21st November 2019

Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge (formerly Grange Hotel)
45 Prescot Street, London E1 8GP


Now in its 10th year, the VCT & EIS Investor Forum is the leading event for VCT & EIS, and other tax efficient investments including peer-to-peer lending, BPR and IHT.

The Forum brings together top fund managers and providers from across the industry, with private investors and financial advisers / wealth managers, for a day of debate on the big challenges and opportunities facing our industry. 

Get Tickets


Nick Jenkins, Keynote Speaker

Nick read Russian at University before moving to Moscow in 1990 to work as a commodity trader for Glencore. Having witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the birth of Wild West capitalism he returned home in 1998 to start his own business. Without any clear business idea in mind he studied for an MBA while developing several business plans, one of which became Moonpig.com, the online greeting card retailer. After several rounds of fundraising and a couple of flirtations with insolvency, the business finally made a profit in 2006. From that point the business grew rapidly to at point in 2011 when it had 5 million customers worldwide and was making £12m pre-tax profit on a turnover of £45m. It seemed the ideal time to sell. Since then Nick has invested in 28 early stage businesses through direct EIS investments, eight of which came through his appearance on Dragon’s Den in 2015/16. Nick now splits his time between managing the portfolio and his charitable activities. Nick is the Patron of Shivia, an organisation that aims to train the poorest families in West Bengal to make additional income through very small sale poultry farming. Nick is also a trustee of Operation Fistula, an African surgical charity and a Trustee of a Multi Academy  Trust in South London.

Henry Blofeld, Keynote Speaker

Stalwart of cricket commentary Henry Blofeld was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he became the lowest achieving cricket Blue since the Boer War.

After three and a half years into a struggling career in merchant banking, the young Blofeld

fled to Fleet Street to report on cricket for The Times. He started broadcasting on Test Match Special in 1972 and has remained a regular ever since - apart from a short-lived defection to Sky. His return brought a storm of approval from listeners who had missed his descriptions of passing buses, planes and pigeons. Finally retiring after more than 45 years of coverage, his final broadcast at Lords brought a standing ovation from the crowd.

Aside from his many tales of events on and off the pitch, Henry takes a self-deprecating look at a life well-lived. Adventures, mishaps and misunderstandings from around the world as he gets into scrapes with England cricketers, gets locked out of hotel rooms at midnight, and deals with on-air confusion.

Sometimes indiscreet, occasionally outrageous, always hilarious and brilliantly old-school, Blowers entertains any audience, regardless of their interest in cricket.

Eloise Ellis, Aston Lark

With over 13 years' experience, Eloise's main focus is to provide a service that goes beyond the ‘traditional insurance broking' offering. By working with a number of firms in the SEIS/EIS and VCT space, Eloise is uniquely positioned to offer advice and guidance on a variety of topics, including insurance solutions and risk management to both Fund Managers and the companies that they invest in.

Peter Smith, BDO

Peter has audited and advised businesses in the financial services sector for over 10 years, working with a range of businesses in the capital markets and asset management sectors.

He is responsible for the audits of FCA regulated firms including broker/dealers, clearing firms, spread betting firms and commodity traders. Peter is well versed in the regulatory requirements affecting FCA regulated firms and conducts client money and assets audits on behalf of the firm. Peter is currently responsible for the audits of large international groups with a significant technology component to the audit and works closely with our IT audit team. Peter has strong technical and commercial experience of the sector and the issues it faces.

Peter also specialises in the audit of listed investment funds and is currently responsible for the audits of listed funds across a range of investment managers and administrators. All of these clients invest in unquoted and quoted investments covering a wide range of industries, sectors and business life cycles. He is a member of the AIC’s VCT Technical Committee.

Paul Miller, Bethnal Green Ventures


Paul Miller is Managing Partner and CEO of Bethnal Green Ventures, Europe’s leading early-stage VC for tech for good businesses. He co-founded the organisation and has led its growth, investing in over a hundred ventures to date.
Previously he was co-founder and CEO of the education technology startup School of Everything and before that was a senior researcher at think tanks Demos and Forum for the Future where he explored the social and environmental implications and opportunities of technology. Paul has advised governments and leading companies on policy, strategy and tech for good.


Henry Whorwood, Beauhurst

Kieran O'Gorman, Deepbridge Capital

As Technical Partner, Kieran leads the Deepbridge Capital investment management team. With a wealth of experience in financial services, including institutional fund management within the Lloyd’s of London insurance community, and HNW private client stockbroking at Popes Stockbrokers (now Brewin Dolphin), Kieran has an in-depth knowledge of the private capital markets, involving capital raising, investor relations and communication, and is responsible for the fund-raising activities at Deepbridge. Kieran has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments since 2001.

Jake Wombwell-Povey, Goji Investments

Jake Wombwell-Povey, CEO, is responsible for Goji's overall strategy and performance. Jake has been working in the alternative finance, lending and wealth management sectors since 2012, giving him valuable insight as to how the sectors intersect and how investors can benefit from investing in lending. Prior to joining Goji, Jake worked at Grant Thornton in the Financial Services Corporate Finance team where he qualified as an accountant (ACA). Jake also chairs TISA's forum on Peer to Peer and Alternative Lending.

Daniel Rodwell, GrowthInvest


Daniel was a founding investor in GrowthInvest and Chairman of the Investment Committee since 2012. He became Managing Director in late 2014. Prior to this he worked in finance for nearly 20 years, managing institutional and private funds focusing on equities and derivatives. Daniel managed the UK division of Van der Moolen Equities AG and more recently founded the equity derivatives boutique Ten Derivatives LLP.

Daniel has been an Angel Investor for over 10 years, mentors high growth businesses and sits on numerous panels across the UK assessing such businesses. He is passionate about increasing efficiency in the alternative investment sector, having witnessed first-hand the automation of OTC and Open Outcry traded products in the late 1990’s.


Luke Barnett, MJ Hudson Allenbridge

Luke Barnett is an Associate in MJ Hudson Allenbridge’s Tax-Advantaged Investment Research team. His role includes undertaking due diligence and research across the tax-advantaged market, including SEIS, EIS, BR, AIM IHT and VCT offerings. Prior to Joining MJ Hudson Allenbridge, Luke was a Senior Investment Analyst at MICAP, and has held a number of investment analyst roles across various asset classes. Originally from South Africa, Luke has a Masters degree in economics from the University of Cape Town, is a CAIA Charterholder and has a Diploma in Financial Advice (DipFA).


Dr Josep Montanyà i Silvestre, Nanusens

Dr Josep Montanyà i Silvestr is the visionary who conceived the idea of building nanoscale MEMS sensors inside CMOS. He founded a company to develop this – Baolab Microsystems. This start-up won the Elektra Awards in the R&D category and it was listed twice in the EETimes Silicon 60 of the most promising electronic start-ups worldwide.

Josep later founded its successor, Nanusens, to productise and commercialise this unique, patent-pending technology, developed over more than 15 years, that will be at the heart of next generation sensors.

As CEO of Nanusens, he has been instrumental in several, very successful funding rounds thanks to his passion and deep understanding of this breakthrough technology.

Richard Barnes, Octopus Investments

Richard joined Octopus in 2014 as a Business Development Manager, before moving to the Tax Efficient Investment team as a Product Manager. Richard’s responsibilities include the development and management of the Venture Capital Trust business line, setting strategy, steering product development as well as day to day oversight. Richard has a Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of York.

Grace England, Resonance

Grace is an Investment Manager at Resonance, where she currently leads the development of Resonance’s Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) Funds across the UK, as well as the Resonance Angel Investor Network (RAIN). This has included Grace taking a lead role in arranging the UK’s very first SITR deal back in 2015 and, subsequently, in developing the Resonance Bristol SITR Fund - the first SITR fund to be launched in the country. Grace is now based in Resonance’s Birmingham office where she is working towards the imminent launch of Resonance’s second SITR Fund, dedicated to tackling poverty in the West Midlands through investment in Social Enterprise. 

Tom Wilde, Shooosmiths

Tom is the partner at Shoosmiths LLP who heads up the firm’s enterprise investment scheme and venture capital trusts (VCT) tax practice.

He is one of the UK’s leading experts in this field, with extensive experience advising investors and investee companies on structuring and implementing tax efficient investments, reorganisations and exits in compliance with the EIS and VCT regimes, ensuring that returns from investment are optimised. 

Tom’s in-depth experience also includes advising clients on share option schemes including EMI options, employee shareholder shares and company share option plans, as well as negotiating with HMRC on both contentious and non-contentious matters.


Seonaid Mackenzie, Sturgeon Ventures

Seonaid Mackenzie has a career, spanning 35 years in the financial services with positions including being stockbroker for multiple American firms, fund manager, an operator of UK funds; fund raising for private companies and funds; and multiple advisory positions of financial service firms and SMEs.

In 1998, she founded Sturgeon Ventures, an Authorised and Regulated by the FCA and a Registered Investment Advisor with the SEC.  Sturgeon Ventures is an established regulatory incubator for start-ups, coining the phrase Regulatory Incubator in 2001. Since 2000 Sturgeon has incubated many startup companies including corporate finance boutiques, capital introduction companies and family office advisors.

Seonaid is a Trustee for a registered Charity Crosslight Advice and a frequent fund raiser for multi-charitable events, as well as a regular speaker in schools.  Sturgeon is a member of the Women’s Charter in Finance, and Seonaid is a Champion of back to work mothers.

Kealan Doyle, Symvan Capital

Kealan has worked with venture capital companies for 15 years, both in a corporate finance advisory capacity as well as a fund manager.  He prefers to invest in a wide range of technology companies, but is also very interested in finding synergies within the Symvan portfolio of companies.  Company interests include big data analytics, fintech, SaaS, 3D printing and network security. Before his involvement in venture capital investing, Kealan previously lead a structured equity products team at HSBC, and has worked at Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and UBS. Together with Nicholas, he has since founded his own entrepreneurial businesses to focus on VC investing. Kealan holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Toronto.

Graham Schwikkard, SyndicateRoom

Graham joined SR as Head of Operations in 2017, after seven years as a management consultant. He has significant experience of helping companies develop market strategies and optimise business models. He also has in-depth technical expertise, focused on maximising efficiency, and was responsible for creating and implementing new, automated systems throughout the company. The combination of Graham's strategic approach, drive to further enhance delivery and knowledge of best practice is invaluable for scaling our platform.</p> <p>Graham came to the UK from South Africa, to study at the University of Cambridge's business school (the Cambridge Judge Business School), where he completed his MBA, with distinction. He also gained awards for his MBA studies, including a prize for the best mark in management practice. In addition, Graham holds a degree in Genetics.  

Matthew Cushen, Worth Capital

A seed capital investor for over 15 years. Co-founder of Worth Capital, who find and fund the brightest entrepreneurs with the smartest ideas through the Start-Up Series – the largest seed funding competition in the UK. Worth Capital has 22 portfolio companies, each of whom benefit from Matthew’s, and his co-founder Paul’s, deep marketing, brand, retail and innovation experience. Worth Capital hunts for businesses with a truly innovative product, service or sales channel, in an underserved and/or growth market, capable of creating habitual consumption (B2B or B2B) and a loved brand.

Save £10 on tickets for the 2019 Forum. 

Book your tickets now!