Paul Lester CBE

Paul Lester CBE was appointed as independent Non-Executive Chairman of Knight Square in March 2012. He is also Chairman of Essentra plc, Forterra plc, Signia, the private investment business and the private equity backed Algeco.

Previously from 2002 to 2010 he was Chief Executive of VT Group plc, the support services company.

Paul also held the position of Group Managing Director for Balfour Beatty plc. from 1997 to 2002, and was Chief Executive of Graseby plc from 1990 to 1997 following senior management positions at Schlumberger and the Dowty Group plc.

Paul was Non-Executive Director of Invensys, the FTSE 100 company and has also previously served as President of the Society of Maritime Industries, the BSA and the EEF.

Paul is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Paul was awarded a CBE in 2007.

Chief Executive Officer, FirstPort

Nigel Howell 

Having joined Knight Square as Group Chief Financial Officer in January 2013, Nigel was appointed Chief Executive of FirstPort, the Group’s residential property management division, in February 2015. He has lead a significant performance turnaround at the company with a clear focus on strategy, customer service, staff engagement, and safety - delivering for customers, clients, and investors alike, whilst creating a sense of pride amongst colleagues.

Nigel’s career has included working in senior finance, strategy, and business development roles at Morrison plc, Hawker Siddeley, Shell, Cable & Wireless, and Centrica/British Gas, both in the UK and overseas. Nigel is a Trustee on the board of Trust for London, a qualified accountant (FCMA), Chartered Director (CDir), and a Member of the Institute of Residential Property Management (MIRPM).

Managing Partner, Epiris

Alex Fortescue

Alex is the Managing Partner of Epiris LLP, having joined as Chief Investment Partner in 2011. Prior to this he spent eleven years at private equity firm Apax Partners, where he was Global Head of the Retail and Consumer Group. Before Apax he spent nine years at OC&C Strategy Consultants where he focused on corporate strategy and private equity commercial due diligence. In total he has more than 20 years Private Equity experience.

Alex chairs Epiris' Management Committee and Investment Committee, and has represented Epiris on the board of numerous investments.

He has a first class degree in Electronic Engineering from Imperial College, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Partner, Epiris

Alex Cooper-Evans

Alex is a Partner at Epiris, having joined in 2006. He has been in the buyout industry since 1993, first as a banker with Credit Agricole Indosuez and subsequently with Duke Street Capital, Compass Partners and Lazard. Alex is responsible for all the investor and public relations activities of Epiris and its clients. He sits on the Investment Committee and has represented Epiris on the board of various investments.

Alex has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

Managing Partner, Chamonix Private Equity

Jane Crawford

Jane chairs the Boards of portfolio companies Leafield Environmental and Caldicot Metal Decorating.

Prior to starting Chamonix in 2006 with Chris Edge, she was with 3i Group plc where she ran a UK investment business, started up 3i’s Asian investment businesses in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, and latterly ran 3i’s investment operations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Jane has a BA in Philosophy from Manchester University, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London.


Andrew Hartley

Andrew Hartley started his career in private equity at 3i in 1988, moving to Kleinwort Benson in 1995. Andrew became managing director in 1999 before leading the spin-out from the investment bank of the UK mid market firm now known as August Equity in 2001.

He joined Chamonix Private Equity in 2010 and led the Knight Square acquisition. He has made over 70 investments in UK businesses and served as a board director of numerous companies, helping them to develop and grow, creating shareholder value and achieving exits.

Andrew has a BSc. in Economics & Politics from The University of Southampton and an MBA from Cass Business School.

Director of Group Finance, Knight Square

Stuart Muncer

Stuart joined Knight Square as Director of Group Finance in October 2015 from HSBC where he was the Head of Financial Planning and Analysis in their Insurance business. Prior to that, Stuart was Group Financial Controller at Domestic & General where he ultimately led the successful disposal and subsequent refinancing of the business.

Stuart trained and qualified as an accountant (FCA) at Deloitte, where he spent 10 years in their audit practice serving large listed and private business in the support services and manufacturing sectors.

He has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford.


Sam Watkinson

Sam works for a European Family office making direct private equity investments.

Sam has worked in private equity for 21 years and has been a Non-Executive Director on numerous boards including, Planit Holdings, Imagine Publishing, Travel Class Limited, Cranleigh Education Services Limited and WSI Limited.

He has a degree in Geology from Durham University and qualified as an ACA with PwC.

Chief Executive Officer, Appello

Tim Barclay

Tim joined Appello as Chief Executive Officer in Feb 2017 to help the company accelerate its growth in the Telecare Monitoring and Integrated Health Care markets. Prior to joining Appello, Tim was Chief Operating Officer for BT’s Global Government & Health organisation where he oversaw their Future Cities, Digital Health, Complex Bid, Cost Transformation and Strategy teams.


Matthew Turner

Matthew Turner has been involved with private equity for over 25 years latterly heading up the global private equity business of Merrill Lynch. Following that he became the designate CEO of Kaupthing Bank where he successfully turned the business around for the investors.

He now sits and chairs a number of Boards both listed and private in a number of sectors and runs the developing business of Blenheim Capital Partners.