The Team

Matthew Symonds

Executive Director

Matthew has had a long career in journalism and business. He was a co-founder and editorial director of The Independent; director of strategy at BBC Worldwide Television; and spent over 20 years as a senior editor at The Economist, writing on technology, politics and, most recently, international security. Matthew is also the author of “Softwar: An Intimate Portrait of Larry Ellison and Oracle,” published in 2003.

Joe Cronly


Joe spent 17 years working for BC Partners, a UK-based private equity investment firm sourcing, assessing and executing large private equity investments, latterly focusing on financial services. He also sat as a non-executive board director on a number of the firm’s portfolio companies. He began his career at OC&C Strategy Consultants.

Sheetal Vyas


Sheetal spent over 20 years’ working for PwC in both their private and public sector practices. She is a strategy consultant and her experience includes working in venture capital with technology start-ups, delivering innovation and entrepreneurship programmes and managing public private partnerships. In addition to her work in the UK she has lived and worked in Mumbai and Harare and has delivered projects across Asia and Africa. She is a qualified chartered accountant.

Neha Aviral

Associate Director

Neha was formerly with McKinsey and Co., where she led teams serving clients in the public sector and financial services. Prior to that, she worked at BlackRock in New York and London, managing client analytics. She also worked briefly for a leading Indian NGO, advising on its fundraising and investment strategy. She has lived and worked in India, the Middle East, and North America.

Fabian Chessell

Associate Director

Fabian was formerly with McKinsey and Co., where he led teams serving clients in the private equity, retail, and food and beverage industries. Previously, Fabian led teams developing and launching big-data-powered solutions in healthcare to improve quality and efficiency. He has lived and worked in Australia and the UK.

Ellie Ferguson


Ellie was formerly with McKinsey and Co., where she served a wide range of clients across Europe, gaining extensive experience in the public sector, and across media, retail, and financial services. Prior to that, she worked for a boutique consultancy specialising in branding and design.

Sara Wood

Office Manager

Sara worked with Globesight, the global development firm. She previously worked with the consulting company Monitor Group in London and in Dubai for 10 years.