Voting Panel


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Brian Henderson (Voting Panel Chairman)Partner – PwC

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Brian is a Partner in PwC’s London audit practice who specialises in working with private businesses, leading PwC’s 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 ( and writes a regular SME Surgery column for The Times Online.

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Paul AndrewsManaging Director – Family Business United

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Family Business United (FBU) was created by Paul, who is passionate about the family business sector and champions the sector on a global level. Family business is at the core of all that he does and FBU is the culmination of working in the family business sector for over 20 years.

FBU has become an award-winning magazine and resource centre for the family business community and, in addition, organises innovative family business events such as The Great British Family Business Conference, The Family Business of the Year Awards, The Family Business Road Trip, International Family Business Day and Scottish Family Business Week to name a few!

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Matthew Barrett Relationship Manager – UBS Switzerland AG

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Matthew works for UBS, based in Zurich, as a Relationship Manager, running a team focused on international private clients. He has spent over 12 years in the financial sector, mostly in the City of London. He started his career in London at HSBC Bank as a Financial Planner. He then moved on to Merrill Lynch and spent several years as an Investment Consultant running advisory portfolios. He is passionate about both the financial markets and real estate, and as a Director at UBS strives to always build and maintain long term relationships.

He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Liverpool, is RDR Level 6 Qualified, and has the Investment Management Certificate through the CFA Society.


Jonathan BiggsAccel London

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Jonathan Biggs is Accel London’s chief operating officer, having joined in 2001.

He is involved in the financial due diligence efforts on Accel's investments, leads Accel's investor relations, and oversees all operations of the business. He sits on the panel for the UK Private Business Awards, is a member of Silicon Valley Bank's Venture Capital Advisory Board and was instrumental in working with NACUE in its efforts to champion employment in early stage companies for new graduates.

Prior to joining Accel, Jonathan worked at AXA Investment Managers, and before that worked at Deutsche Bank and Mirabaud & Cie in London. He is a Chartered Accountant in the UK. Jonathan grew up in the South of England and graduated from the University of Bristol.


John ByrneManaging Director - Rothschild Corporate

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John has over twenty years of experience at Rothschild, helping a wide range of clients achieve their goals through designing and executing strategic M&A and financing solutions. His clients include large and mid-sized corporations and private equity houses as well a number of families and private entrepreneurs. John works across a broad range of sectors including Consumer, Retail, Leisure & Travel, Engineering and Technology.

In addition to his role as Managing Director, John is passionate about young people and sits on Rothschild & Co’s Community Investment committee which invests in initiatives which nurture and encourage the ambitions of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. John is also a trustee of a Multi Academy Trust in the North West of England.


Julie DevonshireDirector of the Entrepreneurship Institute - King's College London

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Julie Devonshire is the Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London supporting students, alumni and staff to learn entrepreneurial skills, have entrepreneurial experiences and, perhaps, start a venture of their own.

King’s College London engages an audience of +10,000 in entrepreneurship annually, helping to start and scale +30 ventures each year in health, technology, culture and many other areas.

Before joining King’s Julie was the Director of Ventures at UnLtd supporting exceptional, early stage social entrepreneurs across the country to scale and to raise investment. Julie and her team delivered support in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund, the Cabinet Office, Santander, Coutts and many others.

Julie is an award-winning social entrepreneur and business-scaling expert; she scaled One Water, a range of bottled mineral water donating 100% of it’s profits to build water pumps in Africa. During Julie’s time with One Water, the business grew from £0 profits to £8.2m, donated to build hundreds of water pumps across sub-Saharan Africa.

Julie is an ACCA fellow who is passionate about early-stage entrepreneurs. In 2016 Julie was awarded an OBE, in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List, for her service to entrepreneurship.



Jo FairleyFounder - Green & Black's

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Jo Fairley is co-founder of Green & Black's, the pioneering organic chocolate company which began in a Portobello bedroom and is now a global ethical brand. A serial entrepreneur and now a highly-acclaimed speaker, Jo went on to set up Judges Bakery, an award-winning bakery and one-stop organic shop, as well as a nine-room wellbeing centre, The Wellington Centre. Co-author of the bestselling Beauty Bible series of books. Jo has now embarked on her next venture, The Perfume Society, turning a life-long passion into a website which embraces the world's first appreciation society for fragrance-lovers.


Jennie Johnson MBE Founder and CEO – Kids Allowed Ltd

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Jennie formed Kids Allowed when she was faced with Hobson’s choice whilst looking for childcare for her second child. Not prepared to accept what was already out there, she took her wish list of what fantastic childcare should look like, went off and created it, with her first centre opening in 2005. Passionate about making a difference in the sector and caring for her team, Jennie is as popular with her colleagues as she is with mums and dads. In 2012, Jennie opened her own training academy to underpin the knowledge and professional development of colleagues. 

Kids Allowed will open their 8th setting in 2018 and in the last 12 months alone have been awarded Business of the Year (Manchester Evening News), Nursery Group of the Year (Nursery World) and Jennie was awarded CEO of the Year (the first female to win) at the UK Private Business Awards 2017.


Annabel KarmelFounder - Karmel Foods Ltd

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With expertise spanning more than 25 years, London born mother of three Annabel Karmel has pioneered the way families all over the world feed their babies and children. Credited with starting a food revolution with her trusty recipes and methods, Annabel has become the UK's No.1 children's cookery author and best-selling international author with 43 cookbooks.

With the sole mission of raising the standards of children's diets, Annabel is a sought after media commentator on food related issues, and she regularly undertakes consultancy work for major nursery chains, leisure resorts, restaurants and hotels worldwide. Coupled with a vast digital following at, recipe apps and cookbook-inspired supermarket food ranges, Annabel has become the trusted name in feeding.

In 2006, Annabel received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for her outstanding work in the field of child nutrition, and she is also well recognised as one of the UK's leading female entrepreneurs.


Garry LevinDirector – Investec

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Garry began his career as a corporate solicitor. He has over 20 years’ corporate finance experience and has advised on a wide range of deals for both public and private companies. He joined Investec in January 2012 as part of the takeover of Evolution Group, where he was Head of Corporate Finance, and is now Head of Consumer. Prior to this, he was a Managing Director at KBC Peel Hunt and previously ran the UK business of Altium.

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Tamara LittletonCEO and Founder – The Social Element

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Tamara founded The Social Element in 2002, before Facebook and Twitter were even created, knowing that the future would be digital. She has grown the global social media agency into a 350-strong team operating in 45 countries and working with some of the world’s largest brands including Oreo, Toyota, Primark, the Oprah Winfrey Network and LEGO Group.

In 2013, Tamara co-founded Polpeo, a crisis simulation platform for brands and their agencies, teaching them how a crisis would affect them online and how to communicate effectively.


Sean Ramsden Founder and CEO – Ramsden International

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Ramsden International is a third-generation family business, with roots going back to 1947 when Sean’s grandfather opened a grocer’s in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, which was later taken over by Sean’s father. Once Sean graduated from University of Cambridge, he opted to return to Grimsby rather than pursue a career in the City to focus on the company’s then underperforming export arm. It quickly became an exciting and fast growing venture – he spun the export business into a separate, independent company and Ramsden International was born.

In his personal time, Sean enjoys winter sports like luging and skiing, art, music and theatre, food and wine. He has travelled extensively in his role at CEO of Ramsden International and has done business in over 80 countries. He relishes the varied cultural experiences this has allowed him to partake in. He is married and lives in London, and Grimsby.

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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 Design Portfolio 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.

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Steve RigbyChief Operating Officer – Rigby Group plc

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Steve is Chief Operating Officer of 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.


Jonathan SegalPartner - Fox Williams

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Jonathan is a partner in Fox Williams’ corporate and technology teams who specialises in FinTech and Alternative Finance. Jonathan advises clients across the FinTech spectrum, from start-ups disrupting existing markets with innovative technology to financial institutions looking to invest in new technology. He has particular expertise in peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms, drawing on his extensive experience in the banking and finance sector gained both in-house at major financial institutions and in private practice. His experience spans a variety of financial products, including loans (both corporate and consumer), real estate and development finance, asset-based lending, receivables financing, asset finance, trade finance, capital markets, derivatives and repos. He also has extensive experience in the debt financing of technology companies.

A regular speaker at industry events both at home and abroad, Jonathan is also heavily involved in next generation disruptive financial products such as virtual currencies (including Bitcoin), blockchain technology and the use of Big Data in financial predictive analytics and disruptive insurance models.

He recently co-authored the UK chapter of Chambers first Global Practice Guide for FinTech. The 2018 guide provides expert legal commentary on key issues for businesses and covers the important developments in the most significant jurisdictions.


John StapletonFounder - New Covent Garden Soup Company

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John is a serial entrepreneur, NED and business growth mentor. John previously Founded New Covent Garden Soup Company and Little Dish  (amongst others), two now-household FMCG brands that pioneered the movement and created new categories in ‘chilled’ food and drink for UK consumers. John really is an ‘authentic entrepreneur’, with experience in start-up, scale-up and corporate businesses, having scaled both businesses past the £15m turnover mark before exiting to focus on new ventures. Leveraging his extensive experience, John currently holds several non-executive & advisory positions with start-ups. John regularly speaks about taking new products to market, understanding the customer and creating scalable brands. 

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Allyson Stewart-Allen Founder - Intermarketing Online

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Allyson is a recognised international business adviser, whose expertise in brand internationalisation is sought by leading businesses globally through her consultancy, publications, appearances, mentoring and corporate education.

A Californian based in Europe for 30 years, she applies her consulting experience, MBA education with Dr Peter Drucker and languages to the company she founded, International Marketing Partners. Allyson has advised over 200 businesses in 26 countries including BAE Systems, Burberry, Cadbury, HSBC, Lufthansa and SAB Miller.

Allyson is a Member of the Board of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the author of best-selling book Working with Americans and is a regular guest expert for Sky News (known as The Muse of Marketing), BBC’s The Apprentice as well as BBC News, CNN, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.


Graham TomkinsFinance Director - Goodwill Solutions

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Graham is co-founder and Finance Director of Goodwill Solutions Community Interest Company (GWS), an award winning Warehousing & Fulfilment Company – whose purpose is to help the disadvantaged get training and employment opportunities they need to turn their lives around. 65% of the participants on our ‘back to work’ courses achieve full time employment which equates to £1.6M of social impact per year at zero cost to government.

In addition, Graham is a successful entrepreneur with multiple SME business interests and 30+ years of business experience.


Alastair WilsonCEO - School for Social Entrepreneurs

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Alastair is the CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, which supports and/or funds more than 1,000 leaders of social change a year through its global network of 11 schools. He is also the co-founder and director of a Tonic Housing CIC, a trustee of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and the Cabrach Trust. He has previously held trustee roles at Social Enterprise UK, UnLtd and Access.


Suzi WoolfsonPwC

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Suzi is Head of Private Business for the Firm. She has nearly 32 years of experience in the firm advising Private Equity and entrepreneurial businesses. She is an Assurance Partner and spends her time advising her clients how to grow shareholder value both in the UK and internationally. Her clients are well known retailers and she works with hotels, property companies and manufacturing businesses. She is also Chair of Governors of a 1200 girls school as well as mentor to a number of start up businesses. 

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