Growth & Innovation Forum 2019
Graham Bird

Graham Bird, Managing Director of Strategic Equity - Gresham House


Graham leads the Strategic Public Equity strategy alongside Tony Dalwood. He is experienced in fund management and in building both corporate advisory and asset management businesses.

Prior to joining Gresham House in 2015, Graham held positions in PayPoint Plc as a senior executive, director of strategic planning and corporate development and was executive chairman and president of PayByPhone, a multi-national division of PayPoint operating out of Canada, the UK and France between 2010-2014.

Preceding Paypoint, Graham was a fund manager and head of Strategic investment at SVG Investment Managers (SVGIM) where he helped to establish and then co-manage the Strategic Recovery Fund II and Strategic Equity Capital Investment Trust.

Before joining SVGIM Graham was a director in the Corporate Finance division at JP Morgan Cazenove.

Stephen Blyth

Stephen Blyth, CEO - Xpediator (XPD)


Stephen qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1981.He was appointed as the MD of Bleckmann (UK) Frans Maas, a listed Dutch logistics and freight forwarding company, in 1984. He set up Delamode in the UK in 1988. Stephen also has experience across a broad range of business activities including menswear shops, safe servicing company, garment production and commercial property development.

Neil Campbell

Neil Campbell, CEO - Inspiration Healthcare Group (IHC)


In 2003, Neil became CEO and founding partner of Inspiration Healthcare Limited, leading them through the reverse acquisition of Inditherm plc and onto AIM in June 2015. Neil has spent 28 years in the Medical Device sector. Neil held a Non-executive Director position of Neuroprotexeon Limited, a drug-discovery and biotechnology company, in which the Group is a shareholder.

Key Areas of Expertise Medical device market, market development, product development, regulatory affairs, strategic planning.


Giulio Cerroni

Giulio Cerroni, CEO - IXICO (IXI)


Giulio has over thirty years of experience in the life sciences sector and a track record of growing business operations in Europe, the US and Asia. Prior to IXICO, Giulio held global leadership roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. and LGC Ltd, where he transformed the scale of LGC’s Genomics division, completing 3 acquisitions in under eighteen months. Giulio was a member of the executive leadership team responsible for the successful sale of LGC Ltd to global investment firm, KKR & Co. Inc. He joined IXICO as CEO in February 2017.

Simon Cleaver

Simon Cleaver, CEO - CloudCall Group


Simon is a highly experienced and passionate tech-focused entrepreneur with a history of successfully building and developing companies in both the private and public arenas. As CEO, Simon has led CloudCall to continued year on year turnover growth, with run-rate revenue now reaching £10m p.a. Employing more than 150 people in four countries, CloudCall is now a business recognised as one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK.

Daniel Coatsworth

Daniel Coatsworth, Editor - Shares


Daniel Coatsworth is the editor at Shares and has written for the publication since 2005. He previously wrote for Teletext about the UK stock market and money matters, and his work has also appeared in many of the UK's leading newspapers, news websites and personal finance magazines. He is an expert on equities and funds and is also one of the leading commentators in the field of financial education for the retail investment market.

Steven Cooklin

Steven Cooklin, CEO - Manolete Partners (MANO)


Steven Cooklin founded Manolete Partners in 2009 and is Chief Executive. Steven is a Chartered Accountant having qualified at Coopers and Lybrand in 1991. Steven has over 20 years’ experience in corporate finance with National Westminster Bank, Calder Corporate Advisory Ltd and Hill Samuel Investment Bank and is a former director of HSBC Investment Bank (Corporate Finance Division). Steven is an Associate Member of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals.

Steven Frazer

Steven Frazer, News Editor - Shares


Steven Frazer is Shares' online editor and technology writer, covering all the big tech themes from big data to mobile, microprocessors to new energy, with an investment slant. He's been writing about technology, business, investment and markets for 15 years and his off-diary stories, deeper think features and daily Tweets often move share prices.  Find him at the Shares magazine website ( or tweeting at @SharesMagSteve.

Professor Christopher Hancock

Professor Christopher Hancock, Founder & CTO - Creo Medical Group (CREO)


Chris is the founder of Creo Medical with over 20 years’ experience in medical device innovation and development. He holds a personal Chair in the Medical Microwave Systems Research Group at Bangor University. Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Chartered Physicist, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a Chartered Engineer and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He is also a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at UCL and was awarded Katherine Burr Blodgett Gold Medal and Prize in 2018 for work on the Creo Medical Platform Technology. Chris is a named inventor and lead author on over 800 granted patents, patent applications and international journal publications.

James Henderson

James Henderson, Fund Manager - Henderson Opportunities Trust - Janus Henderson Investors


James Henderson is Director of UK Investment Trusts and a Portfolio Manager at Janus Henderson Investors, a position he has held since 2003. He joined Henderson in 1983 as a trainee fund manager and has successfully managed a number of investment trusts since 1990. Prior to this, he was an accountant trainee at Binder Hamlyn. James graduated with an MA (Hons) in economics from Cambridge University. He has 37 years of financial industry experience.

Henderson Global Investors merged with Janus Capital Group in May 2017.

James Hickman

James Hickman, CCO - FairFX Group (FFX)


James has been involved in financial markets for 25 years, initially joining Investment Management firm Williams de Broe and moving on as Investment Director at Brewin Dolphin Securities. Within the past 10 years, he served as Managing Director of fintech FX business, Caxton, where he developed and ran several successful prepaid currency card programmes, as well as a leading online money transfer platform. James joined FairFX at the end of 2016 as Chief Commercial Officer where most recently he was involved in a fundraise and subsequent acquisition of CardOneBanking and City Forex.

Martin Higginson

Martin Higginson, CEO - Immotion Group


Martin is a seasoned TMT entrepreneur who has established and listed multiple businesses. This includes Monstermob Group Plc, which listed on AIM in 2003 and, over a three year period, grew to become a Top 50 AIM listed business with a market capitalisation of £192m. This was sold to Zed Worldwide in 2006. Martin has subsequently founded a range of businesses including Cityblock plc, NetPlayTV plc, an interactive TV gaming business which boasted exclusive partnerships with Virgin Media, Channel Five, and ITV; and Digitalbox, a digital media business.

Stuart Howard

Stuart Howard, CFO - Xpediator (XPD)


Stuart qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in 1999. He joined Xpediator as Chief Finance Officer in September 2018 with a vast range of experience within the financial services and private equity sectors. Stuart was previously Chief Executive of Dollar UK, the alternative financial services provider, with prior experience as Chief Operating Officer of Listed Products at Harbourvest Partners and 3i where he was variously Chief Operating Officer of Asia and Americas, Chief Financial Officer of Infrastructure and Finance and Operations Director of Quoted Private Equity.

Neil Johnson

Neil Johnson, CEO - Duke Royalty (DUKE)


Neil Johnson is Duke Royalty’s founder and CEO.  Mr. Johnson has 25 years of experience in investment banking and fund management in the Canadian and UK capital markets. During his 19 years at Canaccord Genuity, he was Head of Corporate Finance for 7 years in London and raised over £3 billion for Canadian dual-listed companies, and Canaccord became AIM’s #1 Broker.

Philip Johnston

Philip Johnston, CEO - Trackwise (TWD)


Philip’s early career was in the space industry which included a key project management role in the Prime Contractor team for Envisat, a major European satellite programme. Philip joined Trackwise in 1999 and acquired the Company in 2000. Under his stewardship the Company has enjoyed sustained growth based largely through export success and innovation. Philip is named inventor on a number of UK and international patents.

Philip holds degrees in both Aeronautical Engineering and Law and is a Chartered Engineer.

Peter Keeling

Peter Keeling, CEO - Diaceutics (DXRX)


As CEO of Diaceutics, Peter Keeling’s role with the company complements over thirty years’ experience in international healthcare which began at GSK and Diagnology. He has operated and led companies and teams in the US, Europe, Asia and BRIC countries, inspiring product innovation and global launches while repeatedly delivering high corporate value growth for shareholders. Widely published in peer reviewed economic and precision medicine journals; Peter is a seasoned speaker and is considered one of the world’s thought leaders in the diagnostic commercialization industry.

Philip Kirkham

Philip Kirkham, CEO - Hardide (HDD)


Philip has a general management career spanning more than 40 years, the last 30 years at board level. Positions include Divisional Managing Director, MS International plc; Senior Vice President Metals Division, Firth Rixson Ltd; Executive Vice President, Rolls-Royce plc and CEO, Materials Advantage Group. Prior to this he held senior operational roles at the British Steel Corporation and Sheffield Forgemasters. He is a Chartered Engineer and holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Management.

Julian Morse

Julian Morse, Head of Growth Companies - Cenkos Securities


Julian is Head of the Growth Companies Team and one of the founding members of Cenkos, as well as being appointed as an executive board member of Cenkos Securities plc. He has over 22 years’ experience in the City, and he has been involved in 100s of successful fund raisings and IPOs. Previously, Julian was a Director at Beeson Gregory and Evolution Securities.


Dr. Mark Payton

Dr. Mark Payton, CEO - Mercia Asset Management (MERC)


Mark is CEO of Mercia Technologies PLC, having led the flotation in December 2014 and before that the management buyout of its precursor Mercia Fund Management in 2010. Latterly he led the acquisition in 2016 of Enterprise Ventures. Mark chairs the executive committee and the boards of Mercia’s wholly owned fund management businesses (Mercia Fund Management, Enterprise Ventures and EV Business Loans). In addition he sits on the board of portfolio company Oxford Genetics and has portfolio responsibility for PsiOxus Therapeutics.


Richard Penny

Richard Penny, Fund Manager - CRUX Asset Management


Richard joined CRUX Asset Management in June 2018 from Legal & General Investment Management. Richard is Fund Manager of the FP CRUX UK Special Situations Fund since it launched in October 2018. Richard had worked at LGIM for 15 years where he had managed the award-winning L&G UK Alpha Trust and L&G UK Special Situations Trust as well as several segregated mandates. Richard has a master’s degree in Engineering and Economics from Oxford University.

Faisal Rahmatallah

Faisal Rahmatallah, Chairman - Synnovia


Faisal is a founder shareholder of Synnovia and Director of the Company. He has worked for and with manufacturing companies for over 20 of the last 30 years. He spent 7 years working in private equity with Capricorn Ventures International and prior to that was a partner at Deloitte & Touche, and was a managing director of a specialist consulting subsidiary of Deloitte & Touche. He is a graduate of Oxford University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Faisal was also chairman of Broker Network Holdings plc, an AIM listed company.

Rob Shaw

Rob Shaw, CEO - Jaywing


Rob Shaw is the Chief Executive of Jaywing. The company is a data science-led agency and consulting business, with a marketing technology division and growing international footprint. With over 30 year’s experience in the technology sector – particularly in the fields of digital and search marketing – Rob has managed services for some of the UK's largest brands including Tesco, O2 and Pets at Home. Employing over 450 people more than 70 of whom are experienced data scientists, Jaywing has offices in Sheffield, Leeds, London, Newbury and Sydney.

Nick Sleep

Nick Sleep, CTO - Intelligent Ultrasound Group (MED)


Nick Sleep is Chief Technology Officer of Intelligent Ultrasound. Before joining the Group, Nick ran his own consultancy specialising in providing management support to early stage companies, one of his clients being MedaPhor Limited. Nick is a software engineer by background, but has also run companies in areas as diverse as stem cell therapeutics and biofuels. Previous companies include The Technology Partnership, The Automation Partnership, Procognia and Magnecell. 


Roland Spencer

Roland Spencer, Head of Corporate Development - AJ Bell

Roland is Head of Corporate Development at AJ Bell his role includes responsibility for sponsorship and advertising across their portfolio of investor engagement webinars and events, awards, websites and Shares magazine having joined the publication in 2008. Roland started his career in financial media in 2000 and has experience in the hedge fund, institutional investment and pensions and retirement sectors.
Denis Taschuk

Denis Taschuk, President & CEO - Radient Technologies


Denis Taschuk has 30+ years of experience in corporate strategy development, manufacturing, market development and finance. Prior to Radient, Mr. Taschuk was a Partner and CEO of JAG Flocomponents LP, where he oversaw the expansion of the Company into international markets. Mr. Taschuk is also a Director of Tyhee Gold Corp. (TDC: TSX.V) and was previously a Director of the International Diabetes Federation. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta.

Dmitri Tsvetkov

Dmitri Tsvetkov, CFO, Director - OPG Power Ventures (OPG)


Mr Tsvetkov has over 25 years of financial, accounting and operational experience, including significant experience of working with promoter/founder-led energy sector listed companies in London, Africa, Asia and Canada. Mr Tsvetkov was Chief Financial Officer of OPG Power Generation Pvt Ltd, the Chennai subsidiary of OPG from July 2017 to October 2017.He has a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, an FCCA designation from the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants in the UK and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute in the US.

José Luis Vázquez

José Luis Vázquez, CEO - Mirada (MIRA)


José Luis, founder and CEO of Mirada, is a broadly recognised professional with almost 20 years of experience in the Telecommunications industry. Chairman of AEDETI, José Luis holds a degree in both Advanced Telecommunication Engineering (UPM) and an MBA from IESE Business School. He is a regular conference speaker and is considered one of the most important personalities in the Spanish digital TV industry.


Tim Watts

Tim Watts, CEO - Shield Therapeutics (STX)


Tim joined Shield Therapeutics as Interim Chief Financial Officer in August 2018 and has over 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. A qualified chartered accountant, Tim was at AstraZeneca for 22 years, and was Group Financial Controller of AstraZeneca from 2002 to 2006. Between 2007 and 2011 Tim was CFO of Archimedes Pharma and CFO of Oxford Biomedica plc from 2012 until September 2017. Tim is also a non-executive director of Fusion Antibodies plc.


Gervais Williams

Gervais Williams, Senior Executive Director - Miton Group


Gervais Williams joined Miton Group plc in 2011. He manages a number of funds and trusts that aggregate to a little under £2.0bn. His fund management career extends over 30 years including 17 years at Gartmore. Gervais is a member of the AIM Advisory Council, chairman of the Quoted Companies Alliance and a board member of The Investment Association. He has written three books 'Slow Finance'; 'The Future is Small'; and his most recent book 'The Retreat of Globalisation.