Advisory Board

Rupert Ashe ACA

Rupert qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte's before working in their corporate finance department, helping raise funding for SME's.

He entered the communications industry in the mid-1980s and developed Focus Communications, a financial public relations and investor relations consultancy.

Rupert led a management buy-out in 1996 of the remaining equity and subsequently sold the business to GCI, the PR arm of Grey Global Group in 1998. Rupert then established a global financial practice, GCI Financial, which he led until stepping down in 2001.

A former business partner of Mark Madsen , Rupert has worked over a hundred M&A transactions and flotations in his career, involving private and public companies. Since 2001, he has focused on strategic and mergers & aquisitions advice for creative service businesses and more recently through D5 Capital he raises capital for exciting growth companies and advises companies on refinancings and trade sales.

Rupert Howell

Currently with Trinity Mirror plc, Rupert started in advertising at the Ogilvy Group in 1979 and after spells at Grey and Young & Rubicam, founded his own agency Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury in 1987. It was sold 10 years later to Chime Communications plc and was voted Agency of the Decade in 2000. Rupert became CEO of Chime and helped build it into the UK's largest independent communications group. In 2003 he left to join the world's largest advertising agency McCann Erickson as President EMEA and Chairman UK & Ireland Group. In 2007 he moved to ITV as Managing Director Brand and Commercial, with a seat on the plc Board.

In June 2013 he joined Trinity Mirror plc as Chairman of Sunday Brands Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trinity Mirror plc, with responsibility for The Sunday People, The Sunday Mail (Scotland), Wales on Sunday, The Sunday Sun (Newcastle) and The Sunday Mercury (Birmingham).

In addition, Rupert Howell was appointed Group Transformation Director reporting to the Chief Executive. In this role Rupert works with the team on implementing and accelerating the Company’s strategic transformation plan.

Rupert is a former President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, a Trustee of The Media Trust and non-executive Chairman of the Billington Cartmell Group.

Nigel Clarke

Nigel has been a leading figure in the world of government relations and public affairs for over 20 Years.

He joined GJW, the UK’s foremost government relations firm, in 1985, becoming one of the three principle partners. In 1991 he set up its Eastern European businesses, providing advice initially to inward investors dealing with the huge changes needed to transform command and control economies to free markets.

GJW turnover grew from £750,000 in 1985 to £5.5m by the time of its sale in May 2000. Nigel subsequently became Managing Director of the newly formed Weber Shandwick/GJW, before leaving to set up Learned Lion Partners in September 2003.

He has very wide experience of public affairs issues and campaigns, having worked with clients in many sectors, in Europe, North America and the Far East. He has particular expertise in financial, competition and healthcare issues.

In 2003 he set up Learned Lion Partners to invest in and guide businesses whose activities are based in scientific advance and subject to strong regulatory regimes.