Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
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In 1982 Mark co-founded and then pioneered the interest swaps business in Chicago. After ten years in corporate finance, he co-founded in 1992 Maizels Westerberg & Co; an independent, advisory driven merchant bank specialising in restructuring companies and providing best advice to European companies. The firm reached no. 1 in the European M&A league tables in 1998 and 1999. He sold it to create ArosMaizels in 2000, and then went on to work with Doughty Hanson, the European private equity for many years.
He has been active in politics since the late 1990’s, advising the Conservative party and working on economic, international development, schools and social policy.
In 2001 he founded the Build a School programme in Africa with Greg Clark MP, developing a new approach to rural community development in Africa’s poorest communities, building over 100 primary schools to date. In 2004, he co-founded the Centre for Social Justice with Iain Duncan Smith MP, to determine the real causes of poverty in the UK and to develop policy solutions. Many policies have been adopted by successive governments including the new universal credit.
In 2009 he founded 8 Miles with Bob Geldof and was backed by the World Bank, to invest $250 million in development “impact” capital in African businesses. In 2012, he became the co-founder of the Early Intervention Foundation with Graham Allen MP, to look for best practice to support the early lives of vulnerable children. In 2011, he co-founded the Mayor’s charity The Legacy List (appointed by Boris Johnson) to drive community development in Stratford following the Olympics.
Mark believes that trust and a wider duty is essential in business, and with government and civil society, business should work more to help improve the lives of communities. He is working on developing the social impact investment industry. He is focussed on UK national renewal and job creation for the young. Mark is also a big fan of international development and proposes that investors in emerging markets place value on the catalytic impact of an investment (defining the term ERR, in addition to IRR). ERR is a measure of the wider impact business growth may have on communities – on job creation , product development, supply chains, consumers and tax revenues. ERR can also be used in the UK and forms part of the new social impact investment industry.
He advocates positioning Britain at the centre of what he terms the T-21 (the top 21 fastest growing economies in the world from the largest 50): he co-founded and chairs the DNA Summit, bringing together in Britain 300 of the world’s leading creative minds every year. He believes that the old west needs to reform their economies to compete with the T-21, and in his capacity as CEO of the BVCA, the world’s biggest venture capital association, provides economic and financial policy suggestions to this end.
He is an advocate for partnership and fair trade with Africa, and is a senior adviser to the African Intellectual Property Trust, driving for the protection of IP created in Africa. Mark believes consolidation within the third sector could lead to improved delivery and in Africa has been encouraging NGOs to work together.
Mark is an entrepreneur, specialising in restructuring companies in difficulty (e.g. Sweden’s Co-op), starting new businesses (e.g. the courier company eCourier) or heading campaigns.