Top Influencers: 32 UK Operating Partner’s To Follow in 2022

2 years ago

Operating Partner play a crucial role in any startup. It takes an extraordinary person to fulfil the Operating Partner role. We have selected these Operating Partner’s for this list as they are inspiring for a variety of reasons – whether that’s pushing boundaries, creating groundbreaking products, or doing their bit to save the world.

Our analysts did their best to select be best, and most innovative Operating Partner’s. The list is in no particular order!

Vindi Banga

Operating Partner @ CD&R LLP

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Manvinder (Vindi) Banga has been a Senior Independent Director at GSK, Dubilier & Rice, LLC, a private equity investment firm in London, since June 2010. Prior to that, he held a number of senior executive positions over his 33-year career with Unilever, including President, Global Food, Home & Personal Care of Unilever PLC, Business Group President of Unilever’s Home and Personal Care business in Asia and Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. As a Branch accountant (temp) I have had misfortune of working in southern regional branch office of Lever’s, India where operations were a mess and Banga was the branch Manager. He being an MBA knew how to thrive on this chaos. M S Banga might be smart but what matters in India is who you know (example parent/s top officials) and nothing else matters. He has capitalised this. And I also worked with his Brother Ajay banga. Both are mediocre skills, but they are only good in english communication and amiable nature(sycophancy.) Vindi is Chairman of Mauser GMBH, as well as a non-executive director of Marks and Spencer Group PLC. He was a member of the Prime Minister of India’s Council on Trade & Industry from 2004 to 2014. Vindi is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, where he completed his Bachelor of Technology in mechanical engineering, and the IIM Ahmedabad, where he obtained a postgraduate degree in management. Learn more about Vindi Banga on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutCD&R LLP on Crunchbase…

Frederic Halley

Operating Partner @ NextWorld Capital

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Frederic has extensive experience working with venture-backed technology companies as both a senior operational executive and as an advisor. Recently, Frederic was the Managing Partner of Tioga Venture, an international management consulting firm focusing on high-tech companies. Frederic has led engagements across Europe for many international software, internet and mobile companies, with a particular focus on strategic marketing, operational excellence and market expansion. At Tioga Venture, Frederic developed the transaction services practice, leading strategic due diligence for private equity investors as well as helping high-tech companies execute expansion, financing and acquisition plans. Over the last 12 years, Frederic has held leadership positions in several venture-backed companies. He was the COO of Netsize (acquired by Gemalto), GM of Pertinence (acquired by Dassault Systemes), and Sales Director for SLP Infoware (acquired by Gemalto). Prior to joining SLP Infoware, Frederic worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, where he led strategic IT projects in both Germany and France. Frédéric was also a consultant for Accenture, working on IT and operational issues for international retail and consumer goods clients in France and the UK. Frederic leads NWC’s Paris office. Frederic earned a MS in Telecommunication Engineering from Telecom Paris and a MBA from the Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Learn more about Frederic Halley on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutNextWorld Capital on Crunchbase…

Alex Tancock

Operating Partner, Asia Office @ Oxford Capital Partners

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Alex is an Operating Partner at Oxford Capital and assists with the firm’s Chinese and Asian activities. Based in Hong Kong, his role is primarily focused on business development activities for both portfolio companies and servicing investors in Oxford Capital’s funds. Alex is an experienced entrepreneur and business operator with extensive experience in the Asian markets and a track record of building value for European companies expanding into the region. Most recently Alex has been the project manager of Asia’s first offshore wind farm development and has advised on over £1bn of renewable energy investments across the Asia-Pacific Region. He graduated from Imperial College with a BSc in Theoretical Physics and holds an ACCA Diploma in Financial Management. Learn more about Alex Tancock on Crunchbase…

Oxford Capital is a technology venture capital investor based in London and Oxford. Read more aboutOxford Capital Partners on Crunchbase…

Emmet Keeffe

Operating Partner, Founder Insight Ignite @ Insight Partners

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Emmet B. Keeffe III is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Irise. In the early 1990’s Emmet set two goals – to start a software company that would achieve $1 billion in revenue and to start a Formula One team. In the late 1990’s, Emmet and Maurice Martin co-founded iRise with a vision to transform how business and IT stakeholders would communicate about requirements for custom and packaged business software. In 2000, Emmet and Maurice invented the market for “Software Visualization” and have built iRise into the world’s leading provider of enterprise visualization for business software. Over the last 20 years Emmet has applied his philosophy of “the network is the business” to become one of the most well-connected CEOs in the software industry. As CEO & Co-Founder of iRise, Emmet has leveraged his network to close over $60 million in investment funding and drives leadership of sales, marketing and business development at iRise. Prior to co-founding iRise, he built a top-selling region at NetDynamics, a pioneer of the Web application server market that was later acquired by Sun Microsystems. Earlier in his sales career, Emmet earned over 15 national sales awards, including being named “National Top Performer” by NetDynamics, Auspex Systems, Diasonics and Minolta. In 2005, Emmet founded the “iRise Executive Roundtable Series” with a vision to deliver world-class content and networking with no selling which has been attended by hundreds of CIOs from the world’s largest global companies. Since the program’s inception, he has delivered roundtable partnerships to iRise with TRG Motorsports in the Grand Am Series, PKV Racing in the Champ Car Series, KV Racing Technology in the Indy Car Series and most recently with the Lotus F1 Team in Formula One. Emmet is a Strategic Partner at Lotus F1 Team and supports the sales organization in their efforts to bring new sponsors into Formula 1. In addition, Emmet is a Founding Board Member of the Corporate Coalition at Peace One Day, an organization focused on institutionalizing an international day of cease fire and non-violence on September 21st of each year. Outside of his role at iRise, Emmet is passionate about his family, driving Radical SR3 race cars, running, skiing, music, travel and entrepreneurship. Emmet earned a B.A. in Political Economies of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley and lives in London, England. Learn more about Emmet Keeffe on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutInsight Partners on Crunchbase…

Vicente Castellano

Operating Partner @ Oakley Capital

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Vicente joined Oakley in 2017 and has over 17 years of experience in managing, developing and coordinating global leading retail brands. Vicente’s focus at Oakley is to lead and develop the portfolio companies, with a current focus on North Sails Apparel, and origination, with a particular focus on Spain and the consumer sector. Prior to joining Oakley, Vicente worked as Managing Director at Hackett London, where he managed the development and growth of the brand to become an international player. Prior to this, Vicente was Licensees and International Director for Pepe Jeans London and Director at Coach Europe JV and had been Board Member in Pepe Jeans Group since 2005. During these 17 years Vicente has actively participated in the growth and performance of the group and been involved in three successful buy outs from different Private Equity Groups. Vicente holds a BA in Business Administration and Finance from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and was part of INSEAD Young Managers Programme. Learn more about Vicente Castellano on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutOakley Capital on Crunchbase…

John Brimacombe

Operating Partner @ Sussex Place Ventures

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John Brimacombe is a serial entrepreneur, experienced investor and operating executive. After graduating in Law and Computer Science from Trinity College, Cambridge, he founded Jobstream Group plc, which provides specialist ERP software to the international financial services sector and was acquired by Microgen Plc (MCGN.L). Brimacombe subsequently co-founded pioneering mobile entertainment start-up nGame Ltd., which was acquired by Hands-On Mobile Inc. Brimacombe is currently an Operating Partner at Sussex Place Ventures, the venture capital fund associated with the London Business School where he invests in early stage technology and healthcare business. He also serves as Senior Director, GM – Linguamatics, an IQVIA company. Linguamatics provides a market leading natural language processing (NLP) platform for the life and health sciences. Brimacombe served as Executive Chairman of Linguamatics prior to its acquisition by IQVIA (NYSE:IQV). Additionally, Brimacombe has extensive experience as a non-executive director from start-up to Public markets with significant understanding of the exit process. Learn more about John Brimacombe on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutSussex Place Ventures on Crunchbase…

Didier Bench

Operating Partner @ Hg

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Didier Bench is an Operating Partner at Hg. Didier has more than thirty years of leadership in the development of international technology firms, digital companies and investment funds. He has held senior management positions with a series of software companies and has successfully turned them into profitable and major players in their global markets. His key responsibilities have included Executive Chairman of Acision, Chairman of Deezer, Chairman & CEO of Cartesis and iMediation, Vice President and General Manager of Netscape EMEA and senior roles at the Paul Allen Group and MIPS Computer Systems. Didier has also lent his investment experience and vision to a number of major private equity and investment funds. Besides Hg, he has been a Senior Advisor for SilverLake Sumeru and a Senior Partner for CDP Technology Ventures, a Canadian private equity fund, part of Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, operating in the North American and European markets. He is currently Chairman of EidosMedia and AtCore Group. Didier holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Paris VII University and a Master’s degree in Marketing and Finance from Paris X University. Learn more about Didier Bench on Crunchbase…

Hg is a private equity firm that invests in software and services, focused on backing businesses. Read more aboutHg on Crunchbase…

Steven Schapera

Operating Partner @ Capital D

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Steven Schapera has more than 30 years experience founding and building businesses across agricultural and cosmetics industries. He is regarded as an expert in the global cosmetics industry, having co-founded BECCA Cosmetics in 2001 and exited to Estée Lauder in 2016. He continues to serve as Chairman of BECCA Holdings, the original investment entity. Having studied both mechanical engineering and agriculture, Steven possesses a rare mix of technical and bio-technical skills. These are combined with an excellent understanding of supply chain, branding and positioning. He has significant experience selling branded products in more than 40 countries across Europe, North America, Australia, Asia, and Africa with a focus on FMCG and luxury branded products in the beauty, health, and wellness industries. Steven has an exceptional ability to build relationships, and has an impeccable network of high-level contacts from the world’s key retailers to investment banks and private equity groups. Steven is a non-executive director of Invincible Brands. Learn more about Steven Schapera on Crunchbase…

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Chris Spira

Operating Partner @ True.

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Chris is an experienced strategist and operator, who advises branded business on growth and turnaround situations in the premium/luxury consumer goods space. He has been a CEO, board member and independent consultant to 70+ businesses, particularly fast-growing, creatively-driven businesses, working mostly with founders and business owners. Learn more about Chris Spira on Crunchbase…

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Pierre Samec

Operating Partner @ General Atlantic

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John Mesrie

Co-Founder / Operating Partner @ InReach Ventures

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John Mesrie is a Co-Founder and Operating Partner at InReach Ventures. He is focused on the operations of the firm, including its innovative deal structuring and investment processes. Mr. Mesrie is a former General Counsel at Balderton Capital. He also served as a corporate lawyer at Taylor Wessing. Learn more about John Mesrie on Crunchbase…

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Robin Lincoln

Portfolio Operating Partner @ Hambro Perks Ltd.

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Robin works in the growth capital team with responsibility for portfolio management. He has over 15 years of private equity and venture capital experience across the spectrum of new investments, working with portfolio companies and leading exit processes. Previously Robin worked at HgCapital, where he founded and led the Business Services investment practice, and latterly at Lloyds Bank where he was responsible for portfolio managing and exiting their equity portfolio of over 300 companies. He spent his early career at ISIS Equity Partners and qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen. Robin gained a first class degree in Economics and Accounting at Bristol University. Outside of work, he enjoys all outdoor sports and is a keen rock climber. Learn more about Robin Lincoln on Crunchbase…

Hambro Perks is a London-headquartered international investment firm focused on private technology investing. Read more aboutHambro Perks Ltd. on Crunchbase…

Cheyne Tan

Operating Partner @ Potentia Capital

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Travis Baxter

Operating Partner @ Ariadne Capital Limited

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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. Learn more about Travis Baxter on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutAriadne Capital Limited on Crunchbase…

Claude Bismuth

Operating Partner @ G Square

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Stephen Alexander

Operating Partner @ OpCapita

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Stephen Alexander started his career at Imperial Group before moving to Allied Domecq, where he was Chairman of Lyons Tetley, and then Chief Executive of the Food Division, before becoming Chief executive of the Retailing Division and a Director of this FTSE 50 plc. His responsibilities included 4,500 pubs in the UK and the international franchising businesses Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins generating sales in excess of £2 billion. Stephen has chaired a number of consumer businesses including the international music company EMI, where an operational turnaround resulted in a trebling of profits in just three years, as well as Odeon Cinemas and Meridien Hotels. In addition to chairing Immediate, Stephen is currently Chairman of Dairy Crest Group plc, Rhubarb Food Design Ltd and Look Ahead Care and Support. He is also an Operating Partner at OpCapita LLP. Learn more about Stephen Alexander on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutOpCapita on Crunchbase…

Shirin Dehghan

Operating Partner @ Frog Capital

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Shirin Dehghan founded, expanded and subsequently sold her software business Arieso. A University of Southampton Engineering alumna, she has over 20 years’ experience in the software and mobile communications industry. She is a senior partner at Frog Capital, a leading European VC focused on the scale up stage and Non-exec Chairwoman of Opensignal, a UK based company that sets the gold standard for mobile experience globally. She is a passionate advisor and board member to companies wishing to transform their business. Learn more about Shirin Dehghan on Crunchbase…

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John Coleman

Operating Partner @ OpCapita

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John Coleman has 15 years of experience acting as a non-executive director on the boards of various companies in different sectors, including builders merchants, travel/leisure and retail, including the value fashion retail segment. As well as acting as a non-executive director, he worked as CEO of House of Fraser between 1996 and 2006 and as CEO of Texas Homecare at Ladbrokes between 1993 and 1995. Before that he was Managing Director of Dorothy Perkins from 1991 to 1993, Managing Director of Top Man and Top Shop from 1990 to 1991 and Managing Director of Top Shop from 1986 to 1990, all at the Burton Group. On April 2016, he was appointed as a non-executive director and chairman elect of Mcbride plc. John is a qualified accountant. Learn more about John Coleman on Crunchbase…

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Martin Eriksson

Operating Partner, Product @ EQT Ventures

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Nigel Clifford

Operating Partner @ Marlin Equity Partners

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Elisabetta Frontini

Operating Partner @ Permira

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Elisabetta is Head of the Portfolio Group. She is primarily focused on portfolio opportunities in the Consumer sector. She has worked on the Arcaplanet and La Piadineria transactions and currently serves on the boards of both. Elisabetta is a member of the ESG group. Prior to joining Permira, Elisabetta was a Partner at McKinsey & Company where she worked for more than 10 years as a leader in the European Consumer and TMT Practices with clients in Europe, Asia and MEA. After McKinsey & Company, she joined Ferrero Group, where she had various transformational roles in M&A, strategy, development of new businesses and new product development. Learn more about Elisabetta Frontini on Crunchbase…

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James Bagan

Operating Partner @ Frog Capital

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James Bagan’s role is to help management teams identify and fix front-of-house challenges. he has worked with ISIS since 2004 as both an executive and an Operating Partner. he has taken roles in many types of companies: corporate plc’s, SME’s, start-ups and turnarounds, in different countries across many sectors: government, financial services, utilities, retail and transport to name a few. It is the variety in his work that is so interesting, no two days are the same. Whether it’s something discreet like running a recruitment process or something more long-term; perhaps helping to plan a marketing strategy, the role is always challenging. He has huge respect for the entrepreneurs who risk so much to get their businesses off the ground, creating jobs and opportunity for countless others. These people are the lifeblood of their economy and play a significant part in society too. Just look at the fostering businesses or special schools that ISIS support and you can see the positive difference they make to people’s lives. Learn more about James Bagan on Crunchbase…

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David Brister

Operating Partner @ Oxford Capital Partners

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David assists with new investments and contributes to the development of portfolio companies with a focus on healthcare and life sciences. David has over 20 years experience in both private equity and in operational roles and was instrumental in the successful development of venture capital businesses at 3i and MVM. During that time he was responsible for many successful investments and exits including Cambridge Antibody Technology (listed in 1997 and acquired by AstraZeneca for £702m), Acambis (listed in 1995 and acquired by Sanofi Pasteur for £276m) and Oxford GlycoSciences (listed in 1998 and acquired by Celltech for £102m) and was chairman of Domantis (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline for £230m). More recently he was Chief Business Officer and a member of the executive management team that transformed Evotec (listed on NASDAQ and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) through a series of M&A transactions. David is currently Chairman or Non-Executive Director of several high growth life science and technology companies. David holds a BSc in Genetics & Zoology from Sheffield University. Learn more about David Brister on Crunchbase…

Oxford Capital is a technology venture capital investor based in London and Oxford. Read more aboutOxford Capital Partners on Crunchbase…

Richard Lee

Operating Partner @ Medicxi Ventures

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Richard Lee is the Operating Partner at Medicxi. Learn more about Richard Lee on Crunchbase…

Medicxi is a life sciences-focused investment firm. Read more aboutMedicxi Ventures on Crunchbase…

Christopher Trepel

Operating Partner @ Fenway Summer Ventures

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Christopher Trepel is Group Chief Science Officer at GFKL-Lowell Group, where he leads the company’s pan-European Decision Science function. The department is multidisciplinary and responsible for asset valuation, predictive model development, financial forecasting, and consumer science research and development. Chris is also an Operating Partner at Fenway Summer Ventures. In this role, he contributes technical expertise in the areas of analytics, credit, data science, and consumer behavior. He is a board observer at XOR Data Exchange and an adviser to Lendable. He previously served as Chief Scientific Officer at Encore Capital Group (NASDAQ: ECPG), where he led the company’s Decision Science group, managed corporate strategy projects, and built the company’s inaugural Corporate Affairs function. Under his leadership, Encore introduced the industry’s first Consumer Bill of Rights. Prior to Encore, Chris was a VP within Wells Fargo’s Enterprise Risk Management division and also filled a strategic and analytic role within the bank’s Consumer Credit Group. He was formerly a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients during M&A, business building, private equity, and operational improvement engagements. Chris has substantial academic research experience, including a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, postdoctoral work in Neurophysiology and Behavioral Economics, and over 50 publications and abstracts across five research areas. Learn more about Christopher Trepel on Crunchbase…

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Johan Van de Steen

Operating Partner @ IK Investment Partners

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Johan Van de Steen is a Partner and responsible for IK’s Strategy, Operations and Business Control (SOBC) team as well as the Mid Cap funds’ Investment Committee. He began his career at Siemens before joining McKinsey & Company, then was an operating partner at KKR Capstone. He joined IK in 2017, with more than 23 years of operating experience, having worked 15 years in the private equity industry. Johan holds an MBA from INSEAD in France and an MSc in Electronics Engineering from the University of Leuven. Learn more about Johan Van de Steen on Crunchbase…

IK Investment Partners is a European private equity advisory group with Nordic roots, operating across Northern Continental Europe. Read more aboutIK Investment Partners on Crunchbase…

Stephen Millard

Operating Partner and Chief Platform Officer @ Notion Capital

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Stephen joined in January 2016 to lead Notion’s platform strategy. Stephen joined from Eccomplished, a retail tech advisory and strategic partner to Notion Capital. As CEO and Founder, he worked exclusively within the early stage retail technology sector, developing investment and growth strategies for companies including Amplience, Aurora Commerce, Brightpearl, Demandware, Detego, eCommera, Intelligent Reach and RichRelevance. He was previously Oracle European Marketing Director and MessageLabs Global Marketing VP. Learn more about Stephen Millard on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutNotion Capital on Crunchbase…

Quentin Adam

Operating Partner @ Tioga Capital Partners

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Read more aboutTioga Capital Partners on Crunchbase…

David Hamid

Operating Partner @ OpCapita

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David Hamid co-founded OpCapita in April 2006 and participates in company Operational Review meetings and plays a major role in the assessment and business planning for new investments. David has over 40 years’ experience in consumer businesses. He spent over 17 years with Dixons Group plc, one of Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailers, where he ran a number of the Group’s divisions including PC World, culminating in the role of Chief Operating Officer for Dixons Group and main board member of the FTSE 100 company for five years. His early career was spent with Alfred Dunhill, Imperial Foods and Sony. In 2003, David became CEO of private equity backed Halfords Group where he oversaw the re-engineering of the business, nearly doubling of operating profit within two years and its subsequent flotation onto the LSE in 2004 (FTSE 250). He then became Chairman of Nationwide Autocentres, a private equity backed company exiting with a significant return on investment. Until recently, David was also Chairman of Game Digital plc, a former OpCapita investee company, and Ideal Shopping Ltd. David is Chairman of The Football Pools, an OpCapita investee company. Learn more about David Hamid on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutOpCapita on Crunchbase…

Michael Edwards

Chief Operating Partner @ AnaCap

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As Chief Operating Officer, Michael is responsible for ensuring the most effective use of AnaCap’s resources and the implementation and maintenance of the firm’s processes and procedures. This includes direct management of the Finance, IT systems, HR and Compliance functions in addition to the oversight of the Fund Administrators. Michael, a qualified accountant, has over 15 years of experience in the financial services sector including investment/asset management, venture capital, private equity and insurance. From an early stage in his career Michael has reported directly to the board members and shareholders and has been responsible for recruiting and managing teams and implementing systems and processes in order to meet the demands of a growing business. Learn more about Michael Edwards on Crunchbase…

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Dmitry Bejenar

Operating Partner (Finance) @ Alteri Investors

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Dmitry is part of Alteri’s Finance and Analysis team. He is responsible for due diligence related analysis, inventory reconciliation and valuation, and expense and budgeting projections. Prior to joining Alteri, Dmitry worked for GA Europe in a similar role. He has previously held various IT development and business intelligence roles in a diverse range of companies, including Deutsche Bank, Siemens and CSC. He is a graduate from Moscow State University and has an MBA from Cass Business School. Learn more about Dmitry Bejenar on Crunchbase…

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John Sprecklesen

Chairman, Operating Partner @ OpCapita

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John Sprecklesen joined OpCapita as a Founding Operating Partner in April 2006 with over 45 years of experience in turnaround management, making him one of the most experienced executives in European Retail at that time. He is a member of OpCapita’s Investment Committee. John has held a number of Chairman and CEO roles predominantly with retail focused organisations in need of operational leadership including Forstinger Handel und Service (automotive parts retailer), Safestore Holdings (self-storage), Somerfield PLC (multiple food retailer), Budgens PLC (food retailer) and Bowater Corporation (logistics). His early career was spent at Inghams Travel and Bank of America. In 1988 he established his own project and turnaround company, Cellec AG, which led him to senior roles at major food retailers, Budgens and Somerfield, where he successfully transformed both businesses. At Somerfield, John was responsible for overseeing the turnaround, creating a total shareholder return in excess of 300% in five years. From 2013 – 2019, John was Chairman of NKD Group, an OpCapita investee company. From 2006 – 2013, he was Chairman of Thorntons PLC, the UK chocolate manufacturer and retailer. Learn more about John Sprecklesen on Crunchbase…

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David Friedland

Bit of a gear addict.

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