About us

Team



Ihab Al-Derzi

Non-Executive Director

A wealth management and finance expert with a proven track record of IPO, M&A and capital raising. Founder of a multi-family office, entrepreneur and investor, Ihab has more than 20 years’ experience sourcing, negotiating and closing complex business transactions.

Lucien Bartram

Non-Executive Director

Lucien is a chartered accountant, experienced investor and entrepreneur. He has owned and managed numerous businesses in the medical and education sectors, and specialises in bringing new technologies to market. Lucien is also a pure mathematician and philosopher.

Paul Boon

Investment Director

Paul has 10 years’ experience advising entrepreneurial SME clients across many sectors, running the corporate finance departments of a Top 15 accountancy practice and a private equity boutique. Building on his nanotechnology and fuel cell research at Oxford University he focuses on the technology, engineering, medical and renewable energy sectors.

Graham Brown

Chairman

An experienced business manager and entrepreneur, originally from a senior position internationally with ICI, Graham set up AIMS Group in 1993, growing this into one of the largest health and safety compliance consultancies in the UK, which he sold to Alfred McAlpine in 2003. Graham was one of the founding directors of Scotia Wind, which was sold to Gaz De France in 2008, and is currently the CEO of Burcote Wind, an independent renewable energy company that specialises in onshore wind projects.

Allyson Clarke

Relationship Director

Ally has degrees in both Mandarin Chinese and International Relations. She has worked as a Business Analyst for a consulting firm in America, where she discovered her passion for supporting small business growth.

Jane Cook

Relationship Director

Jane has over 18 years of relationship management experience within financial services, having worked for Credit Suisse Private Bank, Investec Bank, Bloomberg, Royal Bank of Scotland and Friends Provident. As Relationship Director, she is responsible for cultivating relationships with Growthdeck investors and acting as a point of contact for investment related enquiries. If you would like to know more about any aspect of our service please don’t hesitate to get in touch with her.

Simon Emary

COO

Simon has venture capital experience from both sides of the fence, as an experienced investor and as a director of VC backed technology businesses. A Stanford MBA, Simon was a founding partner of Hotbed, which became the UK’s leading private investor network. He is also an FCA who has specialised in corporate finance with Grant Thornton and as an independent advisor.

Stepan Galaev

Non-Executive Director

Stepan is a Cranfield MBA graduate who specialises in portfolio management and deal sourcing. Some of his clients include past and present Dragons: Nick Jenkins, Sarah Willingham, Jenny Campbell, Tej Lalvani, and Touker Suleyman. In his free time he is either cycling, reading or talks nonsense at the Wandsworth local.

Layla Howse

Client Services Executive

Layla has extensive client service experience having worked for a provider of SIPP's, SSAS's and Corporate Workplace Pensions, as well as spending seven years with a leading private investor firm as Office Manager and Client Services Executive.

Samuel Hu

Head of Overseas Investors

With a true passion for Private Equity and a great network with overseas HNW investors, Samuel set up and manages the Overseas Investors arm of Growthdeck. This is dedicated to building the bridge between overseas investors and private equity investments in the UK. Prior to Growthdeck, Samuel started his career in the City with UBS, before moving on to Rockpool Investments LLP. Samuel holds the Investment Management Certificate.

Shaz Hussain

Investment Director

Shaz is a chartered accountant (FCA) and has had an extensive career in M&A, fundraising and strategy as an advisor and an investor. He specialises in helping businesses grow and sits on the board of several companies and has co-founded several businesses. Shaz has his greatest ideas when mindlessly running, swimming or cycling.

Andrew Irwin

Investor Director

Andrew has 20 years’ experience in EIS, VCTs and BPR: as analyst, investment manager, fund raiser, and private client adviser. He co-founded financial research business MICAP and is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and identifying opportunities brought about by changing consumer behaviour. In his spare time, Andrew mentors small businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

Anthony Lusher

Digital Manager

Since gaining a First Class Honours degree in Web Development, Anthony has worked with many exclusive clients on a freelance basis, including Jumeirah Hotels, WorldPay, Cranfield University, Beyond Analysis and others. With his extensive knowledge of web technologies, Anthony joined Growthdeck to assist our CTO with improving and optimising Growthdeck’s software. Anthony is also a proud father of a French Bulldog called Mylo.

Sigrida Petkeviciute

Marketing Executive

When Sigrida isn’t busy being Growthdeck’s resident photographer, she can be found designing marketing collateral, working on email campaigns, or updating the Growthdeck website. With a strong interest in finance, she previously worked in accounts and is currently studying towards her AAT accountancy qualification.

Carolyn Robertson

Head of Client Services

Carolyn has many years of client relationship management experience in the regulated alternative investment arena. With a background in the legal and corporate finance professions, Carolyn brings a wealth of procedural expertise to Growthdeck.

Alex Robertson

Business Support Administrator

Alex is an apprentice with Growthdeck working alongside all teams in a business support position using his growing skills to contribute to this exciting role. Prior to working with Growthdeck, Alex worked with Boots Optician as a trainee Optical Consultant where he gained valuable skills in face-to-face customer service and administration. Alex is inspired by Elon Musk and his attitude to learning and creation. In his free time, Alex’s main interests are in Astronomy, Gaming and Music.

Emma Robins

Head of Content & Social

Emma has over 8 years of experience in developing and promoting businesses in the private investment arena. With a journalism degree, Emma brings her communication skills to Growthdeck.

Gary Robins

Head of Business Development

Gary has been in the private equity arena for 30 years. After an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, he spent 15 years with 3i plc as an Investment Director. He went on to found two high profile private investor businesses (Hotbed and Rockpool Investments) which specialised in EIS investments.

Nick Stinton

Investment Director

Nick has been investing in EIS and VCT funds for over 20 years, in early stage, growth and asset backed opportunities. Prior to that, he spent 5 years in SME corporate advisory roles. An INSEAD MBA, Nick is often found on two wheels but, for everyone's benefit, has hung up his lycra in favour of off-road baggy clothes.

Amy Shrives

Relationship Director

Amy graduated with a degree in Economics and has diverse experience in management and business development. Prior to Growthdeck, Amy built and managed a sales academy in a large IT company, and more recently raised finance for a commercial real estate group. When Amy’s not tiling bathrooms, or pulling down walls, she can be found sailing or at a yoga class.

Steve Talbot

Investment Director

Steve is an experienced corporate financier with nineteen years’ lead advisory experience, firstly with Grant Thornton and latterly with Mazars LLP. His corporate finance experience was predominantly with owner managed businesses and he is now focussing on investments in early stage entrepreneurial businesses.

Aman Thind

Relationship Director

Over the last 5 years Aman has worked for one of The Big Four focusing on High Net Worth individuals and family business clients. Aman worked closely with the Head of Family Business to help build the firm’s Family Business Consulting practice and often assisted on consulting engagements. Originally from Canada, Aman moved to the UK over 5 years ago to travel Europe and visit as many countries on this side of the world as possible! Aman continues to travel and embraces the culture of every country she visits.

James Wrighton

CTO

James helped co-found Growthdeck and is the owner of Lexicon Marketing, a specialist digital agency. He has developed online products and channels for many financial institutions including Barclays, Coutts, UBS, Credit Suisse and Standard & Poor’s. With three young children, spare time is a rare luxury.

Ian Zant-Boer

CEO

Ian is a well-known figure in entrepreneurial circles both in Milton Keynes and London. With huge experience as a corporate lawyer, business mentor, and co-founder of several private investor networks, Ian brings a wealth of expertise to his role at the head of the Growthdeck business. As a former player with Ipswich Town FC, hope of their return to the top flight remains undimmed.