investment funds. Through both its funds and advisory business, Resonance channels about £30m of investments into the hands of social entrepreneurs each year.

Daniel founded Resonance in 2002 having spent several years in the food industry as a manufacturing engineer and then leading a political lobbying campaign on tackling the UK poverty trap.

Daniel is a non-exec of a small number of high impact social enterprises and sits on the investment committee for a leading impact investor foundation.

Tom Wilde, Shoosmiths

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.

Kealan Doyle, Symvan Capital

Kealan has worked with venture capital companies for 15 years, both in a corporate finance advisory capacity as well as a fund manager.  He prefers to invest in a wide range of technology companies, but is also very interested in finding synergies within the Symvan portfolio of companies. Company interests include big data analytics, fintech, SaaS, 3D printing and network security. Before his involvement in venture capital investing, Kealan previously lead a structured equity products team at HSBC, and has worked at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Together with Nicholas, he has since founded his own entrepreneurial businesses to focus on VC investing. Kealan holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto.

James Sore, SyndicateRoom & Fund Twenty8

James has a degree in mechanical and electronics engineering with extensive experience in product and process design and development. 

He has troubleshooted for some of the world’s largest and most successful brands including Coca Cola, Hershey's, P&G, BAT and Johnson & Johnson. 


James has a diverse and rounded knowledge of investments, including a strong understanding of IP. Having built and grown a number of SMEs, James has first-hand experience of the issues facing growth companies. 

Matthew Steiner, Stellar Asset Management

Matthew is Business Development Director at Stellar and has worked in financial services since he graduated from university with a BA (Hons) in Business & Finance. He initially trained as a financial adviser before joining Close Property Investment as a Sales Manager. He joined Stellar in 2011 and lives with his wife in Wimbledon.

John Auckland, TribeFirst

John Auckland is a crowdfunding specialist, and founder of TribeFirst, a global crowdfunding communications agency that has helped raise in excess of £4m for over 20 companies. John is also Virgin StartUp's crowdfunding expert, helping them to run branded workshops, webinars and programmes.

TribeFirst is the world's first dedicated marketing communications agency to support equity crowdfunding campaigns and the first in the UK to provide PR and Marketing campaigns on a risk/reward basis. John is passionate about working with start-ups and sees crowdfunding as more than just raising funds; it's an opportunity to build a loyal tribe of lifelong customers. 



Rajeev Saxena, Velocity Capital Advisers

Rajeev began his career in advertising and has worked for TBWA, Leo Burnett and HHCL on accounts including Guinness, Thomson Holidays, Procter & Gamble, Kraft General Foods and the AA. Formerly the Marketing Director of Red Bull Energy Drink, UK & Ireland, he completed an MBA at the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. He has since founded a series of successful entrepreneurial businesses across a range of industries. These include MPPI, an Indian media fund, raising money and managing Indian property ventures, a 200mw wind farm development near Istanbul and Soho House Mumbai, a franchise business launching the Soho House brand in Mumbai.

David Hall, YFM Private Equity

David joined YFM in 2000 to open its Manchester office becoming MD of its Private Equity business in 2003 responsible for the British Smaller Capital VCTs and the Institutional investment funds.

YFM invests up to £10 million at a time into both scale up growth capital investments and ownership change.

David’s main responsibilities include all aspects fundraising and managing investments including Chairing YFM’s Investment Committee.

He follows all sporting things Wigan, both rugby league and football and by some distance the member of the Hall family least likely to be picked for Pictionary.

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