Following a PPE degree from Oxford, in 1969 David Potter joined White Weld, the predecessor company to CSFB, where he remained as a Managing Director until 1981. During this period he became involved in the rapidly growing euro markets, corporate finance and asset management, also serving as Chairman of CSFB Asia in Singapore. He then joined Samuel Montagu, heading its newly created Capital Markets division; serving on its boards in Australia, Sweden, USA, Switzerland and Japan; and moving in 1986 to the parent company Midland Bank (now HSBC) as Managing Director of its Global Corporate Banking Division. In 1989 he left Midland and joined the board of its subsidiary Thomas Cook as a non-executive director and also of Tyndall PLC.
During the following year, prior to his appointment as CEO of Guinness Mahon Group, he worked as a consultant to a number of major corporations including GEC, House of Fraser and BAT. From 1991-98 he led the recovery of Guinness Mahon, its emergence as a significant force in new media and its eventual sale by The Bank of Yokohama to Investec of South Africa. He remained Deputy Chairman of Investec Bank UK until 1999 when he joined the Board of the Rose Partnership, the leading city head hunters.
Since early 2000 he has served on the boards Spark Ventures, Solar Integrated Technologies, Numerica PLC, Deltron PLC Camco International, Vantis PLC, Noble Group, Quercus Publishing , Vycon Inc and Guinness Flight VCT. He is a Trustee of The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (UK), Worldwide Volunteering, The National Film and TV School Foundation, A Council Member of The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation and a Governor of Godolphin and Latymer School. He was formerly the Hon Treasurer of King’s College London.
Marketing and Communications Strategist and Advisor
Jonathan Simnett has over 20 years experience - winning in excess of three dozen awards - in helping private and public sector clients in fast-growth, business-to-business segments develop and deploy communications strategies to: enter new markets; reposition; raise finance or deal successfully with crises.
He was formerly vice chairman in the UK of Brodeur Worldwide, a global technology public relations and marketing communications consultancy. At Brodeur, he was part of the core team that built a company of nearly 650 people and $95 million turnover worldwide, over a period of 15 years before selling to Omnicom.
He has delivered programmes across Europe for established companies such as: AT&T; BT; Cable & Wireless; Cisco Systems; Compuware; Comverse; Datatec; HP; Infosys; Intel; Nortel Networks; Informix; IBM; Philips; Openreach; QAD; Siemens; Sharp; Sony; Sybase and TCS. In addition, he has worked closely with small fast growth and venture backed companies such as: @stake; BlueKite; Bytemobile; Cape Clear; Centiq; Corigin; DebtResolve; Envisional; e2v technologies; Global Graphics, Global Switch; GFI; GravityZoo; Go2Call; Intuwave; Interoute; InterSystems; Logicalis; Relativity; Roboscience; OnInstant; PaloAlto Software; Sapiens; SpinVox, Star*Home; THINQ and Vecta.
He commenced his career as a research associate in the Programme of Policy Research in Engineering, Science and Technology at the University of Manchester.
Former CEO of AIG’s European businesses and former Country Head UK for Citicorp, currently a serial independent director
Ian Cormack spent 32 years at Citibank in a variety of global roles, including heading the UK organisation for several years, where his focus was on building new businesses internally and developing people. He was co-head of the Financial Institutions Group, built the European Transaction Banking business, created the European Training Centre and was HR head for four years. While at Citi Ian played a leading role in many financial infrastructures, becoming Chairman of CHAPS (the UK’s hi-value payment system), Chairman of the Stock Exchange’s review committee for its Taurus clearing system, sat on the boards of the British Bankers Association, The European Securities Forum, Cedel and on the UK Chancellors’ City Advisory Panel. He was recruited to build AIG’s European businesses as CEO but left after two years to set up his own strategic consulting business in 2002, Cormack Tansey Partners.
Since then he has also been an independent director of growth or change oriented organisations, such as the Qatar Financial Centre, Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd in Bermuda, Phoenix Group Holdings (formerly Pearl Group Ltd) and Maven Income & Growth VCT 4 Ltd. He has also started several new businesses of his own and has become a venture investor for his own account.
He is very interested in theatre, sitting on the National Theatre’s Development Council and on the board of a theatrical production company, National Angels Ltd, while also investing in theatrical productions. Ian’s focus is on business strategy, organisational effectiveness and teamwork. He has a wide network of contacts from his 40 years in business.
Travis Baxter has thirty years experience of consumer media with specific expertise in content development, consumer change and business strategy. He spent the first 5 years of his career at the BBC and since then his experience includes working at divisional MD level for RTL group and the FTSE 100 company EMAP and working as an operating partner with Advent International. Travis is currently media advisor to the Turkish private equity firm Actera, a non-executive director of South West Screen and of Slicethepie, and is Content and External Affairs Director of Bauer Media in the UK. He also sits on the board of a number of UK radio trade bodies.
Senior Advisor – Fund Administration
Lorna Collings has worked in the Private Equity industry for 15 years starting her career with BancBoston Capital where she held positions in both the Finance Department and the Investment Team. After five years she moved to CDC Group plc to work on the spin out of Actis Capital LLP. Subsequently spent six years with Gartmore Private Equity and was an integral part of the project team responsible for the complex joint venture with Hermes Private Equity to create Hermes GPE LLP, where she was Finance Director. More recently she works as a consultant, advising Finance Teams in the Private Equity & Venture Capital industry.
Lorna has a BA (Hons) degree in Applied Psychology from Sussex University and became a Chartered Management Accountant, qualifing in 2000.