Board of trustees

Our Board comprises highly experienced trustees from a range of backgrounds, including the private and not-for-profit sectors and academia.

Johannes Huth, KKR (Chairman)

Johannes is Head of Europe at KKR, responsible for operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He serves on a number of supervisory boards, including WMF, NXP BV and German Estate Group.  Prior to joining KKR in 1999, Johannes was responsible for Investcorp’s operations in Europe and a member of its Management Committee.  Previously, he was with Salomon Brothers, where he was a Vice President in the Mergers and Acquisitions departments in London and New York.  He is a trustee of the Design Museum, the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt, the Education Endowment Foundation, a governor of the London School of Economics, and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Louis G Elson, Palamon Capital Partners (Deputy Chairman)

Louis G Elson is the Managing Partner of Palamon Capital Partners, a private equity firm he co-founded in 1999. He has been an active member of the European private equity industry for almost twenty years, previously as a Partner of Warburg Pincus. He is a member of the Research Advisory Board of the British Venture Capital Association. He serves on the Development Board of The Prince’s Trust and is a Trustee of the Hobson Foundation for Classical Studies.

Lionel Assant, Blackstone

Lionel is Senior Managing Director and European Head of Private Equity for Blackstone, based in London. Since joining Blackstone in 2003, Lionel has been involved in various European investments and investment opportunities. Before joining Blackstone, Lionel worked for seven years at Goldman Sachs in the Mergers & Acquisitions, Asset Management, and Private Equity divisions. Lionel graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique with a Master’s degree in Economics. He serves as a Director of United Biscuits, Tangerine and Intertrust. Lionel served on the Board of Trustees Gerresheimer and Mivisa.

Bill Benjamin, Ares Management

Mr. Benjamin is a Partner and Head of Ares Real Estate Group and a member of the Management Committee of Ares Management. Additionally, Mr. Benjamin serves on the Ares Real Estate Operating Committee and is a member of the Ares Real Estate Group’s U.S. Equity, European Equity, U.S. Development and Redevelopment Fund II and Debt Investment Committees. Mr. Benjamin joined Ares Management LLC in July 2013 from AREA Property Partners, where he was a Senior Partner from 1995 to 2013. Mr. Benjamin joined AREA Property Partners in 1995 from Bankers Trust Corp, where he was a Principal from 1986 to 1995. Mr. Benjamin graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts degree in social studies and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.

Marc Boughton, CVC Capital Partners

Marc is a Managing Partner and Board Director of CVC Capital Partners Group, and formerly CEO and Founder of CVC Credit Partners: an affiliated global credit manager.  Marc is Vice Chairman of CVC’s Charitable Foundation and responsible for CVC’s Philanthropy programme “Connecting CVC and the Community” and is on the Advisory Board of the RFU’s Try for Change programme.  Prior to CVC, Marc spent five years at both Electra Partners and Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) where, as a chartered accountant he specialised in corporate recovery and investigations.

Craig Dearden-Phillips MBE, Stepping Out

Craig is the Founding CEO of Stepping Out, a venture helping public services to become a social enterprise. A serial social entrepreneur, Craig is the Founding Chair of the UK disability social enterprise Speaking Up (now VoiceAbility) and is co-founder of five smaller civil society organisations. Craig is the author of a best-selling business book for social entrepreneurs and is a regularly columnist for The Guardian and Third Sector magazine. Craig has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Centre for Welfare Reform and a Visiting Fellow of Ashcroft International Business School. He is also a School Governor, a Committee member of Communitybuilders and a Founding Trustee of the new Southgate Partnership Development Trust in his community. An elected Councillor, Craig serves as the Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Communities on Suffolk County Council.

Professor Becky Francis, UCL Institute of Education

Professor Becky Francis is Director of UCL Institute of Education. Previously, she was a Professor of Education and Social Justice at King’s College London. Her career has focused on education and social justice, but has also incorporated education policy work, for example in her previous role as Director of Education at the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) and in her current Advisory role to the Education Select Committee.

Becky is best known for her work on gender and achievement. Her policy research and analysis includes her recent influential work on ‘Satisfactory’ schools, in relation to social disadvantage, work for ASCL and the Sutton Trust on education and social mobility, and her direction of the Academies Commission. Her academic expertise and extensive publications centre on social identities (gender, ‘race’ and social class) in educational contexts, social im/mobility, and social identity and educational achievement, and gender theory. She has written many books on these topics, including the most recent Identities and Practices of High Achieving Pupils (2012, Continuum, with Christine Skelton and Barbara Read).

Twitter handle: @BeckyFrancis7

Patrick Healy, Hellman & Friedman

Patrick is the Deputy CEO of Hellman & Friedman. He is a member of the Investment Committee and Compensation Committee and leads the firm’s London office and European activities. Patrick joined H&F in 1994. He is currently a Director of Scout24, Securitas Direct, and Team System. Prior to H&F, Patrick was employed by James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated in New York and Consolidated Press Holdings in Australia. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

Caroline Mason, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Before joining Esmée, Caroline was Chief Operating Officer at Big Society Capital and preceding that, Charity Bank. Caroline was also the co-founder of Investing for Good, a social investment advisory firm and one of the first Community Interest Companies. Before joining the social sector, Caroline worked in financial services. Caroline is a Board
Member of Social Enterprise UK and of Ethex. She is also a trustee of CAADA and is on the advisory board of Big Society Capital.

Hanneke Smits, Newton Investment Management

Hanneke Smits is the CEO for Newton Investment Management. Based in London, she is actively involved in managing Newton’s operations and the global investment team that directs Newton’s investment strategies. Hanneke previously served as a member of the Executive Committee at private equity firm Adams Street Partners from 2001 to 2014 and as Chief Investment Officer there from 2008 to 2014. Hanneke is co-founder, former chair and steering committee member of Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation set up to inspire women to join and succeed in the private equity industry. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Nijenrode University and a Masters of Business Administration from the London Business School. Hanneke has 24 years’ investment experience.

Nikos Stathopoulos, BC Partners

Nikos Stathopoulos joined BC Partners in 2005 from Apax Partners where he spent seven years working on large buy-out transactions in many European countries. Prior to this he spent three years as a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in London. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a degree in business administration from Athens University of Economics and Business. He is a member of the Harvard Business School European Leadership Council and of the EVCA buy-out committee. He is a Greek national and speaks Greek, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Lisa Stone, formerly HgCapital

Lisa is now retired, but used to be a partner in the Portfolio Board Team at HgCapital. She joined HgCapital in 1999, having spent three years at LucasVarity as Director of Strategy and Business Planning. She was previously a management consultant with both Kalchas and Bain & Co. Lisa has been involved with many HgCapital businesses over the years, most recently Visma, SHL, Mercury Pharma and Team Systems. She is currently on the board of Achilles and Ullink and is a member of the Portfolio Review Committee. Lisa holds a degree in Human Sciences from the University of Oxford.

Simon Turner, Inflexion

Simon is Managing Partner at Inflexion and co-founded Inflexion in 1999. Simon is joint-chair of Inflexion’s Investment Committee and sits on the board of Scott Dunn. He also led their investments in Aspen, Red Commerce, ACIS, Pims Group and Jack Wills. Following an MA in Modern History from Oxford University, Simon went into the city where he began working in private equity. In 1998 he was recruited to co-found Daiwa Europe’s Private Equity group, before spinning it out, in partnership with John Hartz, to create Inflexion. His private equity career has been spent wholly within the UK mid-market since the early 1990s, his experience and expertise in this area help to shape many of Inflexion’s investment projects. When not working, Simon leads Inflexion’s involvement in The Prince’s Trust. He also enjoys playing golf, skiing and is involved in the arts.


To ensure in-depth review and oversight of critical parts of Impetus-PEF activities, we have a number committees which all report to the main Impetus-PEF Board. Each of these committees is chaired by a Board trustee.

Investment Committee

The committee is responsible for ensuring a balanced portfolio and recommends the direction of the portfolio in terms of its mix, growth and overall strategy.

In determining new inclusions to our portfolio, the committee scrutinises and recommends which charities should be taken through to due diligence; ensures that the due diligence process provides the appropriate level of appraisal to safeguard investment; and makes recommendations on charity investments to achieve a balanced portfolio.

Beyond the initial investment, the committee also reviews the funding and milestones of the portfolio and conducts status reviews of the portfolio as well as scrutinising and recommending reinvestments and graduations from the portfolio.

The Investment Committee is chaired by Nat Sloane of Big Lottery Fund.

Finance and Audit Committee

The committee scrutinises and approves the draft annual budget, and reserves and investment policies to put before the Board. It monitors the integrity of the charity’s financial statements and the effectiveness of the external audit process and systems of internal control.

The committee is also responsible for ensuring that an appropriate relationship between Impetus-PEF and the external auditors is maintained, including reviewing non-audit services and fees.

The Finance and Audit Committee is chaired by Carl Parker of Permira.

Development Committee

The Committee seeks to increase Impetus-PEF’s ability to drive systemic change by building support for our work from funders. The committee raises funds from companies, grant-making trusts, individual philanthropists and other sources. The committee also ensures the breadth and quality of engagement we offer our donors.

The Development Committee is chaired by Nikos Stathopolous of BC Partners.

Public Affairs Committee

This committee has oversight of, and informs, Impetus-PEF’s work in respect of policy initiatives, including working with government, campaigns, and strategic partnerships. The Committee acts as a sounding board for the Executives’ ideas for research and dissemination, and assists in determining the scope and execution of any research projects. Committee members also act as advocates for Impetus-PEF, and help advance its policy objectives externally.

The Public Affairs Committee is chaired by Professor Becky Francis of King’s College London.

Governance Committee

The committee has a strategic role in defining the role of the Board, as well as how the Board interacts with the various sub-committees. Alongside this, it directs the trustee recruitment process and trustee responsibilities and defines the link between the Advisory Council and the Board.

In its fiduciary capacity, the committee is responsible for conducting the Chair evaluation annually as well as advising on trustee/Board development and an evaluation of the other sub-committees. Finally, staff remuneration and benefits policies are overseen by the committee.

The Governance Committee is chaired by Johannes Huth.

© 2017 Impetus – Private Equity Foundation. Registered charity number: 1152262. Company number: 8460519.    
Design by Fabrik.