Team & Partners
We have a multilingual team of managers with relevant sector and functional experience from Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and North America, each bringing different business and cultural perspectives to the team. This diversity enables us to provide extensive relationships and different perspectives to the investment process particularly in deal sourcing, investment and company building. The team is supported by strong industry and technical advisors.
John Butt founded Conduit Ventures and has overall responsibility for the strategic direction of the Conduit Ventures funds. He has considerable work experience of Europe (West and East), North America, Japan, China and the transition economies of Asia, Middle East and Africa. He has also represented Conduit on the boards of several public and private companies in these regions, several of which are market leaders today. Prior to Conduit, he worked at Citigroup, Price Waterhouse International Privatization Group and Bank of England based in the UK, North America, EU, Central and Eastern Europe. John has a degree in biochemistry from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and an MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His sector focus is the emerging Hydrogen Economy, Water Risks and Food Security.
Linda is responsible for Conduit’s operations in the UK and China including compliance, investments and investor relations. Linda has more than 25 years experience of building and developing early/growth ventures which lead into large scale cross-border projects. Linda joined Conduit Ventures Limited since 2004 and established Conduit China in a partnership with Shanghai Municipal investment arm in 2006. She is a key founder of UNEP/ Asia Development Bank clean energy industrial centers coupled with local strategic and economic impact goals, generates long-term sustainable returns. Prior to CVL, she worked for Barclays Bank and Aviva specializing in E-commence startups, project management and outsourcing. Linda has experience working in China, Brazil, South Africa, Dubai and Turkey, and holds degrees from Bristol University, UK and an MBA from the London Business School.
Keith is a Chartered Accountant with more than 40 years in commerce, including 25 years providing flexible Finance Director services on both a part-time and interim basis. Keith is an experienced finance director for Owner Managed Businesses, particularly in the service sector. Extensive recent experience of providing part time or interim director level accounting and financial services to organisations of all types, enabling the managers to regain control of their business. Specialities: Business planning, grooming companies for sale, designing automating and implementing MIS, mentoring and training finance staff, de mystifying finance for non financial managers.
Clement Gachet is a chemical engineer graduate of the Polytechnic Institute of Lyon in 2014. After working as a research engineer in the US developing aerogels for the aero spatial industry and as a lean manufacturing engineer for the automotive industry, Clement joined RTI Exploration, a Conduit partner company. RTI is a data driven natural resource exploration company deploying proprietary advanced space technologies to address water risks, food security and the interface with strategic minerals.
Clement focuses on business and project development globally from the UK. Achievements include water stressed regions of Southern Africa, Chile, the Middle East and Central America where projects are currently underway.
Franklin has been engaged in technology development as a scientist specialized in energy storage, venture capitalist, and consultant for over 12 years. Franklin held senior management positions in several private companies where he successfully led the efforts to penetrate the emerging markets. Previous experience includes Nuri group, a listed Korean technology company, as Managing Director of the MEA region, overseeing operational activities from Nigeria. His experience also covers several years with work with a venture backed flow battery company based in Norway and the US. He also worked for Samsung and Siemens storage divisions. Dr. Franklin owns patents in energy storage.
Franklin holds a Ph.D. with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Graz, Austria, an engineering degree from Polytechnic France, and an MBA from the University of Cambridge, in the UK. He is a French citizen.
Andy Wei has 13 years of experience in investment bank and private equity fund management. Prior to Conduit, he was the managing director of Sailing Capital which was initiated by Shanghai International Group (SIG) mainly for both China onshore and offshore investments. His expertise includes new energy vehicles (vehicle networking, auto parts, deep learning, lithium batteries, fuel cells) and chemical industries. He also worked for the second largest family office in Hong Kong, managing US dollar funds and its full-license investment banking business.
He has BA degree from Fudan University, master degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University, EMBA from Kedge, PHD graduated from PSL, and is a researcher of organizational change at Tsinghua University.
Bina, a part qualified accountant, has over 17 years’ managerial and administrative experience. She has been working at Conduit Ventures as an office manager for past 7 years where her responsibilities have included managing an office move, organising client events and of course all administrative responsibilities of managing a busy office.
Piers is a young, entrepreneurship orientated scholar, born and raised in Quebec City, Canada and in London, UK. A keen advocate of sustainability, he is a 2020 graduate from IE University in Spain, having obtained his bachelor’s in law LLB. While at IE, Piers also started his own digital media and music production platform which he currently administers. An alumnus of UWC Atlantic College, Wales, Piers speaks fluently, three languages: English, French and Spanish.
Partner Network – Advisory Board
Dr. Demiddeleer is President of the Board at the European Industrial Research Management Association. Dr. Demiddeleer served as Senior Executive Vice President of Future Businesses, Future Businesses Director and Co-Chairman of the New Business Board and the Corporate R&D at Solvay S.A. He was responsible for several research and development initiatives in catalyst high performance materials, polyethylene, polymers and global polyolefins. He started his career in 1976 teaching Mathematics and Physics. Dr. Demiddeleer is currently an Independent Advisor to McPhy Energy SA (Electrolyser and Hydrogen storage company).
Dr. Demiddeleer holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Brussels University and is on the Investment Committee of Conduit.
Professor Panik studied Electrical Engineering at the Technical University Berlin (TUB) and worked there as a research fellow whilst preparing for his PhD degree. In 1972 he joined the Daimler- Benz research department, whose Director he was appointed in 1986. From 1989 to 1996 he was Member of the Management Board of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil (MBBras), responsible for Truck and Bus development. In 1996 he became Vice- President of DaimlerChrysler (DC) and Head of the Group’s strategic Fuel Cell Project. Following his retirement in 2003, he joined the University of Applied Science Esslingen (UASE) as a professor for sustainable mobility, having already taught there since 1997.
In 2001 Ferdinand was selected by Business Week as one of the 50 European Leaders at the “Forefront of Change”. In 2002 he was honoured by the British Industry with the “Grove- Medal” for Leadership in advancing Fuel Cell Technology, and in 2010 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) as SAE Fellow for “Exceptional Professional Distinction in the Field of Mobility Engineering”.
Mike Maekita as a member of Conduit’s advisory board and supports the Conduit team as an Associate responsible for Japan. Prior to joining Conduit, Mike was General Manager for Mitsubishi Corporation Metals, Mining and Natural Resources based in Vancouver and New York responsible for North America. Mike holds a BA in Law from the University of Tokyo, Japan and an MBA from Stanford University, USA.
Tong Yuenong is a partner of Conduit Shanghai Venture Capital Company from the Shanghai Science and Technology Investment Corporation (“SSTIC”) where he is Deputy Chairman. Mr. Tong is a seasoned investor with over 20 years of experience with the SSTIC. Prior to the SSTIC, he worked with China Textile Machinery for over 20 years responsible for technology planning, restructuring and asset management. BA Shanghai University, China.