Mercia Chair Summit 2022

27th April – JLR Castle Bromwich

Thank for registering your interest for the Mercia Chair Summit 2022.

Here you will find all the information needed for the day including itinerary, speaker biographies, and attendee LinkedIn links.

If you have any questions or queries about the event, please email


Remember – submit your questions to our panellists

Submit your questions for our panellists by emailing

The agenda

10:30 Arrival and refreshments

11:00 Welcome, Mark Payton, Mercia Asset Management


11:15 Session 1 Tackling the talent shortage

Our first theme this year addresses how we can tackle the talent shortage. We’ll hear from our expert panellists including subject matter experts in HR Tech & Talent Strategy.

Stuart Hearn, Founder of Clear Review

Arlene Adams, Non-Exec Chair and former CEO of high-growth SaaS businesses

Jeremy Tipper, Non-Exec Chair and advisor to Work Tech scale-ups

Neil Hayward, Non-Exec and former Chief People Office of HS2

Natasha Wallace, CEO of Conscious Leadership Co


12:15 Break and refreshments


12:30 Session 2 Investigating exits

For our second theme of investigating exits we’ll host a panel discussion with Sarah Williams, Group General Counsel and Nigel Owens, Portfolio Director, Mercia. 

13:15 Lunch and networking


14:00 Session 3 Jaguar Land Rover experience

We’ll take a tour of the manufacturing site and gain an insight into the latest state-of-the-art manufacturing process and experience the new electrification room. Following our factory tour we’ll be getting behind the wheel for a taste of off-road driving. 

17:10 Close

Our previous Chair Summit

Watch a round-up of our Chair Summit event in 2020, and you can also read about last year’s virtual Chair Summit with Mike Hicks, Patrick Dunne and Lonnie Mayne here.


Stuart Hearn, Clear Review

Stuart is an experienced HR and tech entrepreneur, having founded and scaled two successful HR businesses – most recently Mercia backed, Clear Review, which grew into a multi-million revenue business with a successful exit after 5 years. Stuart is now acting as a mentor and board advisor to a small number of tech start-ups who wish to make a positive difference in today’s world.


Jeremy Tipper,
Advisor to Work Tech scale-ups

Jeremy is a Chair, Non-Executive Director and advisor to a portfolio of early-stage companies, including WorkBuzz, Bright Network, Sova Assessment, Fitbots & 55/Redefined. He is also a Limited Partner at ‘Worktech’ focussed venture fund, Acadian Ventures


Arlene Adams, Non-Exec Chair and former CEO

Arlene has spent 30 years in the tech market with a career that spans from founder of Peppermint Technology, a high growth SaaS business, to managing a $1billion product business at Sun Microsystems. She has raised multiple funding rounds, built, and successfully exited two SaaS businesses in LegalTech. She was Managing Director of the UK’s largest Social Care SaaS platform and CEO of a mobile payments business.  


Neil Hayward,
Non-Executive Director & Board Advisor

With more than 25 years experience as an Executive and Non-Executive Board Member, Neil has a recognised track record in successfully leading business transformation as well as major change and capital programmes. He has also achieved step changes in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Employee Engagement that enabled companies to better access and retain scarce skills in the market place, significantly enhancing their own performance, and sometimes improving the position of entire sectors.

His national and international business career has included Board and Executive Leadership Team positions at High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, Post Office, BT, Ministry of Justice, Standard Chartered Bank, Gallaher Group, Serco Group and Booker as well as in the NHS, and Higher and Further Education.

Neil is the Chair of the Customer Advisory Board at Mercia portfolio company WorkBuzz Analytics Ltd and most recently has been appointed as the NED of two Applied Monitoring Ltd and  Skills Union.



Natasha Wallace,
Conscious Leadership Co

Natasha’s journey began as a HR professional and People Director. She was often supporting leaders who were struggling with conflicting priorities, failing corporate culture, and teams who were burning out. As a coach and consultant, she worked with leaders to raise consciousness at an individual, team and organisational level. 
In 2021, Natasha founded Conscious Leadership Co. in order to help leaders at scale. The brand new, scientifically validated conscious leader psychometric and continuous learning app uses all of our tried and tested experience but allows us to help more leaders than ever before. 


Nigel Owens,
Mercia Asset Management

Nigel joined the Group in December 2019 as Portfolio Director. Nigel manages a portfolio of investments from a variety of Funds from across the Group including Warwick Acoustics and Eyoto.

Nigel is a member of the Mercia Responsible Investment Committee – a Group-wide team committed to delivering the ESG strategy across the business

Nigel has over 17 years’ experience in venture capital and private equity. He started his career at Deloitte advising investors, and prior to joining Mercia, was a partner at YFM Equity Partners where he worked originating and completing new investments, as well as managing acquisitions, realisations and fundraisings. He trained as an engineer, holds an MBA and has experience in investments in software, data, engineering, support services, telecoms, chemicals and technology companies.


Sarah Williams,
Mercia Asset Management

Sarah joined the Group as Head of Legal in October 2018 and was promoted to Group General Counsel & Company Secretary in July 2020.

She is responsible for providing legal advice across the Group and the portfolio, and managing the Group’s relationship with external legal advisors as well as performing the role of Company Secretary.

Sarah qualified as a corporate solicitor in 2007 and has extensive experience in all aspects of corporate transactional and advisory legal work. In her previous role at Shoosmiths LLP, she specialised in mergers and acquisitions, venture and growth capital transactions, MBOs, MBIs, and corporate governance advice.