about us:

We are a team of innovative thinkers who have a passion for making a difference.

The management team have significant experience in setting up companies and organisations including social enterprises, investing and corporate governance. All the team have known and worked with each other before. They provide a well balanced group of individuals who are committed to delivering success for the investors and the life chances of children in the poorest communities in the country.

Lucy Armstrong

Lucy Armstrong – Chair

Lucy is chief executive of The Alchemists, which works with high growth mid-corporate businesses to accelerate their development and success by focussing on shareholder and management development and succession. Her early career was in private equity, corporate development and headhunting with 3i plc, Courtaulds Textiles and Tyzack. She is chair of an angel investment network, along with being a deputy chair of a national qualification business, NCFE, and trustee of a social enterprise investment fund She was chair of the CBI’s national Small Business Forum from 2010 to 2013 and Capital for Enterprise, managing £4Bn of public money. Lucy is chair of the independent Professional Standards Council, which oversees the Asset Based Finance Association and the national Enterprise Research Centre, focused on the study of growth in private and family businesses. She is a former chair of Northumbria University.


Jon Penfold

Jon Penfold – Director

Jon is an economics graduate from Liverpool University and trained as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst and Young. He has worked for Charterhouse, 3i and RBS where he was head of the equity arm of the turnaround department of the bank for 9 years. He also successfully ran a private equity fund for the bank as Managing Director Total Capital Finance. Since leaving RBS Jon has helped the Government redesign a benefit being delivered through the DWP and worked for Big Society Capital (BSC) where he was the Senior Investment Director of the investment team.


Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy – Director

Tom is a career banker, having worked at RBS for 37 years. Tom is a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. At RBS he held a number of roles including both Chief Operating Officer and Head of Specialised Lending Services, the bank’s turnaround department. He was also seconded to the Panel of Takeovers and Mergers and Executive Assistant at the Deputy Group Chief Executive’s Office. Tom is a Trustee of Pure Clean Planet Trust and also a Trustee of Pure Leapfrog, the leading provider of social investment and professional support to community energy projects in the UK.



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