Judges

Robert Markwick (1979, History)

Chairman, Downing Enterprise
Advisory Director, Goldman Sachs International

Robert is an Advisory Director at Goldman Sachs. He is MD for their Principal Strategic Investments, and sits on the Commitments Committee. On leaving Downing, and after collecting an MBA in Manchester, Robert began as a fund manager at Foreign & Colonial. He then moved to Oppenheimer as a US equities sales man, before joining Goldman Sachs in 1994. There he ran the UK shares desk, the Pan European shares desk, and then ran the distribution of Capital Markets products in Europe. In 2007 he joined Principal Strategic Investments, and is now an advisor to the desk. Outside Goldman Sachs, he manages his own portfolio of private companies, and he is trustee to Medicinema.


 

Cindy Valreau (2010, Engineering)

COO, Downing Enterprise

 

Cindy is a PhD student in Engineering at Downing. Before joining Downing Enterprise, she was Vice-president and then President of the Middle Combination Room. Previously Cindy has graduated from the University of Manchester with an MEng in Aerospace Engineering. Cindy is passionate about start-ups, new technology and entrepreneurship. 

 

Julian Childs (1969, Oriental Studies)

Executive Vice President, Dow Jones Telerate

Julian Childs read Oriental Studies at Downing from 1969-72. He then paid his £5 and achieved an MA. Julian was Captain of Boats in his final year at Downing. With his career starting in money broking and then electronic financial information, he ended up as Executive Vice President of Dow Jones Telerate in New York. He grew up in the Middle East but went to boarding school in England. Having worked in the UK, Asia-Pacific and America, he is now officially retired but invests in start-ups, is a Director of two of these, is on the committee of the Oxford & Cambridge Club, and has built a small property portfolio.

 

Eric Coutts (1980, Law)

After reading law at Downing, Eric spent a year as an Assistant Lecturer in Law at Paris University II and subsequently qualified as a solicitor and worked on M&A and corporate finance transactions with Slaughter and May. He moved to Goldman Sachs in 1993 and has advised clients on range of M&A transactions in London and in Paris and was Co-Head of the bank's European Restructuring Group. He then worked with Citi in Paris from 2007-2012, where he was Citi Country Officer and Head of Banking for France. He returned to London in 2014, where he is Chief Executive of Edmond de Rothschild UK.

Eric is a Deputy Chairman of the British School of Paris, a member of The Downing Enterprise Board, Chairman of the Board of the International Piano Competition of Ile de France and an active campaigner for Amnesty International.

 

Charlie Green (1983, Law / Management Studies)

Charlie joined Morgan Grenfell after leaving Downing, and has worked in private equity since 1992, first at Morgan Grenfell, then at Candover Partners and currently as a partner of 24Haymarket, a business angel group, which he helped establish. He is currently a non-executive director of four investee companies, one of which he chairs, and is a trustee of Impetus- The Private Equity Foundation.

 

Mark Green (1979, Natural Sciences)

Partner, UDL Intellectual Property

Mark graduated in Natural Sciences, in particular in biochemistry, and is a partner at the London office of UDL Intellectual Property, a specialist firm of patent and trade mark advisers. As well as private practice, Mark has had experience of working in industry within Unilever’s patent department.

Mark advises all sizes of business in developing, defending and exploiting their IP protection. He works in both the patents and trade mark fields, and has litigated cases up to the European Courts.

Outside the business world, Mark has an interest in Art History, Tottenham Hotspur and - finding rowing a bit hard work on the Thames – time trial cycling.

 

Jonathan Lander (1986, Law)

CEO, Volvere plc.

Jonathan read Law at Downing. He has over 20 years’ experience in venture capital and investment banking, both as an investor and as an adviser. He is CEO of Volvere plc, the turnaround investment company as well as D2L Capital, a technology venture capital and advisory firm . He is also the manager of the KL Funds that invest in certain distressed US debt securities. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

 

Muoi Lien (2014, Executive MBA)

Muoi recently completed her Executive MBA at Cambridge Judge Business School. Her career in investment banking has spanned across multiple assets classes and functional areas within Capital Markets, and her role has encompassed both operational and change management. Her recent work has focussed on strategic change and business development. She is an avid supporter of disruptive technologies and has invested in a number of start-ups.

 

Dr Susan Lintott (1972, English)

Senior Bursar, Downing College

Educated at Girton, Susan taught English for four years at Tufts University in the US while completing her doctorate. After studying at the New York University Stern School of Business, she joined The Chase Manhattan Bank in New York in 1983 becoming a Managing Director in Corporate Finance in 1989, specialising in leveraged buyouts in the chemical industry in the 80s. She then transferred to the Chase Investment Bank in London, where she was first in charge of the bank’s business with the chemical sector across Europe and then served as a founding member of the bank’s Recoveries and Restructuring Division, specialising in workouts in the 90s.

After a career break prompted by maternity leave, she became Bursar of Downing College in October 1997. She was a member of the Board of Scrutiny, the University’s watchdog, from 1998-2002, serving as its Chairman from 2000 to 2001; a member of the University Audit Committee, 2008-11; the University Tribunal, 2008-14; and the Nominations Committee, 2011-15. She also served on the board of the Christ's Hospital Foundation from 2002-11, and as Chairman of the Cambridge Colleges' Bursars' Committee from 2008-11. She is currently Treasurer and board member of Cambridge in America and a non-executive director of the Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. She is married with two children.

 

Stephen Paine (1984, Law)

Co-head UK Investment Banking and Global Head of Infrastructure, UBS Investment Bank

Stephen studied law at Downing and then did his articles at Clifford Chance where he qualified as a banking and finance lawyer. Following an MBA at Insead, he joined SG Warburg/UBS in 1994. He has worked on a broad range of equity, debt and M&A transactions primarily in the infrastructure, transport, energy and utility sectors. He is now global head of the infrastructure sector team and co-head of UK investment banking at UBS Investment Bank. He is on the investment committee for the UBS Infrastructure Fund.

 

Duncan Robertson (2003, Engineering)

CEO, Redimension

Duncan graduated from Downing with an Engineering PhD in 2003. He is CEO of Redimension, a business that exists to facilitate the commercial exploitation of cutting-edge machine learning and computer vision technology. He is a founder and non-executive director of Metail, a successful, high growth start-up that sells garment visualization and size recommendation technology within the online fashion sector. He is also Chief Scientist at TrialReach, a business that is developing revolutionary solutions to the problem of matching patients with clinical trials.

 

 

Advisers

Michael Downing (1988, Natural Sciences)

Partner, Fry Heath Spence, Chartered Trademark and Patent Attorneys

Michael has worked in intellectual property since 1991, joining Fry Heath Spence in 1994. He qualified as both a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and as a European Patent Attorney in 1995, and became a partner in 1996. In 2001, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys awarded Michael one of the first Patent Litigator Certificates, enabling him to bring cases in the High Court on behalf of clients.

As a Patent Attorney, Michael focuses on the implementation of IP rights. He specialises in general mechanical electrical/electronic and metallurgical inventions; litigation; trade marks and designs.

 

Jonathan Franks FCA

Partner, Hillier Hopkins LLP, Chartered Accountants

Jonathan is the head of the Business Group at Hillier Hopkins LLP, responsible for the firm's policies and activities in providing services to business clients. He is a senior audit partner with special interests in business structures, valuations and transactions, and is based in the firm's London office in St James's. Having qualified at what is now BDO in 1986, he set up a new firm in 1993 which, ultimately, he merged to form the London practice of Hillier Hopkins LLP in 2008. Jonathan has authored and acted as reviewer for several article series and publications, including guidance for accountants on preparing business plans, as well as taxation issues.

 

Simon Walker (1975, Law)

Partner and Head of Venture Capital (UK), Taylor Wessing

Simon is a partner in the Corporate Department of Taylor Wessing and specialises in advising those involved in the technology, cleantech and life sciences sectors. He has advised on many venture capital investments, both for funds and companies and on various acquisitions, including a number for US companies. Simon regularly speaks at conferences in the United Kingdom and is co-author of "Tolley's Start-Ups: Law and Business Handbook" (2002). He is a member of the British Venture Capital Association's Technology Committee and is based in the firm's London and Cambridge offices, the latter of which he is the head.