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The Growth Agenda

Channelling capital and confidence so our public companies can thrive

Annual Conference 2024

June 6, London

Sponsored by:

Media Partner:

The Growth Agenda is everyone’s agenda.

Our Annual Conference this year goes in search of sources of funding for tomorrow’s blue chips, identifies what high-potential companies must do to thrive on the public markets, and asks what more support we should expect from key regulators.



08:00 – 09:00 Registration & Breakfast


James Ashton, Chief Executive, Quoted Companies Alliance


Lord Dominic Johnson CBE, Minister of State for Investment and Regulatory Reform

Why smaller stocks are suffering most – and how to fix the problem 

William Wright, Managing Director, New Financial


The Search for Growth Capital: who will fund the blue chips of tomorrow today – and in public, not just private?

Chair: Sarah Gordon, Visiting Professor in Practice, London School of Economics

Irene Graham OBE,  Founder & CEO, ScaleUp Institute

Panellists to be announced

The Founder’s Tale: after the IPO, where next?

Tom Ilube, Chief Executive Officer, Crossword Cybersecurity

10:40 – 11:00 Coffee Break & Networking


Culture, talent, strategy, profit: what must high-growth companies do to thrive on
the public markets? 

Chair: Charlie Conchie, Chief City Reporter, City AM

Poppy Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer, Darktrace

Devyani Vaishampayan, Non-Executive Director, Norman Broadbent
Damindu Jayaweera, Head of Technology Research, Peel Hunt

Ray Anderson, Executive Chair, Bango


Julia Hoggett, Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange


Faster, clearer, fairer: what more can our key regulators do to support capital
markets for companies of all sizes?

Chair: Lucy McNulty, Podcaster, Following the Rules

Clare Cole, Director of Market Oversight, Financial Conduct Authority
Linda Main, Non-Executive Director, Quoted Companies Alliance
Mark Austin, Corporate Partner, Latham & Watkins
Baroness Sharon Bowles, Member of the House of Lords

13:15 – 14:30 Networking Lunch & Close


To expert speakers from the FCA, thinktank New Financial and the House of Lords.


To the conversation by quizzing panellists and media commentators.


Over breakfast and lunch, make new contacts and share ideas.


Take a look at our speaker line up below – with more guests to be announced soon!

Minister of State for Investment and Regulatory Reform

Lord Dominic Johnson CBE

Lord Dominic Johnson of Lainston CBE was appointed Minister of State in the
Department for Business and Trade on 7 February 2023. He was previously Minister of State (Minister for Investment) in the Department for International Trade between 24 November 2022 and 7 February 2023. He was Minister of State jointly in the Department for International Trade and the Cabinet Office between 2 October 2022 and 28 October 2022.
He has spent over 25 years in financial services, beginning his career at Robert Fleming in 1995, before moving to Hong Kong to work for Jardine Fleming and then in 2002, after a series of dot com startups, heading the marketing for Lloyd George Asset Management – an emerging markets specialist firm. In 2007 he co-founded Somerset Capital Management LLP as an employee-owned democratic partnership, focussing on pension fund management in developing countries. Between 9 November 2020 and 2 October 2022 Dominic was a non-executive board member of the Department for International Trade. He was Chair of the department’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. Between 2017 and 2019 he was vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.

New Financial

William Wright

William Wright is the Founder and Managing Director of New Financial, a capital markets thinktank and forum with a vision to advocate for the pivotal role of capital markets in driving prosperity. With a background as a writer and commentator on investment banking and financial markets, he played a crucial role in establishing Financial News as a leading publication for the asset management and investment banking industries, serving as its Editor from 2004 to 2011.

A seasoned speaker and moderator, William frequently shares his insights at conferences and private events, as well as on TV and radio news programmes. Educated at Oxford and London universities, as well as INSEAD, William’s international experience spans across the UK, France, Germany, and Hungary. Through New Financial, William continues to champion the need for Europe to embrace larger and more robust capital markets, presenting significant opportunities for industry innovation and evolution.

LSE Visiting Professor in Practice

Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon is a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on climate and the environment, spearheading research on mobilising private capital for environmental and socioeconomic priorities. Previously, she served as the founding Chief Executive of the Impact Investing Institute, aimed at reforming capital markets for societal and environmental benefit. With 18 years at the Financial Times, including a tenure as Business Editor and corporate coverage during the 2008-12 financial crisis, Sarah brings extensive experience in journalism. Prior to that, she held roles in fund management and at the UN Conference for Trade and Development. Sarah also holds non-executive positions at Social Finance, advises Big Society Capital and the Big Issue Group, and contributes as a speaker for various esteemed organisations, advocating for impactful change.

ScaleUp Institute

Irene Graham OBE

Irene is the founding CEO and a board director of the ScaleUp Institute, a private
sector, not-for-profit company focused on making the UK the best place in the world
to scale up a business.

She is a former senior banker at Standard Chartered where she held both European
and global managing director roles. She set up, ran and scaled several of the bank’s
key client and product businesses across its corporate and institutional bank and led
several global M&A activities. Working internationally across Europe, the Americas,
Middle East and Asia, living in Singapore for a period of time.
During the height of the financial crisis was seconded to work across the banking
industry where she led the Business Finance Taskforce and Better Business Finance
which was responsible for, amongst other initiatives, the founding of the Business
Growth Fund, SME Finance Monitor, and leading on developments in Open Banking,
and the Small Business Act.

She is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University and holds a
variety of non executive director and advisory roles across the creative, business
and finance communities.This has included participating in the Fintech Strategy
review; the Life Sciences Scaleup Taskforce; Creative Industry Councils and sitting
on Canada’s National Research Industrial Advisory Council.

Crossword Cybersecurity

Tom Ilube

Tom Ilube CBE is a technology entrepreneur and educational philanthropist. He is Chair of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), CEO of London based Crossword Cybersecurity plc and a Non Executive Director of FTSE100 company WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising group. Previously he was on the Board of the BBC. His career has included Goldman Sachs, PwC and the London Stock Exchange. Tom is an Honorary Fellow of both Jesus College, Oxford and St Anne’s College, Oxford and was appointed a CBE in 2018 for services to Technology and Philanthropy.

Peel Hunt

Damindu Jayaweera

Damindu leads of one of UK’s best technology investment research franchises at Peel Hunt, and has been following UK and European technology companies for 17 years, including a decade at Jefferies in Paris and London. He has worked with fast-growing companies in areas such as SaaS, DX services, semis, fintech, etc, and has helped with IPOs (Worldpay, Boku, etc) and cross-border M&A. Damindu serves on several technology boards, including HR SaaS company MiHCM which he co-founded. He has represented Sri Lanka in international programming competitions and has a degree in physics from Imperial College and an MBA from ESLSCA. He uses his strong technical knowledge and extensive board-level experience to provide insight to a global investor audience and is the trusted expert on UK listed technology companies for institutional investors.

City AM

Charlie Conchie

Charlie Conchie is the Chief City reporter at City AM where he covers the policy, regulation and deals shaping the UK’s financial services sector. He has a particular focus on efforts to reform the UK’s capital markets and hosts City A.M.’s Bonds & Ballots, which explores the interaction between Westminster and the City. He was previously investment editor where he led the paper’s coverage of venture capital and UK fintech.


Poppy Gustafsson

Poppy Gustafsson is the CEO and co-founder of Darktrace plc. She played a key role in establishing the company in 2013, bringing AI-powered cybersecurity solutions to market. Under her leadership, Darktrace has achieved significant growth and global expansion, listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2021. Today, Darktrace is a leading technology business in the UK, protecting over 9,000 customers in 110 countries and employing over 2,300 colleagues worldwide. Poppy, along with co-founder Jack Stockdale, was awarded an OBE for services to cybersecurity in 2019 and named Tech CEO of the Year at the UK Tech Awards 2021. She is also a member of the University of Cambridge Library Advisory Board and serves on the advisory committee for the UK Government’s Great Campaign. Poppy, a chartered accountant with a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Sheffield, received an honorary Doctor of Science degree in 2022 for her outstanding achievements in Cyber Security.

Norman Broadbent

Devyani Vaishampayan

Devyani is Remco Chair & NED at Norman Broadbent Plc and Independent NED on the Audit Board of Mazars. She is a ‘Fellow’ at Chapter Zero and a ‘Board Mentor’ with Critical eye.

Over the last six years, Devyani has been a successful AI entrepreneur. She has recently concluded the successful exit of her AI Innovation Hub advising corporates on digital adoption of AI solutions around leadership, culture, and the future of work.

Prior to this, over a 30 year period, Devyani was an international and multi-sector FTSE 30 Group CHRO leading large, diverse, and multi- billion complex organizations through transformational change. She has done global roles in successful organizations across various industries such as British Gas, Rolls Royce, Citibank, AT&T and BSI. Having lived and worked in China, Singapore, and Europe (and managed teams in the Americas Asia & Middle East) she is very international in her outlook.

Devyani is considered a thought leader around Sustainability, Board Governance, Inclusive Leadership, Digitization of the Workforce and is a well-known speaker at business events.

She has received several international accolades:

2021 – Top 100 Digital Influencer around the Future of Work

2020 – Finalist, Asian Woman of Achievement, Technology & Digital

2017- Financial Times Ethnic Leaders List

London Stock Exchange plc

Julia Hoggett

Julia Hoggett joined the London Stock Exchange plc as CEO in April 2021. Previously, Julia was at the Financial Conduct Authority as Director of Market Oversight, overseeing the conduct of market participants. Prior to this, she was a Managing Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, running various fixed income origination businesses in EMEA. Julia was previously a Board Member and CEO of DEPFA ACS BANK in Ireland. She began her career at JPMorgan. Julia holds a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and undertook a research scholarship at Kings College, Cambridge University on public policy in East Africa.

Julia was included in Financial News’ 100 Most Influential Women in Europe’s Financial Markets (2010, 2011, 2012, 2021 and 2022). Julia was number 2 on the OUTstanding Top 100 list in 2022 and on its predecessor lists in 2014 and 2013 and also named in the DIVA Power List in 2022.

Following the Rules Podcast

Lucy McNulty

Lucy McNulty is the founder and editor of Following the Rules, a top-rated podcast about wholesale financial services featuring interviews with the most influential personalities shaping and responding to UK and EU policy and regulation.

An award-winning senior journalist, Lucy was previously City editor at Dow Jones. Her career also includes stints as the publication’s financial regulation and Brexit editor and as managing editor and Asia editor for Euromoney’s International Financial Law Review. Her work has appeared in publications including City A.M., The Times, The Sunday Times, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. She has been named as State Street’s Financial Regulation Journalist of the Year and shortlisted as Headlinemoney’s B2B Journalist of the Year.

Member of the House of Lords

Baroness Bowles

Sharon Bowles, Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted – is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and a non-executive director of the London Stock Exchange Plc and Valloop Holdings Limited (a social impact Fintech). A physicist and mathematician, she professionally qualified as a patent attorney, establishing her own firm in 1981 and building a partnership which became internationally renowned in the field of electronics, computer architecture and semiconductor fabrication. In 2005 she became a member of the European Parliament and a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, which she then chaired from 2009 – 2014. In that role she chaired the Parliament- Council – Commission negotiations on all the post financial crisis legislative reforms and was named as the most influential Briton on European policy. Retiring in 2014, she was elevated to the House of Lords in 2015 where she mainly focuses on business and financial services legislation and has served on the Economic Affairs Committee, Industry and Regulators committee, Fraud Act review committee and currently on the new Financial Services Regulation Committee.

Quoted Companies Alliance

Linda Main

Linda Main is an experienced Non-Executive Director and Committee Chair with a strong background in corporate governance and risk across various industries. With a career spanning over three decades, Linda has navigated complex business changes and transformations, providing valuable insights and analytical challenges in the boardroom. As a former Equity Partner at KPMG LLP, Linda led the Equity Capital Markets Advisory Group, advising companies on IPOs and equity fundraising. She has extensive experience in financial reporting and capital market transactions, supporting businesses from listed companies to start-ups. Linda’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion is evident through her advocacy and leadership in high-profile initiatives. She has served on various boards, including KPMG LLP and Carers Trust, where she chaired committees and provided guidance during challenging periods.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Mark Austin CBE

Mark Austin CBE currently holds the position of Partner at Latham & Watkins, where he advises clients on a full range of public and private securities offerings as well as M&A and general corporate matters across multiple sectors. With a wealth of experience, Mark has played pivotal roles in numerous IPOs, rights issues, placings, and mergers and acquisitions across multiple sectors. He is recognised as a member and former Chair of the Listing Authority Advisory Panel, offering valuable insights to the UK Financial Conduct Authority on primary markets policy and regulation. Mark’s influence extends to the Capital Markets Industry Taskforce and HM Treasury’s Digitisation Taskforce, where he contributes to reforming the UK’s capital markets. His notable appointments include serving as the independent chair of the UK Secondary Capital Raising Review and advising Lord Hill on the UK Listing Review. Mark’s outstanding contributions to the economy earned him a CBE in the King’s 2024 New Year Honours List.

Financial Conduct Authority

Clare Cole

Clare currently leads the Market Oversight Directorate at the FCA. The Directorate is responsible for overseeing the conduct of participants in the primary and secondary markets through the listing, prospectus and market abuse regimes. The mission of the Directorate is to promote the conduct that supports trusted, orderly and efficient primary and secondary markets in the UK which work in the interests of all participants and stakeholders.

Prior to this Clare led the Primary Market Oversight Department, a department within the Market Oversight Directorate, focused on ensuring trusted and orderly primary markets in the UK, through the specialist supervision of Sponsor firms and Primary Information Providers, and the live and post-event market monitoring of issuers’ and other market participants disclosures to the market. Clare has worked in a variety of roles within the FCA, all focused on Securities Regulation, including as Head of Department for the UK Listing Authority. She has also represented the department on many cross FCA work streams and projects and has extensive experience of business change.

Clare is a strong supporter of the FCA’s D&I agenda. She currently sits on the Executive Diversity Committee and is very proactive at supporting D&I across the entire organisation.


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The Growth Agenda

Channelling capital and confidence so our public companies can thrive

Annual Conference 2024

June 6, London

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