John was the Founder of E-Synergy and instrumental in creating Rivers Capital Partners with Jonathan Gold in 2009.
After a career as an electronics engineer and research manager, he led the MBO of Thorn EMI Central Research Laboratories, successfully floating the buy-out vehicle, Scipher, on the main London Stock Exchange in February 2000 at a capitalisation of €450m.
He developed spinout companies from Scipher technology and has special expertise in exploiting commercial value in intellectual property. John is also a business angel investor and on the board of several technology companies including OLED-T Ltd.
Jonathan GoldManaging Director
Jonathan is a co-founder of Rivers Capital and Finance Tree. He came to the North East of England to help create NStar in 2003 and set up Finance Tree through a management buyout of part of NStar in 2008. He is a specialist on startup, seed and concept investment and investment readiness with a background in technology licencing. Jonathan also has extensive business development experience including 5 years marketing and sales into the Japanese market from working in AEA Technology.
He established several early stage seed capital and venture funds attracting capital from public and private sources for investment in small companies and academic spin-out companies. He has created several funds including the Rainbow Seed Fund and a range of funds in the North of England. He served as the Chief Executive of NorthStar Equity Investors (now Northstar Ventures), for its first year of operation, overseeing the creation and establishment of the £10m Proof of Concept Fund and a £23m Co-Investment Fund, the £10m North East Angel Fund. He has a degree is chemistry, a diploma in Marketing and is a full professional member of the CIM and IoD. Jonathan is also currently Chair of Council at Josephine Butler College at Durham University and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts manufacturing and commerce (RSA). Jonathan works to mentor a range of businesses and is a founder of the "InCreDables" a movement that sets out to inspire new entrepreneurs.
Peter is a fellow founder Rivers Capital and also of Finance Tree. He also built the entrepreneurship resources within the University of Cambridge, from the original Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre to Cambridge Enterprise and achieved a considerable increase in the level of commercialisation. He is currently head of Innovation Management at the Judge Business School and is managing several research projects on the success factors for new hi tech business ventures.
He is another chemist by training and has experience in a number of major corporations, consultancy and university start-up and commercialisation of technology. Peter is also the principal inventor on six patents, Chairman of Podpoint the EV charging point company and is on the Board of three others: he has achieved two successful exits.
Malcolm HollowayFinance Director
Malcolm is a Chartered Accountant with over twenty five years’ experience in general practice with medium sized accountancy firms. He is currently Director at EFM, a specialist financial management services provider with locations across the country.
Malcolm has held several key roles over the course of his career, including Director of technology services in Bentley Jennison, Regional Finance Director at Tenon Group PLC and prior to its acquisition, Equity Partner in Jennings Johnson, the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants in the North East.
Dr Chris CatheyDirector
Christopher Cathey enjoyed a successful fifteen year career as a trader. He was employed by Goldman Sachs as an equity trader in London, New York and Frankfurt between 1993 and 2006. He then worked as a proprietary trader at Merrill Lynch Strategic Investments Group between 2006 and 2008. Since then Christopher has worked for The Institute of Trading and Portfolio Management as a trading mentor. Christopher holds a First class degree in Natural Sciences and PhD in Chemistry from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University.
Founder of Tiger Corporate Finance Ltd, a niche corporate finance house specialising in SME deal origination, negotiation and completion of risk capital investments, Roland works with and represents the High Net Worth Investors (HNWI's) who appraise and complete equity investments.
He previously worked for BP then as a VC and as a ‘Big 4’ corporate finance director. Roland is an active Fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute and is an FCA authorised person for corporate finance regulated activities.
Joining Rivers in June 2016 as a Director, Roland works with the Board of Directors to build private investor syndicates, source deals and stimulate Business Angel activity in the region.
Simon JohnsonHead of Debt Funds
After launching his own funding and consultancy business, Simon joined Rivers Capital Partners in June 2016 to work on several specialist debt projects and reinforce RCP’s overall debt offering into the future.
He has led on many debt based deals from current Finance for Business North East Funds attracting high levels of private finance into local companies as a result.
Simon is a Maths graduate joining Barclays plc from university where he specialised in Corporate Relationship Banking. He currently holds the Investment Management Certificate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals, the Institute of Directors Diploma in Company Direction and is an FCA Approved Person.
Simon joined NEL Fund Managers Limited in 2003. Until February 2016 he was responsible for the marketing and successful investment of the North East Growth Fund, the £26 million mezzanine debt fund within the JEREMIE programme. He has made single investments up to £750,000.
Simon has also performed as a Non-Executive Director.
Simon doesn’t have spare time but enjoys driving cars very fast surrounded by 200 cyclists, blowing hot air though a saxophone and growing potatoes.
Andrew JenkinsInvestment Consultant
After graduating from the University of Natal in South Africa and gaining a Higher Diploma in Taxation from Rand Afrikaans University, Andrew trained with the Rand Merchant Bank. Andrew was Head of Investments for the Americas with Ansbacher Private Bank, a Director for Barclays Wealth for three years and Head of Private Clients International at GAM. He has participated as an angel investor or financier for a number of companies, most recently; Home Buyers Bureau and Vzaar Ltd.
John O' BrienSenior Consultant
John started his career in business and enterprise in Cumbria and was the original Chief Executive of Business Link Cumbria from 1995 to 1998 in addition to serving on the Senior Management Team of Cumbria Training and Enterprise Council.
As well as having subsequently worked around the world on a range of projects related to SME development, John has worked extensively with Cumbrian businesses large and small from Sellafield and BAE Systems to sole traders.
Currently Chairman of the Cumbrian Chief Executives Forum, John is also an Honorary Entrepreneurial Fellow at Durham University Business School (where he previously led a highly successful UK and international consultancy team from 2002 to 2008) and has worked with Rivers Capital over the last two years on a range of new business and fund development activities.
Emma NealAccount Manager
Emma joined Rivers in October 2014, as Account Manager she oversees all marketing and key account management activity for the North East Angel Fund and the North East Microloan Fund.
A business graduate, prior to joining Rivers, Emma previously supported the Chief Marketing Officer for The Sparkle PR group in Monte-Carlo, France. With former roles in brand and events management she also plays a key role in business development for Rivers.
Dr Michael DickensFund Manager
Michael joined the Rivers Capital team in July 2011 progressing to Fund Manager for the North East Angel Fund via Trainee, Investment Executive and Investment Manager.
He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the North East Angel Fund with a supporting role to the Microloan Fund’s investment team. He is FCA Approved, No. MPD01131 and is a member of the Investment Committee for both Funds.
During his time at Rivers, Michael has been involved in about 100 corporate tractions worth £10m. As a corporate broker via Finance Tree, Rivers Capital’s parent company, Michael has aided 2 companies gain £2.2m from a large number of institutional investors.
Michael has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, supported by Cancer Research UK and has written and published four research papers. A keen athlete, Michael is an amateur Rugby player and coach at Wallsend Rugby Club.
Nikita BazkoFund Manager
Nikita joined the Rivers Capital team in July 2011. He is now the Fund Manager for the North East Microloan Fund with a supporting role to the North East Angel Fund’s investments and portfolio companies. He is also a member of the Investment Committee for both Funds.
During his time with Rivers, Nikita has been involved with a broad range of investment and exit transactions and is currently a board observer with over 8 businesses.
Nikita is multi-lingual having worked in numerous other countries across Europe; he is fluent in Russian, Latvian and several other languages. He is also an active sportsman enjoying tennis, football and swimming outside of his Rivers Capital work.
He holds a BA in Business Management from Newcastle University and an IMC (Investment Management Certificate) authorised with the FCA, No. NXB01617.
Karen BestryPortfolio Manager
Karen joined the Rivers Capital team in October 2014 as Portfolio Manager for the North East Microloan Fund. She has been part of the Microloan Fund since its inception in June 2011, which currently covers over 400 loans in excess of £5m.
She previously worked for Entrust where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of the loan portfolio in excess of £10m. During her time at Entrust she also managed the Street North East portfolio