The Growthdeck Team

The Growthdeck team consists of highly experienced private equity, venture capital and financial service practitioners.
The Growthdeck team

Our team includes highly experienced private equity investment professionals, business development and client services executives. This team is focussed on offering high quality investment opportunities and first class customer service.

Derek Bond  


Derek founded the Scottish, online funding platform Squareknot, which he merged with Growthdeck. He then worked with Growthdeck as Head of Regional Development, overseeing our operations in Scotland, the north of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, before moving onto a Director role at Revolution Global Sports Consulting.

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


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  

Client Services - Overseas Investors

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  


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. He is also an FCA who has specialised in corporate finance with Grant Thornton and as an independent advisor.

Sylvia Fanning

Relationship Director

Sylvia has spent the last 10 years working with high net worth investors and entrepreneurs. 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.

Nick Fung  

Investment Analyst

A highly experienced financial markets trader with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nick is now developing his skills as an investment analyst and will become a permanent member of the Growthdeck investment team.

Andrew Hodson  


A business angel investor and advisor to a number of start-up and early stage companies with 25 years experience in accountancy and financial services, most recently a Managing Director at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management.

Layla Howse  

Client Services Executive / Office Manager

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  

Director - 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.

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.

Sophie Robertson

PA to Executive Directors

Sophie joined Growthdeck back in late 2015 as a Client Services Administrator and progressed over the year to Client Services Executive whilst studying a legal secretarial course. In early 2018 Sophie was awarded a Level 3 Legal Secretary Diploma and as well as assisting the Client Services team, took up the position of PA to the Executive Directors providing support at Board level.

Emma Robins    

Head of Communications

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.

Yuan Sun


Yuan started his career with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and later joined a property development company involved in projects in Beijing and Shenzhen. Following his move to the UK, Yuan started investing in UK property and has also developed a real passion for start-up businesses with investments in financial and medical businesses.

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.

James Wrighton


James helped co-found Growthdeck while Principal of Lexicon, a specialist digital agency and JV partner with Radius Equity. James has developed digital products and channels for many financial institutions including Barclays, Coutts, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Standard & Poor’s.

Ian Zant-Boer  


A corporate lawyer with extensive experience of advising on early stage ventures, buy-outs, exits and fundraises. Ian has been closely involved in the planning and development of several private investor businesses.