Founder and Managing Director
Stephen has over 30 years’ experience executing M&A transactions, raising capital and providing strategic advisory services.
Stephen began his career in investment banking in 1986 with PaineWebber (now UBS) in New York. He helped to establish PaineWebber’s European merchant banking business on the back of the successful acquisition of Juvena in Switzerland and Germany and SmithKline Beecham’s cosmetics business (Lancaster, Margaret Astor and others) by Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH. He then joined Société Générale in 1991 and ran their consumer M&A business based in Paris and London and worked on the origination and execution of transactions including Tate & Lyle.
Stephen established Forum Capital in 1995. Stephen’s guiding vision for the business has always been that the best outcomes arise when close relationships are developed with clients as part of their value creation cycle. Through its rigorously tailored solutions, Forum has established many longstanding relationships over the past 21 years. Forum has global reach and works across a variety of sectors, with various sizes of businesses at all stages of evolution, ranging from startups to turnarounds and mature businesses, including Pernod Ricard, H.P. Bulmer, Whitbybird, Kerrygold and Capital & Counties Properties.
Stephen trained as a Chartered Accountant with EY. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School with First Year Honours, and a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Stephen is a fluent French speaker with a working knowledge of German.
Sanam joined Forum Capital in 1999. He is responsible for Forum’s financial and operational management. Sanam has worked on the origination and execution of many of Forum’s UK and overseas transactions, including Wella, Geronimo Inns, Blueheath, Acquajet, and First Natural Brands, of which he is also a director.
Sanam holds the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) qualification and the degree of BSc Economics from UCL. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Maxime is responsible for deal-related research, financial analysis and modelling. Maxime’s sector experience includes engineering, professional services, manufacturing and real estate and he has worked on the execution of several of Forum’s transactions including Donaldson Associates, Capital Space and The Energy Brokers.
Maxime holds the degree of Masters in Finance from Kedge Business School Marseille, a leading French business school. He is a French national.
James is responsible for deal-related research, financial analysis and modelling. His sector experience includes hospitality, financial institutions, manufacturing and real estate and James has worked on the execution of several of Forum’s transactions including Capital Space.
James gained an MMath Mathematics degree from the University of Warwick, which included an Erasmus year at the Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (Paris VI).
Berta ensures the smooth and efficient running of the Forum office. Berta’s business experience includes being a member of the audit practice of Price Waterhouse Coopers and working in a supervisory position in food retailing operations.
Berta earned a degree in Administration and Business Management from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Berta is a Spanish national.
Mike joined the Advisory Board in 2010. Mike also works as a board member and advisor to companies in the UK and Europe with a background in strategic leadership and innovation focused in the private sector, including Ram Italia (bridge and façade engineering consultancy), ChapmanBDSP and Design Consultancy Ltd.
Mike was formerly CEO of Whitbybird from 2000 to 2009 where he led the international expansion of the UK business promoting UK competitiveness through the best use of design and client care. Mike successfully delivered the company to a Times 100 listing for several years and achieved a Best Company Award in 2006 together with The Queens Award for Innovation.
Mike’s industry experience has spanned over 35 years, mainly in construction, where he was Regional Manager of Wimpey Construction, then Contracts Manager for Wiltshire. Mike also delivered the construction of several major projects including the redevelopment of Gatwick Airport to a major aeronautical hub.
Mike holds a Civil Engineering Honours degree from the University of Southampton and has further studied at Ashridge, Henley and Roffey Business Schools. Mike is a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers.
Robin has been a member of the Advisory Board since 2007. Robin is presently the Chairman and CEO of First Natural Ltd, a leading branded and private label business in the consumer natural markets sector.
From a blue chip corporate background which includes holding senior positions at Sara Lee and BP, Robin has over 30 years managing and chairing highly successful consumer products businesses in the UK, Continental Europe, Australasia, USA and Canada as an entrepreneur.
Robin’s operating experience is extensive and includes change management, multi-channel strategy and management, brand and product strategy, re-engineering, management team development, acquisition and post-acquisition management, private equity, MBOs, public to private and exit management. Sectors include retail, online, food, beverage and domestic appliances.
Based in the UK, Robin has lived and worked in Scandinavian, French and Spanish speaking markets.
Linda joined the Advisory Board in 2016. Linda has a track record for building and managing businesses regionally and globally. Functional responsibilities covered all aspects of strategy, brand development, communications, digital and offline marketing and new product development. Line responsibilities included managing retail and wholesale operations. Linda has worked for public and private companies including Alfred Dunhill, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal as well as online startups and turnarounds. Linda has restructured many teams and departments, launched, extended and re-established brands.
Linda also works as an independent consultant advising businesses in the consumer goods, luxury, retail and technology sectors on business strategy, brand building and marketing. Linda is currently a partner of InnovationWorks, an innovation consultancy active in the education sector, and a director of Bridel & Scott, a distributor active in the interior design sector.
Linda qualified as a Chartered Accountant with EY and worked in both their audit and M&A practices. Linda holds an MBA from London Business School, which included an exchange with HEC in France, and a Diploma in Fine and Decorative Art from the Royal Society of Arts.
Stephen joined Forum Capital’s Advisory Board in 2013. Stephen has over 25 years experience within the SME arena, having founded a number of successful companies within various industries including IT, fashion and retail packaging. Stephen is the Owner of One Barnsdale Ltd., a provider of consultancy services to a wide cross section of businesses, in many market sectors, from logistics & distribution, fashion to sandwiches, steel fabrication to IT services. The founding of One Barnsdale followed the successful sale of his previous business, Indigo Concept Packaging, which Forum Capital assisted in the sale of to a FTSE 100 company in 2012.
Stephen holds a BSc (Hons.) from Loughborough University and is a fluent Italian speaker.
Mike has been an Advisory Board member for over 10 years. Mike formerly held Corporate Finance Directorships at SG Hambros and Citigroup Salomon Smith Barney.
Mike is an active investor in startups and real estate. Currently directorships include Multi Resource Marketing Ltd., Market Harborough, UK and Riad Papillion SARL, boutique hotels in Marrakech, Morocco.
Mike holds a BSc(Econ) degree from LSE and an MBA from HEC Paris. Fluent in French he also speaks some German and Arabic.