Growth and Exit Strategies for Software and IT Companies, London 2013

World Financial Symposiums is excited to announce that the Growth and Exit Strategies for Software and IT Companies Conference will be held in London on 16 April, 2013 at the offices of Olswang.
European software, Internet, IT, digital media and related technologies are on the global stage in 2013. Are these companies globally competitive? What clearly distinguishes the most successful of them? What are the seller secrets that are increasing valuations by 50%? One clear answer is a global focus.
2013 has started off fast for tech companies. And to successfully execute a Growth and Exit strategy many questions need to be considered:

  • Why is a global focus a requirement in your 2013 strategy?
  • Who are the new leading global investors in European tech?
  • What attracts them?
  • Why are US private equity firms flocking to Europe?
  • What is the status of venture capital in Europe?
  • Where are valuations heading in 2013?
  • Is the tech IPO really making a comeback?
  • What are the top 10 M&A deal disasters & how to avoid them?
  • What are the 10 steps to an optimal outcome in a trade sale?

To help you define and execute a global strategy we have brought together an illustrious group of speakers from finance and tech for a one day symposium.
Hear from leaders in banking, VC, private equity, and M&A, as well as the CEO´s who have made the headlines doing the deals. Exchange ideas and network with these leaders along with legal, accounting and strategic specialists who can help you achieve an Optimal Outcome.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to attend this unique and highly successful one day event.

Click here to view the Conference Agenda


90 High Holborn
WC1V 6XX London
United Kingdom



  • J.R. Smith

    CEO - AVG Technologies

    J.R. Smith has served as AVG Technologies' chief executive officer since 2007 and as a managing director of the AVG management board since 2008. Prior to joining AVG, J.R. served as chief executive officer of United Kingdom-based Dot Mobile Limited, a mobile virtual network operator he cofounded in 2005 that partnered with Vodafone Group Plc to provide mobile services (voice/text/picture messaging/data, etc.) to students in the United Kingdom.

    His first European venture was TelecomSolutions Group, Inc., a pan-European network deployment and telecommunications software development company he founded in 1997 whose clients included Vodafone, Nextel, T-Mobile, Telefonica, Nokia and Ericsson. J.R. began his career with PNC, which evolved to become the publicly listed VoiceStream Wireless Corporation, later acquired by T-Mobile USA, Inc.

  • Arkadiy Dobkin

    CEO and President - EPAM Systems

    Arkadiy Dobkin is the co-founder, CEO and President of EPAM Systems, the largest software engineering firm with development centers in Central and Eastern Europe.

    After earning an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Byelorussian National Technical University, Arkadiy began his career in Minsk, Belarus, where he worked for several emerging software development companies before immigrating to the United States in 1991.

    Since 1993, when EPAM was co-founded by Arkadiy, the company has grown to become one of the world’s leading software engineering firms with focus on developing software products for top and emerging software companies as well as delivering complex, mission-critical solutions for large global corporations.

    In February of 2012, Arkadiy, joined by the company’s management team, rang the NYSE Opening Bell to signify trades opening on the day that EPAM Systems commenced its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange and became the first software engineering firm from CEE region publicly traded on such a major global stock exchange.

    Arkadiy is a recipient of numerous awards. In June 2008, Ernst & Young named him the winner of The Entrepreneur of yhe Year® 2008 award in the New Jersey, Information Technology Consulting category. In 2006, Consulting Magazine named him to “Top 25 Most Influential Consultants.” In 2004, Arkadiy was spotlighted as a key industry influencer in the Foreign Relations category of CRN’s “Top 25 Executives” issue, along with the CEOs of Wipro Technologies and CGI Group.

  • Ian Brotherston

    CEO - Qype

    Ian is CEO of Qype, Europe’s largest site for user-generated reviews and recommendations of places, events and experiences.  Ian managed the sale of Qype to Yelp Inc, the NYSE listed business, in October 2012. The transaction was awarded the “Highly Commended Exit of 2012” at the Europas – Europe’s VC Tech Awards.

    Ian has 25 years experience in Technology leadership and Corporate Development. He has previously been CEO & Chairman of Dailymotion, Chairman of Premier Mobile, and Partner in the Boutique Consulting and Advisory firm Consilium. Earlier in his career, Ian was a Director in BT’s International Development, and a Senior Director at AT&T.

  • Nat Burgess

    President - Corum Group Ltd.
    Nat Burgess is President of Corum Group. He has a track record of successful M&A deals with Microsoft, Google, Intel, Symantec, BMC, Fiserv, and many others, all driven by strategic technology, as well as extensive experience putting deals together with private equity firms. In addition to his M&A work, Nat is admitted to the Washington State Bar, and is an active angel investor in the software and Internet communities.
    Prior to joining Corum in 1996, Nat worked as an analyst in the Strategic Development Division of Morgan Stanley’s M&A group, focusing on cross-border acquisitions of U.S. and European companies by Japanese firms, and on financings by large Japanese public companies. Nat then moved to Morgan Stanley’s Tokyo office, where he reported directly to the President of Morgan Stanley, Japan Ltd. and focused exclusively on cross-border M&A.   During law school, Nat interned for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division, and worked as the director of online business development for Activision. Nat also co-founded Postcard Software, an early Internet company that linked screen savers and web sites.
  • Ricardo Caupers

    Partner - Palamon Capital Partners

    Ricardo Caupers joined Palamon Capital Partners in February 2009, becoming a Partner in January 2013. He is a Portuguese national, fluent in English and Spanish and with a working knowledge of French. Ricardo joined Palamon from the Boston Consulting Group, where he was a Principal in the London office. Prior to this he was based in the New York office as Consultant and later, Project Leader. Ricardo graduated from the Universidade CatÃlica Portuguesa in Lisbon with a BA in Business Administration and Finance, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. 

  • Aaron Chatterley

    CEO -

    Aaron Chatterley is the New ersey-born co-founder and CEO of Europe’s largest online beauty retailer, 

    Aaron was among the first to become involved at the outset of the Internet boom, following his genuine passion for the new and emerging market of online business and development. He started in the industry by developing computer programming and coding before moving on to run Internet Marketing for Cable and Wireless based in the West Indies. 

    Aaron later returned to the UK and set up an award winning web-development company and became SKY TV’s Commentator & Expert for Internet and Ecommerce, appearing on a popular technology panel show as well as several other SKY one-off technology specials.

    As an entrepreneur, Aaron was soon inspired to start a new venture. Spotting a gap in the online beauty retail market, he collaborated with school friend and co-founder Richard Schiessl to set up in 2005, which quickly established itself as the online destination for beauty.

  • Vincent Daelemans

    Vice President, Origination - The Riverside Company

    Based in Brussels, Vincent Daelemans joined Riverside in 2010 and leads Origination activities in France and the Benelux region. Prior to joining the firm, he was Business Development Manager with Tesco Stores in the UK. Vincent also held several M&A roles at UBS and Morgan Stanley and was Co-Founder of DVDPost, an online DVD rental and media streaming company in the Benelux. Vincent holds an MBA from The University of Chicago and an M.Sc. from the Solvay Business School. Native in French, Vincent is fluent in English, Dutch and Spanish.

  • Carlos Eduardo Espinal

    Partner - Seedcamp

    As Partner, Carlos Eduardo Espinal co-manages Seedcamp. His investment interests include mobile, gaming, social networks, and networking technologies.

    Prior to Seedcamp, Carlos was a venture capitalist at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, an early stage investment firm based in London. Before Doughty Hanson, Carlos was an engineer for the Advanced Communications Technologies group of The New York Stock Exchange (SIAC) where he focused on the next generation of wireless and mobile trading platforms for the exchange. Prior to SIAC, he was a network security consultant for the professional services division of Baltimore Technologies where he worked with global clients in the telecommunication and data services sectors.

    Carlos holds an MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University. Carlos was a 2005 recipient of the Paul F. Greene Telecommunications Research Award.

  • Simon Gall

    CEO - Integrity Capital Ltd

    Simon Gall is the founder of Integrity Capital Ltd (launching Q3, 2013). Simon runs an LP-GP network and provides business development for SME and investment firms.

    Simon is also an occasional Mentor/Judge in Entrepreneurship to the University of Chicago-Booth London, Executive MBA, School of Communication Arts and the National Association of College & University Entrepreneurs.

  • Anne Glover

    Chief Executive - Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd.

    Anne Glover is Chief Executive and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners Limited, the European technology investor. In Anne’s current position, she brings together her many threads of experience — as a scientist, operating manager, and venture capitalist.

    Before founding Amadeus, Anne was a business angel and Chief Operating Officer of the Apax-backed company, Virtuality Group, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1993. Early in her career, she lived and worked in the US, working in manufacturing with Cummins Engine Company and in strategy consulting with Bain & Co. in Boston, before returning to the UK to join Apax Partners & Co in 1989 to invest in early stage companies.

    Anne was Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) from 2004 to 2005, and a non-executive director of the UK Technology Strategy Board from 2005 to 2012. She is currently a member of the European Research and Innovation Advisory Board and Chairman of the EVCA VC Platform Council. She is a member of the London Business School’s Private Equity Institute Advisory Board and serves on the boards of Glysure, Covestor Inc, Nomad plc and the Royal Society Enterprise Fund.

    Anne holds an MA in Metallurgy & Materials Science from Clare College, Cambridge, and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale School of Management. In June 2006 she was awarded a CBE for services to business, and in July 2008 was elected an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

  • Ian Gotts

    Vice President - TIBCO Software

    Ian Gotts was founder and CEO of Nimbus, which was acquired by TIBCO Software where Ian is now a Vice President. TIBCO is a US quoted provider of discovery, analytics, social media and infrastructure software delivered on-premise or in the cloud. Ian is an early adopter and has been blogging, tweeting and following social media for years. Nimbus was an early adopter of social media inside the organization and saw tangible benefits immediately. Ian is the author of 6 books with a rare ability to make the complex seem simple which makes him a sought after, and entertaining conference speaker.

  • Luke Hakes

    Principal - Octopus Investments

    A former scientist and technology consultant, Luke Hakes has a particular interest in technology-related investment opportunities, although he has experience working with a number of early stage businesses across a number of different sectors. Luke plays an active part in all aspects of the Venture team’s activity, from finding investment opportunities to working with the fantastic entrepreneurs in the team’s portfolio to help grow their businesses.

    Since joining Octopus in 2009, Luke has led investments into or sat on the boards of a number of investee companies including Applied Superconductor (electrical grid infrastructure), Artesian Solutions (social CRM for sales), Metrasens (ferromagnetic detection), Aframe (cloud video production), CertiVox (security as a service), and Surrey Nanosystems (nanomaterials).

    Luke sits on the investment panel at the Qtech Software Accelerator and works closely with a number of the other accelerator and incubator programs, including Wayra, Springboard, and Smarta.

    Luke holds a degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, a Masters in Computational Biology and a PhD in Computational Genetics.

  • Barry Jaber

    Director Strategy Consulting - PricewaterhouseCoopers

    Barry Jaber is a Director in PwC's Strategy Consulting Practice. He has a broad range of experience in strategy development, growth, go-to-market strategy and commercial due diligence.  He also leads PwC's Pricing Practice and Technology Industry Consulting Practice.

    Over the past 10 years Barry has worked with many leading businesses across the industry value chain including IT services, software and hardware. He has also advised many Private Equity firms on buy-side and sell-side commercial due diligence.

    Barry has published various articles and reports on Technology, M&A and Cyber security.

    Prior to joining PwC, Barry was with Ultra Electronics and BAE Systems.  He studied at Imperial College and the MIT Sloan School of Management.

  • Mark Johnson

    Vice President - Corum Group Ltd.

    Mark Johnson’s professional experience is as an M&A advisor, CEO of an IT company, Venture Capitalist, IT Management Consultant and Naval Officer. The thread throughout his career has been Information Technology, its commercialization, and its applications towards improving business effectiveness. His undergraduate education is from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, where he received a degree in Systems Engineering.

    In 2006 he spent one year at the Stockholm School of Economics attaining an MBA. Additionally, he was a semi-professional road cyclist and was ranked 1st in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. He enjoys the challenges and dynamism involved with identifying new technology innovations with strong commercialization applications, particularly in an international setting where he has had the opportunity to work in numerous countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. 

    Serving as a Naval Officer provided an exceptional leadership opportunity in a challenging and diverse environment.

  • Hussein Kanji

    CEO & Founder - Hoxton Ventures

    Hussein Kanji is an angel investor or advisor to several early stage startups including Bea's of Bloomsbury, European Leaders, Eventasaurus,, Flypost, GoCardless, Jaycut (acquired by RIM), KBG, Kiosked, LLUSTRE, Signpost, Stylebox and Tarmin. Hussein is also an advisor to the Chairman of Eros International Plc (EROS:LN), an Indian media and entertainment company, and Different Capital, an early stage venture firm run by four former video game executives. In addition, he helps the UK government with technology policy.

    Hussein was formerly with Accel Partners, where he focused on consumer Internet, financial technology and software investments. He helped make the firm's investments in OpenGamma, Playfish (acquired by Electronic Arts), BountyJobs, United Mobile, Dapper (acquired by Yahoo!), and held additional board observer seats at Njini (acquired by Riverbed) and The Cloud (acquired by Sky).

    Hussein joined Accel from Microsoft Corporation, where he held several strategy and product management roles, and was selected to the company's leadership program for his work building the speech recognition business.

    Hussein began his career in the Bay Area, CA and helped found or play a key role at Safe-View (acquired by L-3), Radiance Technologies (acquired by Comcast) and Studio Verso (acquired by KPMG). Hussein holds an MBA from London Business School, where he sat on the International Alumni Board, and did his undergraduate studies in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University.

  • James King

    Founder and Chairman - Find Invest Grow (FIG)

    James King is Founder and Chairman of Find Invest Grow (FIG), a venture capital group offering a pragmatic new approach to investing in young entrepreneurs.

    He studied Computing at Imperial College, earning an Engineering Degree, before realising the errors of his ways and moving to the University of Leeds where he graduated with a Science Degree in Computing. He began his career in the Information Risk Management department at KPMG, before founding the FIG group of companies.

    FIG has spent three successful years raising angel finance for start-up firms. Its model of venture capital combines innovative ways to generate deal flow with the expertise of active investors who, alongside FIG, provide on-going mentoring, advice and support to early-phase businesses throughout the investment lifecycle. FIG’s unique approach is designed to deliver high-quality, high-volume deal flow resulting in better conversion rates than conventional strategies.

    The management team behind FIG has launched the asset management company New Model Venture Capital (NMVC).  NMVC’s first fund, the FIG Concept Seed Fund (the Fund), will provide access to FIG’s current portfolio of start-up investments as well as take advantage of FIG’s future deal flow. 

    The Fund’s investment committee includes Chairman Robin McIlvenny (former Banking CEO and successful angel investor), David Marshall (senior specialist private equity advisor), Michael Blakey (Managing Partner of Avonmore Developments) and Mark Minter (former President and CEO of Power Plate International and Holmes Place AG).

  • Nenad Marovac

    Managing Partner - DN Capital

    Nenad Marovac has more than 20 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience in the media, telecom and technology sectors.

    Nenad is the Founder and Managing Partner of DN Capital which is a media and technology early stage and growth capital investor with offices in London and Palo Alto.  His investments include Apsmart, Datanomic (Acquired by  Oracle), Eyeka, Mister Spex, Shazam Entertainment, Tbricks, Windeln, OLX (Sold shares to Naspers), JacobsRimell (Acquired by Amdocs).  He is also Chairman and CEO of DN Capital.

    Nenad founded DN Capital in June 2000 after leaving Advent International, one of the world's leading global private equity houses, where he was a Partner in the London office.  At Advent International, he spent five years investing in European media, IT services, Internet and telecom companies.  His investments include Synergon (IPO: LSE/BSE), Hogart, Internet Securities (Acquired by Euromoney) and @Entertainment (IPO Nasdaq: Acquired by UPC).

    Prior to Advent International,  Nenad was a Financial Analyst in the leveraged buyout group of Bankers Trust in New York focusing on media and communications.

    Mr. Marovac received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Business Administration cum laude from San Diego State University with Distinction in Finance.

  • Pekka Santeri Mäki

    Managing Partner - 3TS Capital

    Pekka Santeri Mäki is the managing partner of 3TS and is primarily responsible for general management of 3TS. He is also active in investment structuring, negotiations and portfolio management. Previously, he was the Managing Partner of Red Catalyst Ltd., a strategic business development consultancy and an investment boutique. From 1990 to 2000, he worked in top management positions at various international advertising agencies across Central and Eastern Europe and in Finland. In the 1980s, he started in management consulting and studied at Helsinki University of Technology, Universidad Complutense in Madrid and Wirschaftsuniversität Vienna.

  • Ross McKean

    Partner - Olswang

    Ross McKean leads the Olswang data protection practice and has broad experience in data protection and privacy matters including audits, compliance assessments, remediation projects, ad hoc and transactional advice.  Ross regularly advises clients on security, international transfers and data subject access requests.  He assists clients with regulatory investigations and crisis management.  Ross is also an experienced sourcing lawyer, advising clients on a wide variety of sourcing deals with a particular focus on the financial services and telecommunications sectors.  He frequently advises on data protection compliance as part of his transactional practice and has recently advised on complex HR cloud solutions, helping to achieve a compliant structure across multiple jurisdictions.  Ross is ranked as a leading individual for data protection, technology and outsourcing in Chambers.  Before joining Olswang, he was with Baker & McKenzie for 16 years, where he was a partner in the IT/Com department of their London office and an active member of their data protection and outsourcing practice groups.

  • Owen Murphy

    Managing Director - Arrow Consulting

    Owen Murphy has had a successful career in the venture capital industry for over 20 years, during which time he has co-led Institutional Fundraisings for VC in the amount of €330m and completed over 100 transactions (seed and later stage funding rounds, restructurings, refinancing, syndications and exits).

    In 1994, Owen co-founded ACT Venture Capital, and is regarded as the main driver behind its growth to become Ireland’s largest venture capital firm.  

    Owen led ACT’s business in Northern Ireland and was actively involved in many of ACT Venture Capital's successful software and technology deals.  He also completed a number of successful non-tech deals in the mid 1990’s, including the syndicated buyout of Belfast International Airport and the buyout of SDC Trailers (largest trailer manufacturer in the UK, based out of Northern Ireland), prior to ACT becoming a predominantly tech VC investor. Owen sold his interest in ACT in April, 2009.

    Since leaving ACT, Owen is an investor in and Chairman of, the fastest growing and largest integrated communications platform (web, email and sms) for team sports in UK/Ireland. He is also an investor in and Chairman of a niche aerospace award winning company in Belfast called Lenis Aer, with disruptive process technology in lipskin manufacturing.

    In 2012, Owen became Chairman of Avoca Capital Investment Funds plc, a listed Funds vehicle with €700m AUM.

  • Frederic Rombaut

    Head of Acquisitions & Investments, International - Cisco Systems

    As Head of Acquisitions & Investments, Frederic Rombaut specializes in acquisitions and corporate venture capital investments in ICT companies. Previously, Frederic was Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures Europe, managing VC investments in wireless companies.

  • Isabella Schidrich

    Senior Managing Director - NASDAQ OMX

    Isabella Schidrich joined NASDAQ International as Managing Director in 2001, responsible for business development and account management of The NASDAQ Stock Market in Western Europe.

    Prior to that, Isabella gained extensive business development experience within the telecommunications industry, heading business units at British Telecommunications Plc and at Deutsche Telekom AG, and within the Services Industry.

    Isabella graduated from Munich University with an Honors Degree with distinction in Business Management.

  • Uwe Schmid

    CEO - A+W Software AG (sold to Constellation Software)

    Uwe Schmid has been leading the A+W organization since July 2011. He has over 20 years of experience in IT strategy and software. At McKinsey & Company, Uwe was the Business Technology Office (BTO) for 11 years and the  leader in IT enablement in operations (ERP, PLM, SCM). His software industry experience includes SAP, i2 Technologies in Dallas (SCM: VP), and Mentor Graphics (PLM: managing director).

    Uwe received his Ph.D. in physics  from the Max Planck Institute. He has both German and US M.Sc. Degrees. 

  • Jon Scott

    Senior Vice President - Corum Group International (CGI)

    Jon joined Corum in 2010, originally out of their Seattle headquarters, and currently out of their Amsterdam office.  He has close to 30 years' experience serving high technology companies with the last 20 mainly in chief operating and chief executive roles.  During this time Jon has become known for his ability to successfully integrate strategies and tactics into well executed operating plans, building strong teams, and achieving excellent results. 

    Jon has served as President and CEO of The PowerTech Group, a security and compliance software company sold to Help/Systems in 2008, and Microserv Technology Services, a nationwide tech services company which was acquired by Halifax Corporation in 2003.  Earlier he served as President and COO of Traveling Software, a leading developer of communications software in Seattle. Prior to his operating roles Jon held vice president roles in sales, marketing, and business development for technology companies. 

    Jon has taught in the software product management program at the University of Washington and holds a business administration degree from San Francisco State University.

  • Marcus Stuttard

    Head of AIM & UK Primary Markets - London Stock Exchange

    Marcus Stuttard is Head of AIM and has responsibility for Primary Markets in the UK across both AIM and the Main Market. He is responsible for the management and development of the London Stock Exchange’s international growth market for small and medium sized enterprises.

    Prior to his appointment as Head of AIM in 2009, he held a variety of roles within AIM and the London Stock Exchange, mainly focussed on primary markets development and the management of the Exchange’s relationships with the corporate advisory community, including nominated advisors, sponsors, lawyers and accountants in the UK and overseas. He joined the Exchange in 1994 following his completion of the Law Society’s Legal Practice Course.

    He is a regular speaker on growth and business funding issues and sits on a number of industry and policy advisory bodies.

  • René van Erk

    CEO - ISVWorld

    René van Erk has over 20 years of experience in software and Internet. He worked for eight years at Microsoft, mainly in Asia-Pacific and the US. Prior to that, he was part of the Open Source Movement at OSF - later merged into The Open Group - and he worked at Prologic, a French ISV. More recently he lead Product Development and M&A for Wolters Kluwer in Europe where over 60 European acquisitions were done during his tenure. René initiated and founded ISVWorld in 2008, and took the CEO role himself in 2011.

    In addition, René sits on the board of two mid-size software companies.


  • Anthony Waller

    Partner - Olswang

    Anthony Waller has been a Partner at Olswang since 2008 and has been at the firm since the year 2000. Anthony deals with all aspects of corporate work, including private company and business acquisitions and disposals, public takeovers, schemes of arrangement, fundraisings, venture capital investments and IPOs, joint ventures and reorganizations. Anthony works alongside Olswang's international Corporate team that extends across offices in Germany, Spain, France and Singapore.

    Anthony is head of the firm's Corporate Technology practice, having advised clients in the technology sector for a number of years. As well as advising established international companies in the technology sector on a variety of transactions and public company issues, Anthony is a leading member of the team at the firm focused on high growth technology companies, acting for both the companies themselves and investors in the sector.

  • Dr. Christopher S. Winter

    Partner - New Venture Partners

    Dr. Christopher S. Winter joined New Venture Partners in 2003. He focuses on European investment opportunities.

    Previously, Chris co-founded Brightstar, BT's corporate incubator in 2000, and acted as its CTO in identifying and building companies spun out by BT. Prior to co-founding Brightstar, he was the Vice President of Engineering at Cyberlife Technologies Ltd., a software start-up based in the United Kingdom.

    Chris spent the previous twelve years at BT in various positions, including the Head of Futures Research at BT, where he ran teams of scientists and engineers in researching and developing optical switches, optical computing, next generation operational support systems ("OSS"), AI software and mobile network management.

    Chris holds a BA in Biochemistry from Oxford University, a PhD in Physics from Lancaster University and is a Visiting Professor of Systems Engineering at Brunel University.