Board of Directors

Stephen Paine (1984, Law)
Chairman, Downing Enterprise
Co-head UK Investment Banking and Global Head of Infrastructure, Deutsche 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 moved to Deutsche Bank in 2016. 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 and utilities corporate finance sector team at Deutsche Bank. He is Chairman of the CBI Infrastructure Board.

Parsa Akbari (2016, PhD Statistical Genetics)
COO, Downing Enterprise

Parsa Akbari is a PhD student in Statistical Genetics currently at Downing College, Parsa has both academic and commercial experience in the application of statistical analysis to generate commercial and scientific value. In the past Parsa has worked for UCB Biopharma to develop Machine Learning algorithms predicting the side effects of drug compounds, and has worked as a consultant role with organisations based in Beijing, New York and Los Angeles providing training and advice in the implementation of statistical models. Parsa co-founded an online technology platform allowing the open source online generation of content by users which was sold in 2013. Parsa contributes to Downing Enterprise with his strong links to the entrepreneurial community in Cambridge including as president of the Cambridge Data Society, connection to the Judge Business School via the Accelerate programme, and previous role as Information Officer of the Cambridge Technology and Enterprise Society.

Robert Markwick (1979, History)
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.

David Wormsley (1980)
Chair of UK Banking, Citigroup

David Wormsley is Chair of UK Banking at Citigroup with experience in various aspects of finance including public and private equity fundraising, initial public offerings (IPOs), mergers and acquisitions, and debt financing.

David sits on the boards of the Museum of London and the European advisory Board of Cushman and Wakefield and advised many private equity houses, government bodies and UK and overseas public and private corporates, including abroad range of FTSE 100 companies.

Eric Coutts (1980, Law)
Chief Executive, Edmond de Rothschild UK

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)
Partner, 24Haymarket

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.

Nick Evans (1986)
Partner, Active Partners

Nick is a partner at Active Partners and currently holds Non-Executive Director positions at Context, Finisterre, Honest Burgers, The Fold, TravelLocal, and Lean Restaurants where he was previously Chairman between 2008 and 2016. Nick is currently the Chairman of Rapha Racing and led the sale of Evans Cycle as Chairman in 2007.

Prior to joining Active Partners, Nick was CEO of MW Group in London and the UK Managing Partner for Mistka NV where he led investments in Brantano UK, AS Adventure and Cotswold Outdoor and Partner at Net Fund Europe, a £70m private equity fund established by Mitiska

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.

Professor Bill O’Neil
Professor of Laser Engineering

Bill has written over 170 research publications and scientific papers on the subject of laser-matter interactions, optical engineering, laser based manufacturing technologies, and micro/nano fabrication techniques. He is a member of the international advisory panel of the National Laser Centre of South Africa, a Director of the Laser Institute of America, and advises industry on a number of laser based manufacturing technologies.

Mervyn Parry (1969)

Now retired, Mervyn was a partner at Allen and Overy for 23 years until May 2008 when he became a consultant. He specialised initially in tax and pensions law, also developing a specialism in employee incentives/share schemes, but then specialised only in pensions law. He sat on the Legislation Committee of the Society of Pensions Consultants for many years.

Carl Sheldon (1978)
Founding Partner, Bellnote Partners LLC

Carl is a founding partner of the investment firm Bellnote Partners LLC. Prior to joining Bellnote, from 2008 -2014, Carl was CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), and before that was Managing Partner of Allen & Overy LLP’s Frankfurt and New York offices during his 25 years with the firm. He is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England & Wales as well as an attorney in the State of New York.

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.


Adrian Rainey
Head of UK Corporate Technology, Taylor Wessing

Adrian is head of the UK Corporate Technology group at Taylor Wessing and specialises in venture capital and M&A transactions in IP rich industries such as software, financial technology, digital media, life sciences and medical devices. Adrian is well-known for the commercial and pragmatic support he provides to companies and investors from start-up through to exit.

Michael Downing (1988, Natural Sciences)
Partner and Founder, Downing IP

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. In 2012 Michael founded Downing IP an independent firm of patent attorneys.

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.

Pierre Morgan-Davies
Partner, Templar Advisors

Pierre is a partner of Templar Advisors and has been in the communications business for 19 years. He regularly works on a variety of projects including new business pitches, equity offerings and major conference speeches, as well as conducting individual training and group seminars. He has worked extensively with equity research, equity sales, fund managers, and portfolio managers on their persuasive communication skills. He also works on numerous Initial Public Offerings and trade sales preparing management for the pitch.

Previously he worked in Paris as a broker for Bacot, Alain, subsequently Warburg (UBS). He also worked in Angola with the United Nations, was an officer in the infantry and spent 2 years in the Ministry of Defence as personal advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff. He has a degree in Politics & International Relations and was qualified by the SFA as a registered representative. He speaks French, Spanish and Swahili. Pierre also lectures at the London Business School.