Date: 20th March 2023   Time: 9.00-10.00am
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE (map)
Speakers: Sonia Benhamida (Kreos Capital), Dom Hallas (Coadec), Felda Hardymon (Bessemer Venture Partners), Joel Perlman (OakNorth)
Chair: Juanita González-Uribe (FMG & LSE Finance)

This special event features a fireside chat between guests Sonia Benhamida, Dom Hallas, Felda Hardymon, Joel Perlman, and chair Dr. Juanita González-Uribe, on what happened at Silicon Valley Bank, potential failures of regulatory oversight, the business of venture debt by non-bank lenders, and the future of venture markets.

The event is part of a lecture series which focuses on the role of finance in the entrepreneurial journey. The aim is to improve our understanding of the role of early-stage financiers in the start-up and scale-up of new ventures. Discussions will touch upon several research topics like the types of constraints that limit the start and growth of new companies, and the role of specialized financiers, as well as policy, in mitigating them.

Sonia Benhamida is Principal in the Investment Team at Kreos. She supports the General Partners in the entire deal life cycle including identifying, assessing, and performing investment analysis, as well as post investment monitoring. Prior to joining Kreos, Sonia was a Senior VP responsible for Healthcare Corporate Banking CEMEA at DNB, overseeing the client portfolio, managing relationships, and providing financing to mid-size and large companies in the sector. Prior to this, Sonia was a VP of Business Development at Ipsen, in charge of in-licensing and acquiring new drug candidates from early to late stages of development and as a M&A Manager at Rothschild & Co. Sonia is a former assistant professor and researcher at CentraleSupelec School of Engineering. She holds an HEC: Master in Accounting, Finance & Management (HEC Grande Ecole), and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Université de Paris.

Dom Hallas is the Executive Director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), representing startup and scaleup tech companies in public policy debates in the UK. Named in 2023 by Politico as one of the ’20 People who matter in UK tech’, he sits on the UK Government’s Digital Economy Council & Tech & Telecoms Trade Advisory Group. He is also a board member of the global tech startup association Allied for Startups. Before being appointed to his current role in 2018, he served in the UK Government's Department for Exiting the European Union working on Diplomatic Strategy. Prior to working in Government, he had worked on the Indian Government’s Smart Cities initiative on behalf of Bloomberg Philanthropies (the foundation of former New York Mayor and entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg), on tech policy in Brussels and London for a consultancy and in local government in his native Yorkshire.

Felda Hardymon is a partner emeritus in Bessemer’s Cambridge office and joined the firm in 1981. He focused on investments in the software, semiconductors, communications, and storage sectors. While at Bessemer, he led early investments in Parametric Technology, Staples, Cascade, Sirocco, Sahara, Celtel, and Endeca, all of which led to multibillion-dollar outcomes. Before joining the firm, Felda invested for BDSI, the first venture subsidiary of General Electric, where he was an investor in Ungermann-Bass (inventor of the LAN), Stratus Computer, and Western Digital. Since 1998, Felda taught and researched at Harvard Business School, where he held the appointment of MBA Class of 1975 Professor of Management Practice, and twice was a visiting professor of finance at The London School of Economics. In 2011, Felda received the National Venture Capital Association’s Lifetime Achievement award. Now retired from both academic positions since 2015 and 2019, respectively, he is a co-author of Venture Capital, Private Equity, and the Financing of Entrepreneurship, the standard textbook for venture capital and private equity.

Joel Perlman is the Co-founder and Senior Managing Partner of OakNorth, the leading fintech business focused on powering the commercial economy of the future. He started his first business, Copal Partners, a financial research company, in 2002 with just $60k. Over 12 years, he and his Co-founder, Rishi Khosla, scaled it to a 3,000-employee organization across 13 markets, before selling it to Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) in 2014. They then set out to build their second business – OakNorth, a leading fintech bank. Joel grew up in Bogota, Colombia. He began his career as a Consultant at McKinsey & Company and has degrees from the London School of Economics and Georgetown University.

Juanita González-Uribe is Associate Professor in Finance at the London School of Economics and Co-Director, Financing the Real Economy, at FMG. Her research focuses on entrepreneurship, private equity and innovation. Her work spans different regions including Latin America, the UK, and the USA.

This public event is delivered in-person only, is free and open to all, with no ticket or pre-registration required. Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis, within the limits of the venue capacity.

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