2016 Voting Panel


Brian Henderson (Voting Panel Chairman)Partner – PwC

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Brian is a Partner in our London audit practice who specialises in working with private businesses, leading our London audit offering in this space.

He has extensive experience of the Technology and Media sectors and has supported a number of his clients through acquisitions and capital market transactions as they have grown and expanded, including AIM, Main Market and US IPOs.

Brian also leads PwC’s Fast Growth Companies programme for entrepreneurial businesses, a number of which are Venture Capital backed (www.pwc.co.uk/fastgrowth) and writes a regular SME Surgery column for the Times online.


Ruby ParmarPartner – PwC

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Ruby Parmar is a senior partner at PwC and among her various roles, she leads the Private Business practice in London across all their lines of service.

She is an active client service partner spending the majority of her time in the market building relationships and advising on her specialist area of corporate and personal taxation.


Gavin PetkenRegional Director – BGF

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Regional Director of the Midlands at Business Growth Fund, Gavin also manages the BGF’s national investment activity in public companies and sits on the board of BGF’s first AIM-listed investee business, Victoria plc. Prior to BGF, Gavin was a Managing Director with RBS for over 12 years. 


Jane GomezStrategic Director – The Supper Club

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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, the membership club exclusively for fast-growth entrepreneurs and The Directors Club, offering peer learning and strategic development for directors. Over the course of six years managing Prelude, managing hundreds of events and thousands of conversations, Jane has had an unparalleled insight into entrepreneurial sentiment in the UK and the challenges facing business leaders and their teams. Having worked in entrepreneurial businesses for over fifteen years, Jane understands what makes an entrepreneur tick, as well as the realities of working for one in a senior capacity. Jane also runs The Directors Club, an exclusive membership club for senior leaders of high-growth entrepreneurial businesses. 


Jonathan BiggsChief Operating Officer – Accel Partners, London

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Jonathan is Chief Operating Officer at Accel Partners in London. The London team manages $2bn, focused on investing in early stage technology companies across Europe and Israel.

Many of Accel’s portfolio companies have defined their categories, and investments made by the London team include Atlassian, Avito, Etsy, Kayak. QlikTech, Spotify, Supercell, and Varonis.

Accel Partners was founded in 1983, and has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally with offices in Palo Alto, London, New York and Bangalore. 

Prior to joining Accel, Jonathan held a strategic role at AXA Investment Managers, and before that worked at Deutsche Bank and Mirabaud & Cie in London. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant from PwC having focused on asset management. Jonathan holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Bristol.


William Butler-Adams OBE Chief Executive Officer – Brompton Bicycle Ltd

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Will joined Brompton in 2002, became a director in 2006 and took over as Managing Director in 2008. Over that period the company has grown from a £2m turnover business with 27 staff to one of over £33m turnover and over 350 staff.

Brompton designs, manufactures, markets and distributes folding bikes. 80% are sold overseas to 45 countries and all are made in London. Over 1,200 parts go into making each of the 44,000 folding bikes sold annually. 

Prior to Brompton, Will worked for Nissan, ICI, and DuPont where he was involved in product development, R&D, project management and manufacturing excellence. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University and is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer. 

Will was made an OBE in 2014 for services to UK manufacturing. 


Phil DoyeFounder and CEO – Kelway

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Phil is the Founder and CEO of Kelway, one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing IT Solutions and Services businesses. Phil led the company’s operations for 25 years, through to achieving $1 billion of revenue. As part of a fantastic team, Kelway enjoyed significant organic growth and made nine successful acquisitions. During this period the company appeared on the Sunday Times Fast Track League Tables of Britain's fastest growth private companies a total of 14 times across five categories.

Kelway has also been a regular winner of both UK, European and Global Awards with their key partners including HP, Dell, Cisco, Microsoft and VMWare. Employing over 1,000 people and with offices across the globe, Kelway has become the go-to IT partner for many of the world's leading companies. Phil was recognised at the UK Private Business Awards in 2015 as CEO of the Year.

In August 2015 Kelway was acquired by US Fortune 500 technology giant CDW.

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Dominic GeerPartner – Equistone Partners Europe Limited

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Dominic joined Equistone in 1998 from BZW Corporate Finance.

He has experience of a variety of private equity transactions, including MBOs, MBIs and equity release. Deals he has completed include the buyout of A-Plan, a personal lines insurance broker, the €370m buyout of Global Blue, a provider of travel-related payment services, the buyout of Cabot Financial, a leading debt purchase business, and the buyout of Gaucho Grill, the Argentinian restaurant chain.

Dominic graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.


Rupert HeseltineChairman – Haymarket

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Rupert his publishing career in Australia in 1989, working for Peter Isaacson Publications. On his return to the UK he joined Maxwell Business Communications. 

In 1994, Rupert joined Haymarket, first working on BBC Gardeners' World Live, then going on to Car Hi-Fi in the consumer magazines division. He followed the title to Wilmington where he went on to work with Wine & Spirit International before returning to Haymarket for the launch of SkySports. 

He worked on the launch of Revolution and then became advertising director for PRWeek. He was one of the launch team for the US edition of the title, spending a year and a half in New York before returning to the UK as associate publisher of the newly acquired Gramophone. 

Rupert was appointed publisher of What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision and oversaw the launch of the Daily Telegraph's Your Money magazine.
In 2001, he became a director of Haymarket Group, the shareholders' company chaired by Lord Heseltine, and joined the boards of Haymarket Magazines and Haymarket Business. 

In 2004, he was appointed deputy chairman of Haymarket Exhibitions. In 2005 he was made deputy chairman of Haymarket Group. He was appointed to the management board of the Federation of Periodical Publishers (FIPP) in 2009. 

In 2012 Rupert became Executive Chairman of Haymarket Media Group. 


Charlie HoffmanManaging Director – HSBC Private Bank

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Charlie runs a team dedicated to the largest clients of HSBC Private Bank, advising individual clients and family offices on all aspects of their personal banking and wealth management needs, involving the appropriate specialists wherever necessary. He joined HSBC in 2005. 

Charlie is a qualified lawyer, his background grounded in corporate finance at Freshfields, before moving to structured finance and then private wealth management.

Charlie is an MBA, Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute, voted Private Banker of the Year (Spears 2013 & 2010), Top 10 UHNW Index (Spears 2014 and 2015), nominated Private Banker of Year (Spears 2015, 2012, 2008/ Citywealth MagicCircle 2016, 2010); Top10 Rising Stars in European Wealth Management/ Top100 in European financial markets (Financial News). Charlie chaired the national judging panel for the UK Private Business Awards 2010-2015. 


Nick HungerfordFounder and CEO – Nutmeg

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Nick is the founding CEO of Nutmeg. Following a business degree at Exeter University, Nick worked at Barclays in the areas of product, banking and wealth management. He was a Divisional Director at Brewin Dolphin and has an MBA from Stanford University in the United States. Nick's industry and investment views are respected globally and he frequently appears on Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC and has been quoted in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and many international publications. Nick has been a guest lecturer at academic institutions including Harvard, Stanford and London Business School and has represented UKTI around the world, promoting the benefits of doing business in Britain. He's a non executive Director at Innovate Finance, the movement helping highlight the need for customer-orientated progression in financial services.


Tamara LittletonCEO and Founder – Emoderation

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Tamara Littleton founded social media agency Emoderation in 2002, even before Facebook and Twitter were created, following her passion for online communities. To deliver the best social media management practices clients she manages a team of 350 full-time, part-time and freelance staff working virtually across the globe. 

Emoderation now works with some of the world’s biggest brands including MTV, Oprah Winfrey Network, Toyota, Gatwick Airport, Oreo, Smirnoff and The LEGO Group. 

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Matt LumbCEO – Tangle Teezer Ltd

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Matt Lumb is the Chief Executive Officer and Director at Tangle Teezer; the world’s first and best-selling detangling hairbrush with seventeen brushes now being sold every minute. Tangle Teezer created a whole new category in hair care and has achieved global recognition in a remarkably short space of time. They now export 82% of their £28.5m in sales to 67 countries, have won two Queen’s Awards and are a Fast Track 100 company. Matt has a strong background within accountancy, finance and operation and oversees the day to day running of the company working closely with all departments. 


Ian RestallChairman – Flathill Communications Group plc

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Throughout his career, Ian has been involved with growth companies, both public and private.

His early career was as a stockbroker, analyst, broadcaster and financial journalist in this area, and since founding The Design Portfolio Marketing Services in 1991, he has been active in helping many companies in this sector with their investor communication and corporate reporting requirements. Ian is also Chairman of Flathill Communications Group plc, President of The Design Portfolio Marketing Services Inc. and a member of the Investor Relations Society.


Steve RigbyChief Operating Officer – Rigby Group plc

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Steve Rigby is Chief Operating Officer for the Rigby Group.

Steve heads up the group’s Real Estate and Financial Services divisions. He is also responsible for finance, M&A and the family office investment portfolio.

Steve sits on the boards of Technology and Airport businesses and chairs the boards of Rigby & Rigby, Rigby Technology Investments, Rigby Private Equity and Rigby Capital, the group’s financial services business.

Steve has three children and splits his time between London and his home in the Midlands and is a keen polo player. 


Duncan SkinnerFounder – Glencraft (Aberdeen) Ltd

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A Chartered Management Accountant with 34 years’ experience in the Oil and Gas industry, Duncan elected to retire from the role as CFO at Wood Group PSN in April 2013 to concentrate his activities on Social Enterprise and Charity work. These currently include being Chairman of “Social Stuff” – a SCIO being established (funded by the Skinner Charitable Trust) in Spring 2016 to create a manufacturing Social Enterprise with the aim of providing employment and example to young unemployed individuals with profits to provide a sustainable source of charitable funding. Duncan is also Chairman of Glencraft (Aberdeen) Ltd, a social enterprise employing blind and disabled people in the mattress and bed manufacturing sector.

He is also Chairman of Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust;
a Non-Executive Director of Aberdeen Football Club; Board Member of the Robert Gordon University Foundation; Committee Member and Fellow of Scottish Council for Development and Industry; and Chair of the North East Children First “Dragons Glen” Fundraising initiative. 


Joanne SmithCEO – The Consulting Consortium

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Joanne Smith has worked in Financial Services for over 20 years. Always an innovator with a passion for compliance, since 2000 Joanne has built the award winning TCC into the largest independent compliance consultancy in the UK; most recently she conceptualised a unique and powerful solution, which has launched as RecordSure and has applications both in the regulatory world and beyond. 


Angus ThirlwellCEO and Co-Founder – Hotel Chocolat

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“I count myself as one of the luckiest people around – to work every day in a business that lives by my obsessions for chocolate, true creativity and honest ingredients, and which also has a link back to my childhood in the West Indies through our cocoa estate in Saint Lucia”.

To say that Angus Thirlwell is passionate about chocolate would be an understatement because, as he willingly admits, it’s more of an obsession. Together with his business partner, Peter Harris, he founded Hotel Chocolat in 2004 with three guiding principles that remain central to the brand’s success today – authenticity, originality and ethics. Angus religiously eats chocolate every day, tastes and approves every single recipe, and is as much at home in the development kitchen as he is in the boardroom or amongst the cocoa trees. 

With its Rabot Estate cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia and a boutique hotel in the grounds, a chocolate manufacturing facility in Cambridgeshire, two UK cocoa cuisine restaurants, stores across the UK and three in Denmark, Hotel Chocolat occupies a unique space – being able to link all aspects of chocolate from the tree to the consumer. 

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