Michael Stephenson, MBE
Michael started his early career with Vickers PLC holding a number of senior appointments in various divisions, ultimately at Managing Director and Main Board level in the UK and USA.
He is also Managing Director of Helena BioSciences, a company he founded during the 1980's on his return to the north east.
Historically, Michael has worked on various assignments for venture capital companies and merchant bankers, such as 3Is and Lazards, operating as non-executive director and chairman for a number of diverse companies both regional and national.
Andrew Mitchell - Chief Executive
Andrew was educated at Oxford and INSEAD. Following an early career in the oil industry, investment banking and management consultancy, he founded and ran his own business for almost 10 years.
He served as a non-executive director for a number of high growth companies. For five years, until 2008 he was chief executive of VC business development company NStar.
Mark Bridgeman spent almost 20 years working in the fund management industry, for Schroders PLC. Over this time he worked both as an analyst and fund manager and for the last few years was Global Head of Research. He lived and worked for Schroders all over the world, including 3 years in Sydney, 2 years in New York and a number of years based in London but travelling to Emerging Markets. He left Schroders at the end of 2008 and is now based in Northumberland running his own family farming business. Since leaving Schroders he has also taken on a number of non executive and advisory roles in the investment industry.
Jason Hobbs - Finance Director
Jason graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a BA in Economics and Accounting. He is a member of the ICAEW, having qualified as a chartered accountant during his career at Ernst & Young.
After a period at Black & Decker's manufacturing plant in County Durham, Jason joined The Health Clinic, a venture capital backed company specialising in ophthalmology, laser vision correction and other health related services. As Corporate Finance Director, he was a key member of the team that successfully floated the company on the London Stock Exchange, following a period of high growth and a nationwide store opening programme.
Jason worked for Optical Express following its successful takeover of The Health Clinic, before joining NStar in June 2004.
Chris spent 36 years with Barclays, where he held senior positions including Group Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of Corporate Banking. Since retiring from Barclays, he has taken on various non-executive positions including North East Finance and the County Durham Community Foundation.
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