UK tech awards
UK tech awards

voting panel

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Jass Sarai (Voting Panel Chairman)PwC

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Jass is PwC’s UK Technology Leader. In this role, Jass leads the services PwC provides to its clients within the sector, ensuring that PwC offers insight, analysis and value, and helping clients develop and implement strategies. Jass has worked in the sector for over 15 years, during which he has been based in Boston and London. He has significant experience with high growth companies, SEC and UK Listings, and the issues facing companies as they grow rapidly in a market dominated by change.

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Rosh WijayarathnaSilicon Valley Bank

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Rosh leads Silicon Valley Bank’s Corporate Technology team in the UK, focusing on providing support and financing for technology and innovation businesses predominantly in the public markets.

With 16 years of financial services experience (including Barclaycard and Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank TMT team), Rosh has worked across a broad spectrum of growth and technology businesses including many high profile acquisition financings, LBOs, IPOs and public to privates. Since joining SVB in 2014, Rosh has built a market leading team devoted to later stage businesses and has since supported a number of key clients with debt and global treasury solutions including The Hut Group, Mimecast, Learning Technologies Group plc, CentralNic Group plc, IMImobile and GB Groupc. 

Rosh has a BSc in Accounting and Finance from the University of Southampton and is a Chartered Marketer.

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Isabel Bescos Balderton Capital

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We're delighted to welcome Isabel to the Voting Panel and further details will be available in due course. 

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Sam BrooksHighland Europe

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Sam is a co-founder and Partner of Highland Europe, focusing on investments in growth-stage internet and software businesses. Sam represents Highland Europe on the Boards of adjust, Brandwatch, Matchesfashion.com, Outfittery, Condeco and Maropost and is involved in investments in GetYourGuide.com, ContentSquare, StarLeaf and NewVoiceMedia.

Before joining Highland, Sam was a Vice President at Insight Venture Partners in New York, where he spent over six years investing in expansion-stage software and internet-enabled businesses.

Sam holds a Dip. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge and an A.B. in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University.

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James Chapman-AndrewsOakley Advisory

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James joined Oakley Advisory in June 2011 and has completed more than 30 transactions in his career. He specialises in mid-market technology and telecoms deals, including everything from mergers and acquisitions through to fundraisings and public markets deals including IPOs, with average deal sizes typically between £25m and £200m. James’s recent completed transactions include the sale of security specialist CNS Group to 6 Degrees, the equity fundraising for cloud solutions delivery portal iPortalis from North Edge Capital, the MBO of data management software provider Redstor backed by Beech Tree Private Equity and the MBO of IT services specialist CSI backed by MML Capital.

Prior to Oakley, James spent four years in TMT M&A at Deloitte and before that qualified as an ACMA with BT, working in Corporate Finance, BT Global Services and BT Conferencing. James has a joint honours degree in Engineering with Business Finance from University College London and the LSE.

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Harry ChathliLuther Pendragon

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Harry is a financial PR and media strategist. Over the past 15 years, he has designed and implemented successful communications campaigns to raise the profile of public and private companies in a variety of sectors, with a particular strength in technology-led businesses. Harry has been the key PR adviser in over 30 IPOs on the London Stock Exchange (Main Market and AIM), NASDAQ and other global bourses, as well as in other transactions and corporate events such as M&A, MBOs, crisis communications, boardroom disputes and shareholder activism. Harry’s strength in PR strategy is built on his previous experience as a management consultant advising foreign Governments on their economic reform programmes.

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Thomas EasterbyBarclays

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Tom is Head of Venture Capital Coverage at Barclays and leads a team providing dedicated relationship support to VCs in their interactions with the bank. This ranges from assisting portfolio companies with their operational banking and financing needs, including providing venture debt to businesses from Series A onwards, linking with Private and Investment Bank colleagues to support founders and VCs with sale and exit planning, and finally supporting VCs with fund level banking where required. In addition, Tom and his coverage team are a useful conduit between Barclays Technology and Innovation colleagues and the external, wider ecosystem. Helping portfolio companies, VCs and other connected parties understand Barclays technology needs and strategic direction. Tom’s background is financing with many years’ experience of lending and specifically for businesses in the TMT space. 

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Fraser ElmsHerald Investment Management

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Fraser has nearly 18 years’ experience in investing in technology companies, the last 15 years of which have been with Herald Investment Management – a specialist TMT investment manager. He has lead responsibility for the Herald portfolios’ Asian exposure. He also has analytical responsibility for the semiconductor industry. Immediately prior to joining Herald, Fraser was a technology analyst with Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, where he covered the European technology sector. He also spent three years at Prudential as a UK unit trust fund manager. Fraser has a degree in Economics from Lancaster University, an MSc in Investment Analysis from the University of Stirling and is an Associate of the CFA Society of the UK.

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Pietro FranchiRothschild & Co

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Pietro has been with Rothschild & Co in London since 2013 and gained extensive experience in UK/Europe across all types of transactions including acquisitions, disposals, public and private M&A, IPOs and debt advisory mandates. 

Rothschild is one the leading global financial advisers, providing independent, expert advice on many high profile transactions. 

Prior to Rothschild Pietro qualified as a solicitor at Bristows LLP. Pietro has a Master of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Imperial College London. 

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Arun George

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Arun has over 13 years’ experience covering the technology sector. During this time, he has worked with technology start-ups and as an equity analyst in investment banks and independent research firms. He was formerly a Technology Analyst for Canaccord Genuity, Altium Securities, Espirito Santo Investment Bank, Noble Group and Clear Capital. He has a dual Master’s in Financial Engineering and Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He is also a CFA charterholder.

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Nezahat Gultekin Nomura International

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Nezahat is Managing Director and Head of Technology Investment Banking, EMEA at Nomura. Previously she was a Director at Temasek responsible for TMT direct investments in Europe. Nezahat has over 18 years of technology sector experience in Silicon Valley and Europe. Prior to Temasek, she provided independent strategic advisory to technology companies including as a Senior Advisor to Atlantic Bridge Capital in early stage investments, and as a founding member of the Future Fifty Programme of Tech City UK, a Downing Street supported initiative to assist selected leading growth stage technology companies, where she currently serves on the Advisory Panel. Nezahat had previous technology investment banking experience with Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers and Broadview. 

She has MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar and BS in Industrial Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Turkey as top of the graduating class. 

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Oliver HartLombard Odier

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Oli Hart is Senior Private Banker at Lombard Odier where he provides wealth management services to HNW entrepreneurs in the UK, helping them and their families achieve their personal financial goals by designing thoughtful bespoke investment solutions. With 20 years of wealth management experience (including Barclays Wealth and Coutts Private Office), Oli has worked with a variety of clients that all share a common trait of being highly successful in their chosen field. 

Since joining Lombard Odier’s London office in 2017, Oli has been instrumental in supporting growth of Lombard Odier’s UK business and developing an ecosystem of technology focussed entrepreneurs and investors. 

Oli studied at Nottingham Business School and is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.

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Max HerrmannStifel

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Max joined Stifel in September 2013 as Head of European Healthcare Equity Research. Prior to this, he was Chief Financial Officer of Silence Therapeutics plc. Max possesses more than 20 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience, having held key management positions with leading development-stage companies, as well as establishing several highly rated equity research teams at a number of investment banks.

Max holds a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Kent and qualified as a Chartered Account with Arthur Andersen.

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Fatima Iu Polar Capital

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Fatima is a Technology Fund Manager at Polar Capital, with a focus on European and US technology companies. Prior to joining Polar, she was an analyst at Citigroup Asset Management. Fatima has an MSc in Chemistry from the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, and is a CFA charterholder.

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Eric Lawson-SmithArma Partners

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Eric leads Arma Partners’ media/internet practice. Arma Partners is Europe’s pre-eminent mid-market M&A advisory firm focused exclusively on communications, media and technology. The firm has completed 88 transactions with a total value of over $33bn since January 2014. Eric’s 30-year career has spanned both the US and Europe, during which he has advised on deals with a total value in excess of €20bn. Prior to Arma, Eric was Managing Director and Head of European Internet/Digital Media at Jefferies. 

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Fati NaraghiNewton Investment Management

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Fati is the Global Technology Analyst at Newton Investment Management, where she is responsible for close to £4bn of investments in the global technology sector.

Fati has spent her entire career in the technology sector. Prior to Newton, she was a founding partner of ACN & Co, a successful strategic advisory company. ACN’s clients included leading global telecom companies in Europe and Asia. Before starting ACN, Fati was a senior systems engineer at AT&T Network Systems in the UK and AT&T Bell Labs in the US.

Fati has a DPhil from the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. She has done post-doctoral research in the Department of Computing at Imperial College, London. She was also a Visiting Fellow at MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Milan Radia2020 re:think

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Milan is a leading equity research analyst focusing on coverage of European data centres of operators, software vendors, payments processors and IT services providers. He has 24 years of equity market experience and has won a number of awards in recent years. In 2017, Milan was ranked the No.1 earnings estimator in the UK for his sector in the Thomson Reuters StarMine Awards. This followed No.1 StarMine rankings for Europe in 2010 and 2011 and a No.2 ranking in the UK in 2011. In 2015, Milan’s team was ranked No.1 by corporate management teams for UK Small and Mid-cap Technology Research in the Extel Awards. Milan has also been techMARK Analyst of the Year and achieved top three institutional investor sector ranking for his coverage of the software and telecoms sectors. Milan started his career at Prudential Portfolio Managers where he was latterly a fund manager responsible for portfolios worth in excess of £350m.

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Ian RestallFlathill Communications Group plc

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Throughout his career, Ian has been involved in the quoted growth companies sector. His early career was as a stockbroker, analyst, broadcaster and financial journalist in this area and, since founding The Design Portfolio Marketing Services 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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Benjamin Robertson Zeus Capital

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Benjamin is Head of Equity Capital Markets at Zeus. He has advised European growth companies for over 20 years and was previously Managing Director of Jefferies ECM and before that Managing Director at UBS responsible for Technology Investment Banking. 

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Ian SpenceMegabuyte

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Ian is the founder and CEO of Megabuyte. In addition to directing day-to-day operations, he has overall responsibility for account management, business development and setting the strategic direction of the business. 

Ian has been involved in researching and advising companies in the technology sector for over 20 years. He began his career as a reporter for the Investors Chronicle before quickly making the move into investment banking where, over the next 15 years, he forged a successful career as a technology analyst. While an analyst in the City, he was twice voted TechMARK Analyst of the Year (the first analyst to attract a double win). More recently, Ian has been recognised twice by Debretts and The Sunday Times as one of the 20 most influential people in the UK technology sector.

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Tom WrennECI Partners

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Tom is a Partner at leading Private Equity firm ECI and heads its tech sector team. Over its several decades of working with great management teams and founders, ECI has supported businesses across the technology sector – recent investments include IT Lab (IT Managed Services), Auction Technology Group (online marketplace), Wireless Logic (M2M platform), CliniSys (healthcare IT), Kelvin Hughes (marine navigation systems), XLN Telecom (B2B telecoms), Fourth (SaaS), Ascribe (healthcare IT) and CarTrawler (travel technology platform). ECI raised £500m, its tenth fund, in 2014, of which a substantial proportion will be invested in growth tech companies.

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