Because we invest your hard-earned money, we think it’s important you know exactly who you’re trusting to do it. We have experts who specialise in all of the areas in which we invest, as well as decades of financial sector experience.

Find out more about some of our team here.

Ben Prior

Ben Prior

CEO
Will Brocklebank

Will Brocklebank

Managing Director
Kim Hawkins

Kim Hawkins

General Counsel
Jo Thomas

Jo Thomas

Head of People and Process
John Hartless

John Hartless

Head of Finance
Alex Valente Petri

Alex Valente Petri

Investment Manager
Laurence Blair

Laurence Blair

Investment Manager
Gary Hankinson

Gary Hankinson

Environmental Manager
Rebecca Bullas

Rebecca Bullas

Investor Relations
Jenni Howard

Jenni Howard

Client Services Manager
Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson

Client Services Specialist
Stan Mabika

Stan Mabika

Compliance Officer

Ben Prior

CEO

Ben is the founder of Earthworm. He has spent over 18 years in the tax-efficient space and raised over £600m for a variety of industry-leading managers. From Noble & Company in 2001 to Brewin Dolphin and co-founding RAM Capital Partners in 2007 (now one of the most successful independent fundraisers of tax-efficient products in the UK), Ben spent the best part of two decades building up his knowledge and expertise. Along the way he crystallised a vision for something a little different which became Earthworm in 2010. Earthworm began by developing a composting facility in Daventry, Northamptonshire. Ben developed the facility from idea to operation – capitalising a £2m single EIS company in order to build and run a facility that, when completed, processed 30,000 tonnes of organic waste per annum. Ben took this through to investor exit at £1.15 per share. From there, he has built a fund management business with £110m under management and an experienced team across a broad range of environmental disciplines.

Will Brocklebank

Managing Director

Will is a serial entrepreneur who has 20 years’ experience of raising and investing capital. Most recently Will founded Shepherd, which uses data to provide risk analytics to improve the efficiency and performance of built environment assets. In the past Will has been an investment manager for specialist US equities firm, Findlay Park, and has raised capital from leading VCs and angel investors. He has been an expert speaker at Smart Buildings, Insurance Tech and Automation conferences and has been a Board Director, Governance Committee member and specialist adviser to two major global trade bodies. He is an alumnus of the Goldman Sachs 10kSB programme and Edinburgh University. As Managing Director, Will is instrumental is the strategic direction of the Earthworm community, facilitating collaboration between investee companies and strengthening the business practices throughout the network.

Kim Hawkins

General Counsel

Kim has been in practice for over 15 years and joins Earthworm as General Counsel. He was previously a panel adviser to Earthworm for 18 months when a partner at Shakespeare Martineau LLP, a top 50 UK-ranked law firm and tier 1 ranked EIS/VCT specialist in the Legal 500. Kim focuses on complex private equity and corporate finance transactions, with a particular emphasis on those VC transactions having an EIS or VCT thread. Panel clients Kim has acted for over a number of years include Foresight Group, Octopus Investments and Triple Point. Kim’s practice has also included acting for international private operators in the renewable energy sector. For example, Kim acted for each of Hanwha Q Cells and Shunfeng Investments on its divestment of its entire UK operational solar portfolio to NextEnergy Solar Fund and Blackrock respectively. Kim also undertakes more mainstream M&A work in the small-mid market tier space, the most recent transaction being lead for the management team that bought NP Aerospace from Morgan Advanced Materials. He advises on more generic corporate transactions and until recently acted for one of the UK's largest independent supplier of exotic and conventional fresh fruit, vegetables and salad to supermarkets.

Jo Thomas

Head of People and Process

Jo is responsible for building and sustaining Earthworm's culture and investment in people, learning and systems to achieve its vision. A self-employed consultant with more than 20 years’ experience across a range of industries, Jo has decided to join Earthworm as a permanent member of its management team after supporting the company through a significant transformation. Jo loves the continuous challenges presented by today's volatile business environment and is a huge fan of customising and combining traditional and creative management techniques to achieve a company's goals and objectives – she believes that continued investment in people and processes can only lead to strong performance.

John Hartless

Head of Finance

John’s previous role was in the Investments team of the public services company Amey, which is responsible for the management of joint ventures on behalf of external investors. He provided an end-to-end finance service for JV entities for projects in the built environment – including the waste treatment space – funded through project finance. He has a solid grounding in budgeting and forecasting, cash management, financial modelling, statutory reporting, investor relations and covenants compliance. John is also an avid follower of disruptive technologies and emerging technological trends – particularly the role of technology in tackling the existential challenges facing the environment. He aims to contribute to Earthworm’s success by overseeing robust yet agile financial processes and procedures.

Alex Valente Petri

Investment Manager

Alex is highly experienced in developing complex projects and strategies in different segments (energy, infrastructure, technology) and organisation types (EIS/SEIS funds, multinational firms, start-ups). He was previously at RLC Ventures, as an Investment Manager and has a strong background in project management and financial modelling. Alex has a master’s degree in Project Management and Strategic Business Planning as well as an MBA with a specialist module in investment management.

Laurence Blair

Investment Manager

Laurence has a master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh. Over the past 10 years he has been responsible for designing, constructing and managing renewable energy projects in Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to joining Earthworm, Laurence led a team at Sycamore Planning to develop facilities for the UK waste and energy sector. He successfully acquired a Contracts for Difference subsidy for a dedicated biomass facility with CHP in the UK. At Earthworm, Laurence identifies investment opportunities which meet our strategic objectives. He analyses markets and the technical capability of target businesses. His role involves tracking the investment lifecycle from evaluation and performance monitoring through to next phase growth.

Gary Hankinson

Environmental Manager

Gary is a Chartered Waste Manager with 19 years’ experience in environmental regulation, compliance and protection. He manages the process for developing and securing Environmental Permits – liaising between clients, environmental consultants and the Environment Agency. He provides support, advice and training to ensure executive boards and their operational teams understand their regulatory responsibilities. Prior to joining the Earthworm Community, Gary worked for the Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water and Aggregate Industries. He has operated as both an Environmental Regulator and as a company expert to help businesses maintain compliance with environmental legislation. He has an extensive knowledge of how regulations apply to operational situations, ensuring that clients receive the most appropriate authorisation.

Rebecca Bullas

Investor Relations

Following the completion of a Masters degree in History from the University of St Andrews, Rebecca worked in London initially in PR for one of the UK's biggest manufacturers of household products, moving to a global management consultancy where she honed her organisational skills. Rebecca has been a main point of contact with Earthworm's investors since 2016. She is here to help with any information on the investment product range and investor process.

Jenni Howard

Client Services Manager

Jenni leads the client services team and has over 14 years' experience dealing with investors, advisers and clients. Her most recent role was for 4+ years at a venture capital firm, and prior to that she worked in high net worth banking and retail customer service. She ensures she always puts the customer at the heart of everything she does and represents the 'voice' of the customer within the firm.

Michael Thompson

Client Services Specialist

Michael works in the client services team. Before joining us he spent the best part of a decade working for HSBC and Barclays in their premier banking teams, where he developed his passion for delivering the best service possible. Michael moved away from the finance industry to manage two extra care schemes which provided support to vulnerable adults enabling them to live independently in their communities. His most recent role was at a venture capital firm where he was responsible for providing support to both investors and advisers. If you have any queries, Michael will do his best to answer them.

Stan Mabika

Compliance Officer

Stan has over 10 years’ experience in the investment industry within fund administration, asset management and advisory. He has worked in investment operations, due diligence and compliance. Before joining Earthworm, he was Chief Compliance and Risk Officer at Coppin Collings, a start-up specialising in private equity funds. Stan is working towards an MBA with Bradford University, taking electives in M&A and International Business Strategy.
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