Mark Florman was born in London in 1958. His family had pioneered Swedish air travel with the launch of Swedish Airlines and the Swedish Air Force in 1924. Mark spent his early years between Paris and London and moved to the United States in 1982.
Mark advises on the building of sustainable business models, working with governments and businesses across the world.
Business & Entrepreneurship
Mark’s early career at The Northern Trust Bank in Chicago saw him co-found the interest rate swap business in America; later advising on corporate restructurings, M&A and equity capital markets. He co-founded SEB Capital Markets in 1991.
In 1992 Mark founded Maizels Westerberg & Co., an award-winning independent merchant bank responsible for Scandinavia’s largest corporate rescue (Kooperativa Förbundet) and Europe’s largest corporate breakup (Procordia). Under Mark’s leadership, MW & Co. was ranked No. 1 in the European independent M&A league tables by IFR in both 1998 and 1999, before being sold to ArosMaizels in 2000.
In 2001 Mark joined private equity firm Doughty Hanson to lead the Nordic operations. He also chaired LM Glasfiber, leading the company to become the world’s largest wind turbine components business.
Mark founded the courier and transport group eCourier, as well as a small publishing business, several financial services firms, and Vanquish Capital, a fund placing agent. He is Chairman & CEO of the strategic consultancy firm Time Partners Ltd. advising private equity firms globally.
On 9 September 2016, Mark was appointed chairman of LPEQ, an industry body for listed private equity funds, which includes London-based firms Electra, HarbourVest, HG Capital and Oakley as members and was founded in 2006 to encourage investments into private equity investments trusts.
Job Creation: Mark has worked with a number of Governments, including the UK, Sweden, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, to build sustainable business, venture capital and investment frameworks for the purpose of job creation.
BVCA: As CEO of the BVCA from 2011 to 2013, Mark led fresh dialogue between regulators and politicians, developing Government policies focused on leveraging small businesses, entrepreneurs and venture funds as a force for sustainable economic growth.
G8 Social Impact Investment: Mark was a member of the taskforce established by the Prime Minister in 2014 to advance thinking around the global impact investment agenda, with a focus on Profit with Purpose.
B-Corps: In 2015, after many years at the vanguard of the social impact industry, Mark founded and is Hon. President of the UK arm of the B (Lab) UK – “benefit” – corporation movement which awards B-Corp status to socially responsible and sustainable businesses across the world.
Social impact metrics: Mark developed the concept of the External Rate of Return to measure the complete economic and social impact of business activity and investment, developed with the London School of Economics for the business sector worldwide.
8 Miles LLP: In 2009, Mark co-founded the African private equity fund 8 Miles LLP with Bob Geldof to stimulate African investment. 8 miles is backed by the World Bank, CDC (DfID), the African Development Bank and others.
African IP Trust: Mark is a senior adviser to the African Intellectual Property Trust, driving for the protection of brands and IP created in Africa. The Trust has promoted the rights of the Maasai people and continues to advance the case for the protection of indigenous brands.
Build Africa: In 2004 Mark helped to create Build Africa, an award-winning charity which takes a cut-through approach to rural community development and education in Kenya and Uganda. To date Build Africa has created 140 high-quality primary schools and 3,500 village savings and loans societies.
Investment Committees: Mark sits on a number of investment committees for sub-Sahara African funds, advising on good governance and good investing.
Centre for Social Justice: In 2004 Mark co-founded the Centre for Social Justice with the Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, Philippa Stroud and Tim Montgomerie. The CSJ is now recognised as the most UK’s most rigorous and innovative think tank working to eliminate British poverty and exploitation. He was Chairman for many years and is now Life Ambassador.
Early Intervention Foundation: In 2012 Mark helped Graham Allen MP to found the Early Intervention Foundation: seeking best practice interventions to improve the lives of vulnerable children.
The Million Jobs Campaign: In 2013 Mark launched the Millions Jobs Campaign with Lottie Dexter to fight for the rights and opportunities of the millions of unemployed young people in the UK. The campaign was copied by other Governments.
South African Paleontological Trust: in 2014, Marks started to advise on a global educational campaign to eradicate racism and enhance understanding of the history of the human race. The PAST programme teaches an understanding of our shared genetics and humanity.
The Commonwealth Education Trust: Mark is a Trustee of the CET, working to improve education across the commonwealth countries through a number of investments, programmes and initiatives.
DNA Summit: In 2012 Mark established and Chairs the annual DNA Summit with June Sarpong. Backed by the United Nations, it bring together the world’s most creative minds to develop solutions for our most intractable problems. DNA has organised conferences and workshops in Europe and America, with a particular focus on enterprise as a means to tackle poverty.
Mark champions the rights of every individual to effective education, fulfilling work and unlimited potential by shaping policy and founding solutions-led organisations.
Promoting the Arts
Royal Albert Hall: In 2001 Mark helped establish the RAH’s Ambassadors programme and raised funds for the primary schools engagement programme, which opens the Hall to London’s disadvantaged children.
The Legacy List: In 2011 Mark answered the Mayor’s request to establish and Chair the Legacy List, driving Stratford’s post-Olympic community engagement and empowerment through arts and culture. He is now a trustee of the Foundation for Future London, the successor charity overseeing Olympicopolis.
The Big Lottery Fund: In 2014, Mark played a key role in the Triennial Review of the Big Lottery Fund, helping to improve its efficiency and governance, and ensure its continued role as an important fund-granting body in British society.
Quangos: Mark has worked on how to improve accountability and efficiency in over 750 non-departmental public bodies in the UK, publishing a number of papers including ideas to improve accountability and reduce risk in subsidiary businesses.
BBC Trust: Mark was a Trustee of the BBC Trust from March 2015 – April 2017 and served as Trustee for England, as well as Chairing Audience Council England.
Supporting NGO’s: Mark is an active adviser to and supporter of a range of charities and NGO’s, and over the past 20 years has helped a wide variety of organisations in their strategic development either as a Trustee or as an adviser, including: Sentebale, Red Baloon, Impetus PEF, International Refugee Trust and CFAB.
Mark speaks on the changes the world will face as we move towards 2050, looking at demographics, technology and business as fundamental forces of social change, moving towards an “equilibrium” where western states unpick excessive regulation and developing states build frameworks for domestic enterprise and societal development. His speeches on the need to address our long term fundamental challenges (of ageing societies and falling birth rates) are heard around the world. Please refer to Papers & Policies for further information.