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Bright Space

Our Team

Team: Team

Adam Barker

Co-founder, Principal

Adam has over 10 years of investment experience, focusing on SMEs, whether mature businesses or start-ups. He has experience investing in and building companies in the US, China, Hong Kong, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Europe in both traditional industries and frontier technology. Adam is originally from San Francisco, and holds an MA from Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Ben Murray

Co-founder, Principal

Ben has over 10 years of strategy and management experience in Europe and North America, specializing in financial services through his work at Roland Berger and the Bank of England. He has built a portfolio of privately held businesses across the East coast, taking an active role in day-to-day operations. Ben is originally from Scotland and graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.


Zach Applegate

Managing Director

Zach joined New Forest as Managing Director of a portfolio company in January 2023. Prior to this Zach worked as Head of Corporate Development for Southern Minerals in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Monaco focused on commodity asset investment and development. Prior to Southern Minerals, Zach was a Senior Associate and early team member of two blockchain financial technology companies both of which had $100m+ exits. Zach holds a BS in Engineering from California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo.

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Christian Thierfelder

Chief Technology Officer

Christian has over 10 years technology experience working with both startups and traditional institutions. Previously he was a Director at Mizuho, responsible for quantitative research and trading technology for the Global Convertible Bonds desk. At d-fine he worked as a quantitative consultant to investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies. He holds a MSc in Physics from Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, a MSc in Mathematical Finance from Oxford University and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Massey University Auckland.

Advisory Board

Team: Team

Henry Allen

Henry started a business along with a colleague and their two wives in 1990. Over 17 years it grew into a unique and thriving enterprise, employing 70 people and turning over $10m. During that time Henry faced many challenges including major changes in ownership, a radical diversification of product offering, international business development, and a stock market collapse. Henry prefers to look at a business challenges with an alternative perspective and is an avid proponent of professional coaching.

James Johnstone

Jim has deep, multinational experience in a variety of senior positions in the corporate world, management consulting, investment banking, and the public sector - working in Europe, the US, the Far East, and the Middle East. Currently, he is involved with several small to mid sized companies seeking to expand their business interests internationally. Over the years, he has founded two independent management consulting firms. Areas of business include advising SMEs on international expansion, acquisition, and distribution tie ups. Jim has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a lifelong interest in politics, international affairs, and rugby.

Mason Myers

Mason is responsible for all investment decisions for Greybull Stewardship, an investment partnership formed to provide an ideal home for growing, profitable companies. He founded Greybull Stewardship in 2010 after being a founder and owner/operator. His experiences including co-founding a company and taking it public, investing in Zipcar, and serving as President of the National Holistic Institute.

Marcus Shadbolt

Marcus Shadbolt is the Managing Partner of Vermilion Partners, an investment and advisory firm based in China, with offices throughout Asia and Europe. Since founding Vermilion in 2004, the business has grown to become a leader in the market, advising many multinational corporations. Marcus has a broad base of experience having been a director and advisor to many companies, ranging from publishers of academic works to fashion brands to financial services groups. Marcus has an MSc in International Banking and is a Chartered Accountant.

James (Jim) M. Sharpe

Jim graduated from Harvard Business School in 1976 and has significant experience in running small and medium enterprises (SME), turnarounds, investing in searches, entrepreneurship through acquisition, and entrepreneurship in large organizations. He has a deep understanding of the career choices around working for a large firm first and then moving into an entrepreneurial business a decade into his a career. 21 years later, after selling his business, he joined the HBS faculty to teach The Entrepreneurial Manager, Turnarounds and Running Medium and Small Enterprises courses.

Paul Thomson

Paul Thomson is an entrepreneur who obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School. He founded Scottish American, a national insurance wholesaler with offices across the US. He is passionate about creating unique work environments with an emphasis on the importance of culture. Paul's personal experience as a door-to-door salesman, bartender, and construction worker provide him with a unique perspective when evaluating the challenges small business face today.

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