The Institutional Funds team and key employees

Building a business like Octopus takes a lot of people. Today Octopus Group is home to over 2300 employees, including more than 125 investment professionals across several alternative investment businesses.

Our Institutional Funds team work closely with institutional investors across the Octopus Group. They will be your first port of call if you’d like to find out more about our institutional investment capabilities. We manage money for over 50 institutional investors and profiles of these key employees are also detailed below.

Jonathan Digges

Jonathan Digges

Chief Investment Officer
Jonathan oversees the investment strategy of the fund management businesses which form the Octopus fund management group which manages more than £10 billion of retail and institutional money. Octopus Investments is a multi-strategy alternatives manager, helping investors to generate long-term income and capital growth by investing in sustainable infrastructure and real estate, to back some of Europe’s fastest-growing, most disruptive businesses and to solve some of society’s greatest challenges.
He joined Octopus in February 2015 as Product Head for Octopus Inheritance Tax Service. Before joining Octopus, Jonathan ran a team at Lloyds that looked after the bank’s non-core equity portfolio. He also undertook stints at BNP Paribas, Robert Fleming and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Jonathan is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has an MA in Geography from the University of Oxford.
 Chris Hulatt

Chris Hulatt

Founder Octopus Group
Chris co-founded Octopus in 2000 from the front room of his London flat. Today, Chris is an award-winning entrepreneur whose role is to develop Octopus relationships with institutional investors around the world. He is responsible for the Group’s expansion into new areas and he also sits on the investment committee of several Octopus funds.

Chris spends his time championing British entrepreneurialism and promoting policy ideas to drive business growth, by meeting UK business leaders and stakeholders such as MPs and government ministers.

Before founding Octopus, Chris led one of the global equity research teams at Mercury Asset Management. He has a first class MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mark Williams

Mark Williams

Head of Institutional Funds Distribution
Mark is responsible for leading Octopus’ institutional fundraising and developing its relationships with global institutional investors. He manages the Institutional Funds Team and works across all geographies and all investor types. Starting at Octopus in 2011, Mark has been a partner at Octopus Wealth and worked with retail investors including sitting on the Octopus Investments Retail Management Committee.

Mark spent the early part of his career in Private Client roles with HSBC Private Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mark is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has a degree from Warwick Business School.

Kevin Beirne

Kevin Beirne

Retirement Director, Octopus Real Estate
Kevin joined Octopus in 2018 and he is a member of the Octopus Real Estate Investment Committee and is responsible for both deploying and raising funds. Kevin leads the Schroders/Octopus Retirement Living Fund team and also works with senior debt providers in sourcing senior development debt.

Since receiving a Masters from Oxford Brookes School of the Built Environment, Kevin has clocked up over 25 years in the real estate development and healthcare sector. He was one of the founders of ARCO and has served as an advisory board member for the Homes and Communities Agency (Homes England) and spent five years on the National Housing Federations development committee.
Jason Bermont-Penn

Jason Bermont-Penn

Institutional Funds Distribution Manager
Jason is responsible for capital raising and investor relations for Octopus in the UK and Europe. Jason joined Octopus in April 2017, originally fundraising through financial advisors and wealth managers before moving to cover institutional clients.

Prior to that, he spent 4 years running his own retail start-up and was previously covering hedge funds and institutional investors as an equity sales-trader at UBS.

Jason obtained a 1st class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCL and is a qualified financial adviser (DipFS).
Alex​ Brierley​

Alex​ Brierley​

Co-head of Octopus Renewables
Alex joined Octopus in 2015 as the Co-head of Octopus Renewables to help develop our energy strategy, originate and structure investments in new areas and to widen our investor relationships. Alex manages Octopus Renewable’s private institutional funds which serve a number of large pension and insurance company investors.

Prior to joining Octopus, Alex was Director in the Energy and Environmental Infrastructure team at EY LLP where he provided a wide range of corporate and project finance services to leading players in the Renewable Energy industry. Alex is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, qualifying in 2003.
Penny Chedzey

Penny Chedzey

Institutional Funds Analyst
Penny joined the Institutional Funds Team in July 2017 and is responsible for campaign management; CRM system implementation, investor onboarding and conference and travel scheduling as Octopus Investments raises its global profile with institutional investors.

Penny joined the team having worked at Octopus for more than eight years. She was instrumental in planning, designing and project managing the Octopus Investments office move from Old Bailey to 33 Holborn.
Alliott Cole

Alliott Cole

Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures
Alliott joined Octopus Ventures in 2008 and became CEO in 2017. Over this time the team has backed more than 120 entrepreneurs and has grown to become one of Europe’s largest and most active venture investors. Under his leadership, the Octopus Ventures investment team has evolved to specialise in health, fintech, deep tech, B2B software and consumer and created a market leading portfolio talent function across Europe and the US.

Alliott worked closely with the food e-commerce business Graze (acquired by Unilever), the ecommerce platform Rangespan (acquired by Google), the machine learning tech startup Magic Pony (acquired by Twitter), the pet food company Tails.com (acquired by Nestle) and the property portal website Zoopla (that listed on LSE and was later acquired by SilverLake).
Kirsten Connell

Kirsten Connell

Principal, First Cheque Fund Manager
Kirsten joined Octopus Ventures in 2021 with a specific focus on our early-stage activities. She is Principal of our new First Cheque Fund.

Prior to joining Octopus Ventures, Kirsten ran CyLon, a deep tech accelerator programme investing and supporting over 60 startups. She was also part of the original Seedcamp team and part of the growth journey taking them from a portfolio of 30 startups to over 200.

Kirsten is an angel investor in some of the UK’s hottest cybersecurity startups inc. Tessian, Immersive Labs, Senseon, Cybersmart, Zamna, RiskLedger and eCora.
Richard Court

Richard Court

Octopus Apollo VCT Fund Manager
Richard joined Octopus Ventures in 2017 and focuses on investments in B2B Software companies. He is fund manager for the Octopus Apollo VCT and he also sits on a number of portfolio company boards.

Richard has been an investor in UK and international SMEs since 2006. He previously worked in TPG’s direct lending fund, at RJD Partners, a UK-focused Private Equity fund, and at Dresdner Kleinwort in the Principal Finance group. He qualified as a chartered accountant with PwC and holds a first class degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham.
Emma Davies

Emma Davies

Co-CEO of Octopus Ventures
Emma joined Octopus Ventures as joint CEO in 2021, bringing with her a wealth of experience, expertise and networks from a range of world class investment houses including J.P. Morgan, Perry Capital, Big Society Capital (where she was the Chief Investment Officer) and The Wellcome Trust.

Most recently she has spent 5 years as a partner at Marylebone Partners, building and leading their direct investing capability. She has an acute understanding of growing and managing teams whilst solving for investment returns, and has a particular interest in ESG/Impact considerations.
Emma has an MA from Oxford University and an MSc from LSE.
Benjamin  Davis

Benjamin Davis

CEO Octopus Real Estate
As CEO of Octopus Real Estate Benjamin chairs our Investment Committee and is a member of the Octopus Group Executive Committee. He has been part of the team since 2010.

Prior to joining Octopus, Benjamin was at YFM Group where he led numerous transactions and was a board representative for companies in sectors including technology, healthcare, retail and leisure. Before that, he was an associate director at investment bank Interregnum where he worked across the VC investment and corporate finance teams in the UK and USA.
Malcolm Ferguson

Malcolm Ferguson

Partner at Octopus Ventures
Malcolm joined Octopus Ventures in 2013 and splits his time between the assessment of new investment opportunities within the Fintech Team, primarily within the Fintech and Insurtech sectors, and ongoing portfolio management.

Malcolm is a Non-Executive Director of various portfolio companies including BoughtbyMany, By Miles, DeadHappy, Metrasens, Segura, Semafone and Sofar Sounds. Prior to joining Octopus, Malcolm spent a number of years in the investment banking industry, firstly within the TMT team of Bank America Merrill Lynch in London then at GP Bullhound, a leading boutique investment bank, focusing exclusively on technology businesses.
Angela Gyulveszy

Angela Gyulveszy

Institutional Funds Distribution Director
Angela is responsible for capital raising and institutional investor relations for Octopus Investment products.

Prior to joining Octopus she was at Pensions Infrastructure Platform (PiP), where she was Investor Relations director, responsible for establishing new institutional investor client relationships for fund and co-investments. Before PiP, Angela worked at AXA Real Assets and was responsible for business development for new investor markets and products.

She is a graduate of the Corvinus University Budapest and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.
Semi Kim

Semi Kim

Institutional Funds Distribution Director (Korea and Japan)
Semi is responsible for Korea and Japan Coverage for Octopus Investment on institutional fund distribution and investor relationship management.

In her previous role as an Inward Investment Manager at the UK Department for International Trade, Semi provided strategic advice to large UK infrastructure fund managers on distribution to large Korean institutional investors such as pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies.

Semi has a degree in English Linguistics and Literature from Sahmyook University in Korea and an MA in International Relations from University of Warwick.
Ludo Mackenzie

Ludo Mackenzie

Head of Commercial at Octopus Real Estate
Since joining Octopus in 2013, Ludo is now the manager of our commercial real estate debt funds I, II and III, and has built our commercial lending team. Under his tenure, Octopus Real Estate has become one of the UK’s most active non-bank specialist property investors, lending across residential bridging and buy-to-let, commercial bridging, term and the development sectors. Ludo also sits on our Management and Investment Committees.

Prior to joining Octopus, Ludo was a Partner at Melford Capital Partners LLP, UK Property Director at Janus Henderson Investors, and an Associate Director at JLL. He has an Estate Management degree at Oxford Brookes University.
Tancredi Micangeli

Tancredi Micangeli

Institutional Funds Distribution Director
Since joining Octopus in July 2020, Tancredi is responsible for building relationships with institutional investors across the Octopus Investments product range.

Tancredi has spent over ten years working in the hedge fund industry, initially as an investor for EIM Group and then heading business development for two start-up hedge funds, Ronit Capital and the Event-Driven Fund at TT International.

Tancredi has a BA (Hons) in Business and International Relations from London Metropolitan University.
Dr Pooja Sikka

Dr Pooja Sikka

Partner, Octopus Ventures
Pooja joined Octopus in 2020 as a co-founder and general partner of TenX Health. She continues practising as a GP and has over 16 years’ experience working across the healthcare sector with public and private bodies and NHS providers, leading multiple teams through high profile national and international projects and ventures.

Pooja’s diverse clinical, managerial and entrepreneurial background has put her at the forefront of the changing healthcare landscape in Europe and emerging economies. She is known in the NHS for her health tech expertise and most recently set up a national programme for the NAPC (National Association of Primary Care), to help NHS providers select and roll out health tech products and services. She serves as a council member and clinical advisor to NAPC and, as a founding member of the EY Ventures team, ran the health and social care investment portfolio.
Rob Skinner

Rob Skinner

Head of Alternative Investments
Rob joined Octopus in 2013 and he currently heads up the Alternative Investments team. One of his current projects is to oversee investments in new sectors such as digital fibre infrastructure. He also sits on the Octopus Investment and Valuation Committees.

Prior to joining Octopus, Rob was a director in the M&A team at RBS (formerly ABN AMRO) working across various sectors specialising in infrastructure. Rob has a degree in Mathematics from Warwick University.
Joe  Stringer

Joe Stringer

Partner, Octopus Ventures
Joe joined Octopus in 2020 as a co-founder and general partner of TenX Health. He has 25 years’ experience in healthcare, covering technology deployment and management consulting. He founded a number of successful businesses in the sector and subsequently five years of investing.

Prior to joining Octopus, he led Google Health in the UK, and the Ventures and Healthcare practices for EY in the UK. At EY, he was the global healthcare supply chain leader, ran a UK team of 120 healthcare specialists and founded and jointly led three technology businesses in the UK NHS. He has led some of the most significant and high profile transformation programmes – for example a four year / £14bn programme to transform the NHS supply chain.
Michael Toft

Michael Toft

Care Home Senior Fund Manager
Michael joined Octopus in 2021 and he leads the day-to-day activities of our Care Homes team and is fund manager of the Octopus Healthcare Fund. He has 20 years’ experience in real estate including managing institutional funds. Michael is a member of The Association of Real Estate Funds’ (AREF) ESG and Impact Investing Committee.

Prior to joining Octopus, Michael was at Lothbury Investment Management, where he spent over a decade as an Executive Director and Senior Fund Manager, managing institutional real estate funds, implementing a growth strategy and expanding the flagship fund by more than threefold. He has also worked at KBC Asset Management and Fuller Peiser, and has a degree in Land Economy from the University of Aberdeen.
Emma Whittingham

Emma Whittingham

Institutional Funds Distribution Manager (Family Offices)
Emma is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with family offices across Europe.

Prior to joining Octopus, Emma spent 10 years at Institutional Investor in London and New York. As Director of Investor Relations and Content she established and built relationships with single family offices, launching Institutional Investor’s private network of family offices in 2013.

Emma has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (Hons) from Liverpool John Moore’s University.

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