Francesca Dickinson, Bronfman Family Office

Francesca Dickinson from the Bronfman Family Office where she is responsible for the origination of structured equity transactions in Europe. Previously, Francesca was at LDC, where she worked in the Value Enhancement Team, and at Lloyds Banking Group within the Financial Institution division focusing on debt financing transactions.

Barry is Chairman of Aspall, the historic cyder making business that has flourished since 1728.  Barry spoke about taking a family business through acquisition, drawing on his experiences with preparing Aspall for acquisition by Molson Coors.

Our next Tech Leadership Dinner takes place in London on 19 June.

Our topic for the evening is Talent & Growth and we will be joined by a group of experts to play a part in discussion around the table including the VP Talent at Thought Machine; and VP People at Five AI & Talent Advisor to Kindred Capital’s portfolio founders.  The dinner will be attended by CEOs and other C-suite leaders of innovative growth technology companies.

The Leadership Dinner is organised and hosted by Bailey Fisher in partnership with Mills & Reeve and Grant Thornton.

Attendance is by invitation.  If you would like to find out more about future events, please contact Kerry Linsey.



The latest event in our CFO Dinner series brings together CFOs of growth technology businesses for an informal peer-to-peer dinner and roundtable discussion focusing on the economy.  Our guest speaker is Paul Donovan, Chief Economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, the wealth management arm of Swiss-based global financial services group UBS.  Paul is responsible for developing and presenting the UBS economic outlook, and communicating the UBS view on economics, policy and politics around the world.  Paul has co-authored two books on environmental economics, and is regularly interviewed on economic issues in the print and broadcast media.

This event is hosted by Bailey Fisher in partnership with UBS.

Attendance at this event is by invitation. If you are interested in finding out more about this or future CFO Dinners, please contact Andrew Moore, Managing Director or Helen Poole, Director of Marketing & Events at Bailey Fisher Executive Search.

The next Private Markets Dinner will take place at Downing College, Cambridge.  The event is hosted by Bailey Fisher Executive Search in partnership with Farrer & Co and PwC UK.  Attendance is by invitation for a select group of business leaders from amongst the region’s foremost private & family owned businesses.

The topic for discussion is “Growing your Business with an Exit Strategy: An Investor’s Perspective”.  Our guest speaker for the evening is Rodney Appiah, Director of Foresight Group, a leading, independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager with over £2.9 billion of current assets under management.  Foresight Private Equity is one of the UK’s leading and longest established investors in growing businesses, investing between £1m-£5m to support MBOs/MBIs, growth capital and equity release.

If you are a owner or manager of a family business interested in finding out more about the Private Markets Dinners, please contact Andrew Moore.

Hosted in partnership with:


Bailey Fisher was pleased to welcome 50 business leaders to Growing Global, a Women 4 Technology event during London Tech Week. Co-hosted with Frog Capital, the event covered expansion into international markets with a focus on the US and China.  Guest speakers were Tugce Bulut, Founder/CEO of Streetbees, a market research platform for global brands that has expanded to 87 countries over the past year; Mariana Pereira, Director of world-leading cyber security company Darktrace; Pru Ashby, Head of North America for London & Partners; Jane Cooke, a key member of the leadership team that grew Abcam from Cambridge University spin-out to a team of over 1,000 globally; and Ting Zhang, a leading expert on doing business in China, as Founder/CEO of China Business Solutions and Co-founder of recently launched Crayfish International.

First to speak was Tugce Bulut of Streetbees, who shared insight into how she has grown her company so rapidly across the globe.    Streetbees harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and geolocation technology to access any consumer segment anywhere in the world, capture insights and provide results in real time.

“We developed a platform and launched in 2015. We give our clients a window into real people’s lives in real time.  Our first order was from Unilever, who wanted to know, can you do this in 20 countries?  Our business model had to be international. 

It is very important to have reliable people on the ground who understand the local context. Listen to them.  We were a 5 person team. 87 countries in 12 months. It was a lot of work!

What have we learned?  Think globally from day one.”

Mariana Pereira spoke about how Darktrace has grown rapidly to become the world’s leading machine learning company for cyber security, with a team of over 400 globally.  Founded in 2013 in Cambridge, the company is now headquartered in Cambridge and San Francisco.

“We have experienced 600% growth since last year, and the technology is currently deployed in 69 countries.  How have we grown so phenomenally?  We are agnostic in product design.  The technology could apply in any country. 

We approach cyber security in a fundamentally different way. Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System mimics the human immune system. We recognise that defences will be breached or that insiders can sometimes cause a security concern, whether maliciously, or otherwise.  Darktrace is the first AI powered solution that can autonomously take action.”

Having been founded by mathematicians and machine learning experts from Cambridge University, together with intelligence experts from MI5 and GCHQ, Darktrace expanded rapidly to the US. The former CIO of the CIA is now a member of the Advisory Board, adding to Darktrace’s credibility in the US market.   “Within 6 months of founding, Darktrace had its first US customer.”  Mariana’s advice is to “design for growth.  Think of being global from day 1.  But, you can’t become an expert in every state, or every country.  Get experts on the ground.”

Pru Ashby spent 2 years heading up business development for London & Partners in New York, before returning to the UK, where she leads London & Partners’ North America inward investment team supporting & advising US and Canadian companies to set up and grow in London; and UK companies expanding into the North American market.  Pru shared advice for companies looking to expand in the US, focusing on three top tips:

  1. “There are 50 states in the US, but it is more like 50 countries. All are very different in culture. Lots of tech talent goes to San Francisco, but many choose to go to New York first. Skyscanner went to Miami for its first US office, as they wanted to be the hub for the Latin American market.  Each state will have incentives and support.  Find out which will suit your company.
  2. Be aware of the cultural differences in ways of doing business. You must be extremely confident. None of the British self-effacement.  The US is very transactional.  Your pitch needs to be highly pristine. Include data. Share where you will take your business – Americans make a decision on a vision.
  3. Where you can, get warm introductions. Use the support that is there.”

Pru then called on Melinda Nicci, serial entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of Baby2Body, a high-growth venture backed health tech start up.  Melinda shared a conversation that she’d had with a US investor about Baby2Body’s subscribers. “We have 350,000 subscribers.”  To which the investor responded “You mean you have half a million!”

Jane Cooke was employee number four at Abcam and spent more than a decade as part of the leadership team that grew the company to a global success with a team of over 1,000.  Jane shared lessons learned from her time as Director of People and Organisational Development, setting up the company’s facility in Shanghai.

“Right from the start Abcam was a disruptor.  We were selling on the internet, which was immediately a global market.  Previously in this sector, sales had all been via catalogue.   

There was a lot of discussion around how do we break into China?  We opened our Hong Kong office 8 years ago.  With hindsight, if you want to do business in China you need to be in China. 

Abcam then acquired an organisation that had its head office in the US but had a facility in China.  Overnight half our business was Chinese.  It was a challenge to integrate the culture and working practices.  Overnight the local company became international.  Employees immediately wanted all the benefits of being an international business, but without thinking about changes they needed to make themselves. 

The only way to manage the process was to live there. If you are going to do business in China, you really need to be there and embed yourself in, learn the culture and build the networks.”

Ting Zhang is Founder/CEO of China Business Solutions and Co-founder of Crayfish International, a software platform for UK SMEs looking to do business in China. Ting is a leading expert on doing business in China, with 20+ years advising companies from tech start ups to FTSE 100 companies.

“When I set up China Business Solutions, the feedback was ‘China? Nobody is interested in China.’  3 months later China entered the World Trade Organisation and suddenly it was ‘Ting, can you come and give a talk?’

Now China is doing business on the global stage, becoming the centre of international trade. Anyone interested in doing business internationally needs to look at China. 

To do this you need someone on the ground. You either need to be there yourself or hire someone.  On demand is the key for a smaller start-up company. China has different provinces and the laws are different in each.

China sees such fast changes. The learning process is ongoing. Even for me, Chinese and advising companies for 20 years, the change is so fast.”

Ting went on to talk about working with Chinese investors “Chinese investors will only look at return.  They will not look at vision, as in the US.”

This event was the latest in Bailey Fisher’s Women 4 Technology series for female founders, CEOs, CXOs, Chair/NEDs, VPs and investors.  The event was co-hosted with Frog Capital, and sponsored by Mills & Reeve and FieldHouse Associates.


Saroj Panda

Bailey Fisher assisted loyal client u-blox with the search for a Director of Market Development – Automotive, resulting in the appointment of Saroj Panda.

u-blox is a global leader in wireless communications and positioning semiconductors and modules for the industrial, automotive and consumer markets. A lot of companies are developing and distributing chips and modules for wireless communication and positioning, but u‑blox is dedicated to do it in an excellent way and with the focus on the customers and their applications. The company invests heavily in R&D to provide the market with products and solutions for the Internet of Things.

Bailey Fisher was retained by u-blox to manage the search for a Director of Market Development with a focus on the automotive industry.