Meet the Alternative Investment team

Rob Skinner

Rob Skinner

Head of Alternative Investments


In his role heading up the Alternative Investments team, Rob oversees investments in new sectors such as fibre broadband. He also sits on the Octopus Investment and Valuation Committees.

Rob joined Octopus in 2013. Prior to this, he was a director in the M&A team at RBS (formerly ABN AMRO) working across various sectors specialising in infrastructure.
Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant

Head of Banking Relationships
Sarah looks after external financing for the whole Octopus group, with responsibility for all funds and sectors.

She also chairs the Octopus Investment Committee.

Before joining Octopus in 2013, Sarah was a director in the debt advisory team at Rothschild, advising private equity firms and corporates on financing buyouts, refinancing and restructuring existing facilities.
Ed Fellows

Ed Fellows

Head of OITS
Ed is responsible for the portfolio management of the Octopus Inheritance Tax Service, which includes Fern Trading, and Octopus EIS, and is also a member of the Octopus investment committee. He is director of several Octopus portfolio companies.

Before joining Octopus in 2010, Ed was a finance lawyer at SJ Berwin for five years before relocating to Los Angeles as head of business affairs for cineFinance LLC, a subsidiary of Houston Casualty Company. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate.
Rory Baird

Rory Baird

Head of Corporate Development
Rory focuses on origination and execution of investment opportunities across existing and new sectors.  He has over 20 years’ experience in strategy consulting, M&A and investing.  Rory is a member of the Octopus Investment Committee and Octopus Group’s Capital Allocation Committee.  
 
Rory joined Octopus in 2013 from the private equity team at Alchemy Partners, prior to which he held a management role in a successful leveraged buy-out. He began his career at Bain & Company. He has an MBA from INSEAD.
Isobel Burlington

Isobel Burlington

Investment Manager
Isobel is responsible for the portfolio management of the fibre broadband companies backed by the Octopus Inheritance Tax Service.

Isobel joined Octopus in 2014. Before this, she worked at PwC in transaction services performing due diligence on small and medium sized companies in the fibre and broadband sector. She is also a chartered accountant.
Lukasz Michalak

Lukasz Michalak

Investment Director
At Octopus, Lukasz specialises in infrastructure investment, focusing on renewable energy assets and connectivity infrastructure. He also co-founded an equity release business under the Octopus brand.
Having started his career as a mechanical engineer, Lukasz joined Octopus in 2013.

Previously, he worked as a financial modeller at KPMG and as a commercial and technical advisor at Arup, focusing on the infrastructure sector.
Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

Investment Manager
Ben’s role involves managing the Octopus Inheritance Tax Service portfolio of companies, overseeing £2.5 billion of unlisted assets across a variety of sectors.

Before joining Octopus in 2015, Ben was a corporate finance adviser at finnCap, a boutique investment bank, specialising in M&A and capital raising for small/medium businesses across all sectors. He is also a chartered accountant.
Phil Reavley

Phil Reavley

Investment Manager
Phil has been heavily involved in building connections in the fibre broadband sector, working to increase the Octopus presence in this industry.

He works to find new companies for investment as well as managing our existing portfolio.

Phil joined Octopus in 2016. Before this, he worked at KPMG in both the audit and M&A teams.
Chris Barraclough

Chris Barraclough

Investment Associate
Chris’s role within the team is to focus on deal execution and portfolio support for companies backed by the Octopus Inheritance Tax Service.

Prior to joining Octopus in 2019, Chris lived in Johannesburg and worked for a boutique management consulting firm before making the move into banking, where he worked for Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking for 3 years.
Robert  de Villiers

Robert de Villiers

Investment Associate
Robert’s role within the team is to focus on deal execution and provide portfolio support.

Before joining Octopus in 2019, Robert worked at KPMG in financial services audit and valuation. He is also a Chartered Accountant & CFA qualified professional.
Matt  Armes

Matt Armes

Investment Associate
Matt’s role within the team is to focus on deal execution and provide portfolio support.

Matt joined Octopus in 2015 and previously worked in the renewable energy team where he managed the solar companies backed by the Octopus Inheritance Tax Service.

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk to us about an opportunity in the fibre space, or in other changing sectors, please send us an email.