Top Influencers: 28 UK Founder & Chairman’s To Follow in 2022

3 years ago

Founder & Chairman play a crucial role in any startup. It takes an extraordinary person to fulfil the Founder & Chairman role. We have selected these Founder & Chairman’s for this list as they are inspiring for a variety of reasons – whether that’s pushing boundaries, creating groundbreaking products, or doing their bit to save the world.

Our analysts did their best to select be best, and most innovative Founder & Chairman’s. The list is in no particular order!

Chris Niarchos

Founder & Chairman @ Cobra Group of Companies

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Chris Niarchos is the Founder and Chairman of the Cobra Group of Companies is an is an entrepreneurial organisation that specialises in incubating, developing and managing an exciting portfolio of businesses, with interests in sales and marketing, insurance, mobile technology, financial services, high-performance race car design and manufacture, and energy. The Cobra Group currently has 13 subsidiary companies, which include Appco Group – one of the world’s leading face-to-face fundraising and marketing agencies – McLaren GT and AmTrust Mobile Solutions. Cobra is continuing to build on its diverse portfolio of businesses, all with the common theme of opening up a world of opportunity to the people associated with them. Learn more about Chris Niarchos on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutCobra Group of Companies on Crunchbase…

Natalie Massenet

Founder & Chairman @

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Natalie Massenet is cofounder and co-managing partner of Imaginary Ventures, a venture fund investing in early-stage opportunities at the intersection of retail and technology, as well as the non-executive co-chairwoman of Farfetch, a global e-commerce platform for luxury fashion. Massenet is best known for founding the luxury fashion online retailer Net-A-Porter, in 2000. In the year before she stepped down from her role following its merger with YOOX, the Net-A-Porter-Group recorded net revenues of almost $1 billion. Massenet began her career as a journalist and fashion editor, working at WWD and Tatler before setting up Net-A-Porter. In 2009, she was awarded an MBE, and in 2016 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, both in recognition of her contributions to the U.K. fashion and retail industry. Massenet was chairman of the British Fashion Council between 2013 and 2017. Learn more about Natalie Massenet on Crunchbase… is an online luxury fashion retailer. Read more on Crunchbase…

Federico Pirzio-Biroli

Founder & Chairman @ Playfair Capital

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Fede started out as an angel investor in 2010. His portfolio quickly grew, so he built a team around him and thus Playfair Capital was born. We have since gone on to become one of Europe’s most active and well-known early-stage VC funds. Before becoming a technology investor Fede worked for several NGOs in Africa, with a particular focus on aid transparency. He recently renewed his focus on Africa by relocating to Kenya and becoming an angel investor in East Africa’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. He maintains an active role at Playfair and continues to lead our investment team. Learn more about Federico Pirzio-Biroli on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutPlayfair Capital on Crunchbase…

John Hunt

Founder & Chairman @ Archimedia

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John Hunt is founder and chairman of Archimedia Learn more about John Hunt on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutArchimedia on Crunchbase…

Nick Wheeler

Founder & Chairman @ Charles Tyrwhitt

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Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler (born 20 January 1965 in Ludlow, Shropshire) is an English businessman. He attempted a number of different businesses, including a photography venture and a Christmas tree delivery service. In 1986 he established the Charles Tyrwhitt company and shirt brand, which he owns. Wheeler grew up in Ludlow and was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Eton College, and the University of Bristol, where he studied geography. His first job was as a management consultant for Bain & Company. In November 1986, he set up Charles Tyrwhitt, now a well-known shirt brand in the United Kingdom. The business is a Limited Liability Partnership. It has grown to be the UK’s largest mail-order shirt business, and also has several brick and mortar locations (as of October 2014, 17 in the United Kingdom, 5 in the United States, and one in France). In 2008, he was a regional judge for the Entrepreneur Challenge in the UK. Wheeler is married with four children to Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. In 2015, their collective wealth was estimated at £330 million by the Sunday Times Rich List. Together they live in Buckinghamshire and also own a chalet in Klosters, Switzerland named Haus Alpina. Learn more about Nick Wheeler on Crunchbase…

A multi-channel British clothing retailer, specialising in formal men’s shirts, shoes, suits, knitwear and accessories Read more aboutCharles Tyrwhitt on Crunchbase…

Jasper Smith

Co-Founder & Chairman @ Arksen

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Jasper Smith is an experienced and successful entrepreneur. He co-founded Static 2358 (the predecessor to PlayJam) which raised £9.8 million in venture capital. The company was sold for $69 million. Jasper also founded and ran Optimistic Entertainment Plc, which produced approximately 24,000 hours of game shows for various TV broadcasters in the UK, France, and the USA. Prior to Static 2358, Jasper worked in senior management roles within BSkyB and Telenor. Learn more about Jasper Smith on Crunchbase…

Arksen is a developer of autonomous systems used to offer innovative explorer vessels. Read more aboutArksen on Crunchbase…

Emanuel Andjelic

Co-Founder & Chairman @ Squirrel

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Emanuel graduated from Cambridge in 2002. Since then he has co-founded a temporary worker agency and IT services company, growing the company to over £8m turnover and 300 employees. Since selling the company in 2013, Emanuel has taken on the role of investor, entrepreneur and mentor in several startups. Learn more about Emanuel Andjelic on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutSquirrel on Crunchbase…

Adrian Patten

Co-Founder & Chairman @ Cobalt

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Adrian Patten is an FX expert and entrepreneur, having founded institutional spot FX brokerage Mako FX and served as CEO from its launch until its sale in 2014. Prior to this, Adrian was chief spot dealer at First National Bank of Chicago and has previously held the position of senior FX dealer at Deutsche Bank, UBS, Hill Samuel and Morgan Grenfell. As Co-Founder & Chairman of Cobalt, Adrian is involved in all areas of the company. The overarching business strategy and governance of the company with a focus on legal work, investment fundraising and product development. Learn more about Adrian Patten on Crunchbase…

Cobalt delivers a private peer-to-peer network that significantly reduces post-trade cost and risk for financial market participants. Read more aboutCobalt on Crunchbase…

Justin Pike

Founder & Chairman @ MYPINPAD

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Dr Chai Patel

Founder & Chairman @ Elysian Capital LLP

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Chai co-founded Elysian in 2007. He qualified as a doctor and spent five years in the National Health Service before working in financial services. Since 1988, Chai has been an entrepreneur and led three successful healthcare build up investments, namely: Court Cavendish which he transformed into Care First Group, Westminster Healthcare, and the Priory Group, which was backed by Doughty Hanson. He has been Chairman of HC-One, the care home group since 2011. Chai is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and was awarded the CBE in 1999. Learn more about Dr Chai Patel on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutElysian Capital LLP on Crunchbase…

Charles Vallance

Founder & Chairman @ VCCP Group

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Charles began his advertising apprenticeship at Burkitt’s, working subsequently at BBH and WCRS. In 2002 he decided to start working for himself and, along with his three partners (Rooney Carruthers, Adrian Coleman and Ian Priest), set up VCCP. Their founding client was O2, to whom they are eternally grateful. Over the last two decades, Charles has worked on and, in some cases, helped launch a diverse range of brands including O2, First Direct, Orange, Sony, BMW, Land Rover, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Dyson,, Hiscox and easyJet. Outside of work Charles doggedly pursues a variety of sports including cricket, tennis, football, golf, shooting and snooker, all at a consistently low standard. Charles is a Trustee for Cricket for Change and for the Fred Foundation and he is a Director of Rugby for Change. Learn more about Charles Vallance on Crunchbase…

VCCP Group provides directory for top marketers, agencies, media companies. Read more aboutVCCP Group on Crunchbase…

Simon Orange

Founder & Chairman @ CorpAcq Ltd

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Simon established CorpAcq in 2006 and recently returned to the Board to oversee the company’s next growth phase. He identifies and negotiates its acquisitions, in conjunction with our Corporate Finance partners, and drives funding and strategic development and partnership. Over the last 20 years, Simon has been involved in funding and managing businesses and has overseen the creation and growth of a number of ventures. Some of these ventures have been sold to companies trading on the NASDAQ and London Stock Exchange. In addition to CorpAcq, Simon is also Founder Investor and Director of Powder Bowl Trading, a company supplying food products to major retailers. He is also a Founding Member of Cicero Consulting Group based in NYC. Simon lives in Bowdon with his wife Michelle. He plays golf, football and has just taken up racing Mazda MX-5’s in the BRSCC. Learn more about Simon Orange on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutCorpAcq Ltd on Crunchbase…

Rob O’Donovan

Co-Founder & Chairman @ Charlie

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Rob O’Donovan works as CEO and Co-founder for The Eleven. Learn more about Rob O’Donovan on Crunchbase…

Charlie is the HR software for small teams with big ideas. Read more aboutCharlie on Crunchbase…

Ken Olisa

Founder & Chairman @ Restoration Partners

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Ken is Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners, a boutique technology merchant bank advising and investing in IT companies. He joined the board of Reuters in 2004. From 1992 to 2006, Ken was Chair and CEO of Interregnum PLC, a public technology merchant bank. Prior to that, he was a senior executive for over 20 years at Wang Labs and IBM. From 1998 to 2008, he was a director of OpenText Corporation, and of Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation from 2007 until 2011. He is Chairman of London-listed Outsourcery PLC and serves on the boards of several UK not-for-profit organizations. Effective May 2015, Olisa has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. Ken has an MA from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Learn more about Ken Olisa on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutRestoration Partners on Crunchbase…

Will Brocklebank

Founder & Chairman @ Shepherd Network

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Prior to founding Shepherd, Will spent a decade as the CEO of a leading systems integration company which he founded in 2005. He has spoken at Smart Buildings conferences & been featured in a range of leading trade magazines. Will is a serial entrepreneur who holds an MA from Edinburgh University and is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10k SB programme. Learn more about Will Brocklebank on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutShepherd Network on Crunchbase…

Clive Jackson

Founder & Chairman @ Victor

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Victor is a London, UK-based private jet charter marketplace. Read more aboutVictor on Crunchbase…

David Mason

Founder & Chairman @ BuyHappy

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Read more aboutBuyHappy on Crunchbase…

Nadim Nsouli

Founder & Chairman @ Inspired

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Nadim M Nsouli founded Educas, an education investment firm in 2013 to make an investment in Reddam House, a leading group of schools in South Africa. Since then, Nadim founded Inspired and led the growth of the group globally. Prior to that, Nadim was a partner at Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm with $40 billion under management. Nadim was also a member of Providence’s Global Investment Committee and led Providence’s Education investment efforts in Europe and the Middle East. Prior to joining Providence in 2006, Nadim was the European head of The Gores Group, a special situations private equity fund based in Los Angeles. Prior to Gores, he founded and managed Lago Ventures, a venture capital firm. Previously, Nadim was a member of the media and telecommunications investment banking teams of Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan in London. Nadim started his career in New York as a corporate lawyer at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue. He received a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD with distinction, a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) from Georgetown University. Learn more about Nadim Nsouli on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutInspired on Crunchbase…

Bill Rylance

Founder & Chairman @ WATATAWA

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Bill has lived in Asia for 30 years during which he has and worked on some of the region’s most historic events and issues advising several Asian heads of state, government officials, CEOs and other senior executives. He managed the global communications programme for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and was integral to Korea’s bid and co-hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He founded Korea’s largest independent strategic communications firm in 1989 and a decade later moved to Hong Kong to become Asia Pacific CEO and Worldwide Vice Chairman of a global PR firm, leading the regional network through a decade of profitable growth including a significant acquisition and entry into India. His experience includes working on major public affairs and international relations issues—among them the sovereign communications programme for South Korea as it sought to recover from the Asian financial crisis. He is a Member of the Hong Kong and Singapore Institutes of Directors and has served on several boards including the Marine Stewardship Council and the China High Growth Fund. Bill is a graduate of the University of London with an MSc in Management from the London Business School. He is based in London. Learn more about Bill Rylance on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutWATATAWA on Crunchbase…

Sir Peter Lampl

Founder & Chairman @ The Sutton Trust

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Sir Peter Lampl Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation Sir Peter is the founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust which aims to improve social mobility through strategic philanthropy. It has funded and evaluated programmes which have helped hundreds of thousands of young people and published over 150 research studies. He is also chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust with support from Impetus Trust funded by an endowment of £135 million from Government to improve the performance of the poorest children in the most challenging schools. Before establishing the Sutton Trust in 1997, Peter was the founder and chairman of the Sutton Company, a Private Equity firm with offices in New York, London and Munich. Peter has a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Oxford and an MBA from the London Business School. Learn more about Sir Peter Lampl on Crunchbase…

The Sutton Trust is an educational charity in the United Kingdom which aims to improve social mobility and address educational disadvantage. Read more aboutThe Sutton Trust on Crunchbase…

Julia Hobsbawm

Founder & Chairman Of The Board @ Editorial Intelligence

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Knowledge Networking, Thought Leadership Read more aboutEditorial Intelligence on Crunchbase…

Struan McDougall

Founder & Chairman @ Cambridge Capital Group

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Read more aboutCambridge Capital Group on Crunchbase…

Shimon Sheves

Founder & Chairman @ HolistiCyber

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Deeply committed to Israel, Shimon Sheves works diligently in support of his homeland. And yet he is also a veteran businessman, and highly regarded international management and finance consultant with a deep knowledge of the intricacies of the corporate world. Sheves does not procrastinate. He is constantly on the lookout for ways in which he can increase his expertise and gain more experience. Early Years and Public Service Shimon Sheves was born in Israel and entered politics early in his life when he worked in the Ministry of Defense with Yitzhak Rabin, the former Prime Minister of Israel. Sheves was appointed as the personal assistant to Rabin when he was serving as the Defense Minister. During his tenure Sheves managed the implemented infrastructure initiatives and was in charge of maintaining the growth of these programs – particularly initiatives pertaining to the Jewish West Bank settlements. Sheves’ unique vision and contributions to this area of the government is widely recognized as a major factor in the successful implementation of economic policies in the future of Israel. In 1992, as the Yitzhak Rabin and the Labour Party were about to enter into a general election Shimon Sheves was appointed as campaign manager. His innovative approach and leadership skills helped Rabin achieve victory, and the party to achieve majority votes in the Knesset. These successes lead to Rabin appointing Sheves as his Chief of Staff and General Director. In 1995 Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated. Sheves experienced a deep sense of loss and resigned from Israeli politics. He continued his social work and also started working as consultant for various private sector companies. he has served as a crucial political advisor to prime ministers from Romania. Entrepreneurial Ventures The sudden rapid growth of the Israeli cyber industry years ago was an inspiration to Sheves. He started working with some of the most prominent cyber development and cyber security companies in the country. The massive expansion of tech companies in Israel over the past decade has given Sheves the opportunity to use his skills to help start-ups. Shimon Sheves co-founded RSLB, a consulting company located in Washington DC. The RSLB team of professionals consists of experts in politics, finance and business. They work with Sheves in the lead to promote Israeli companies around the globe and with various prominent cyber firms. The technology and cyber industries in Israel continue to experience exponential growth, and RSLB works closely with several Israeli start-ups interested in promoting and expanding their service offering to Europe and the US. Focus on Social Causes A vision and commitment to provide results-driven and sustainable long-term programs that bring about improvement is what drives Shimon Sheves. By facilitating collaboration between the international real estate markets and developing nations around South America and Africa, Sheves is helping local economies to be stimulated – and to benefit from international investment. He aims to help keep investments and skills within the countries to facilitate economic improvement. Sheves also devotedly supports the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv and several non-profit organizations that focus on providing assistance to the disabled. Learn more about Shimon Sheves on Crunchbase…

Read more aboutHolistiCyber on Crunchbase…

David Richards

Founder & Chairman @ Prodrive

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Prodrive is one of the world’s leading motorsport Read more aboutProdrive on Crunchbase…

Clare Parsons

Founder & Chairman @ Lansons

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Clare Parsons is Founder & Chairman @ Lansons. Learn more about Clare Parsons on Crunchbase…

Lansons is a full service strategic consultancy, specialising in corporate, media and political communications. Read more aboutLansons on Crunchbase…

Tania Seary

Founder & Chairman @ Procurious

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The online business network for a new generation of procurement & supply chain professionals. Read more aboutProcurious on Crunchbase…

Daniel Miller

Founder & Chairman @ Mute

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Daniel Miller is the founder and chairman of Mute, launched in 1978 with his own 7” single under the name The Normal. Since then, Mute has grown from Miller’s one-man operation into a global group and Daniel Miller remains heavily focused on Mute’s creative output across the label, publishing and management divisions. Daniel Miller plays regular techno DJ sets worldwide, recently appearing at Sonar, Space (Ibiza), ADE, IMS (Ibiza) and Berghain, with a legendary performance at M-Nus’ Christmas Boiler Room in Berlin. Learn more about Daniel Miller on Crunchbase…

Mute was founded by Daniel Miller in 1978. Read more aboutMute on Crunchbase…

Edward Elgar

Founder & Chairman @ Elgar Publishing

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Read more aboutElgar Publishing on Crunchbase…

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