Octopus Ventures, a venture capital company focusing on early-stage and expanding businesses, has appointed Jo Oliver, an entrepreneur and former executive director of Lehman Brothers, as its investor director.
Oliver will oversee management and growth of the Octopus Investor Group, a network of over 100 independent investors who provide support during and after Octopus Ventures’ investment process. He will also be involved in indentifying investment opportunities with growth potential and work alongside the rest of the team on portfolio management.
Before joining Lehman, where he was executive director responsible for overseeing the European mobile equity research team, Oliver was a telecoms analyst at Merrill Lynch and Natwest Markets. Since leaving Lehman in 2002, he has founded and run two successful design and property development companies.
In his role at Octopus Ventures, Oliver will report to chief executive Alex Macpherson. Commenting on today’s announcement, Macpherson said, “We are delighted to be welcoming Jo to Octopus Ventures. His impressive blend of financial expertise and track record as a successful entrepreneur make him the perfect fit for our interactive approach to investment and will no doubt be extremely valuable to the companies in which we invest.”
London-based Octopus Ventures has invested £26m into 30 companies over the past eight years. The firm recently launched its third fund, Octopus Titan VCT 3, which aims to deliver returns to investors by investing in 20 to 30 smaller UK companies.
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