Nicholas started his career in 1981 working for London advertising agencies Foote Cone and Belding (three years) followed by Lowe Howard Spink (nine years). In this time he worked across a wide range of clients including Vauxhall Cars, Heineken, Whitbread, Tesco, Reebok and Hanson Group companies. In 1993, Nicholas started his own agency, Mustoe Merriman Levy (Mustoes), which he ran for 15 years, with a brief period under the ownership of Japanese multinational Hakuhodo. During this time the agency managed client accounts including Kia Cars, Lloyds Pharmacy, Doctor Marten, Bauer Publishing, Coca Cola and Unilever. In 2008, Mustoes merged with a leading PR agency Geronimo to form Kindred, the first fully integrated PR and advertising agency. Nicholas subsequently led an MBO of Kindred in 2010 and remains Chief Executive and principal shareholder.
Aside from his media career, Nicholas has been involved in supporting many start-up companies starting with funding Hall and Partners (research) in 1992, Caravell (industrial refrigeration MBO), ABC Connection (on-line publishing and software), Sosandar (fashion label) amongst others. Currently, Nicholas has a number of non-executive roles, including acting as Chairman of Starlight Children’s Foundation, Kempton Park Racecourse (Jockey Club) and as a director of Hub Capital Partners Limited and AIM quoted Premaitha Plc.
Over the last 35 years, Simon has worked across many sectors and built enduring relationships at senior levels with many blue chip clients including Audi, Regus, QVC, Volkswagen Group, Prodrive, B.A.R, Coca Cola, Vauxhall Motors, Barclays, VW Financial Services, NatWest, Alliance & Leicester, Nokia, the Office of Government Commerce, Business in the Community, Royal Mail Wholesale, Amex, Citroen UK and many others.
Simon worked extensively as a management consultant with CEOs, Boards and management teams, as well as serving as CEO at Research International for 18 months before setting up Big Sofa with Matt.
Simon has an Honours BA in Sociology and a Masters in Inter-organisational Relations both from Exeter University, and an Honorary Doctorate from Middlesex University. He is a Fellow of the Market Research Society, a Fellow of the RSA, and sat on the Advisory Council for the Economic & Social Research Council’s ‘Cultures of Consumption’ Programme between 2003 and 2008.
Matt began his career in marketing and category management after graduating from Oxford University. He went on to develop his advisory experience across a range of research and consulting roles, before completing a Masters in Organisational Behaviour.
Matt is experienced in leading engagements for blue chip organisations (Procter and Gamble, Coca Cola, Unilever, BP, Barclays); in working alongside global agencies; and in collaborating with tech partners of all sizes.
His role at Big Sofa is to lead the Company’s strategic direction and to ensure that the business constantly innovates to deliver maximum client value.
Joe started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers and for the past 10 years has been working in investment management, with a particular focus on start-ups and smaller company investing. He has been responsible for managing more than £100 million of investments across a variety of sectors including media and infrastructure. Joe holds a degree in Economics from Durham University, is a Chartered Accountant and also holds a Diploma in Corporate Finance from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Joe joined Big Sofa as CFO in 2016.
Paul has more than 40 years of experience in the IT sector, beginning in the 1970s as a programmer and analyst. He then worked extensively in the technology product and services sector.
Paul specialises in start-up or recovery of underperforming/stalled operations. His most recent role involved the turnaround (and eventual sale) of a struggling software product company, Invigia Ltd, into a market dominant, highly profitable, cash generative organisation. Prior to this, he enjoyed considerable success building and re-energising both consultancy and product businesses serving a broad range of sectors in both the commercial and government arena.
He is now engaged in a portfolio of advisory roles to a range of fast growth businesses, both as non-executive director and consultant. Paul is also currently a non-executive director of Cyber Challenge Ventures Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation, whose purpose is to identify and career signpost untapped Cyber Security talent.
Adam Reynolds is a former stockbroker with over 35 years’ experience within the UK financial services sector. In 2000, Adam founded Hansard Group plc which was admitted to trading on AIM in 2000. Adam is currently a director of several AIM traded companies: he is a non-executive director of EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, a point-of-care, central laboratory, and molecular diagnostics company, Optibiotix plc, a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes; and Premaitha Health Plc, a company involved in the development of prenatal screening devices.
He is also a director of a number of other public and private companies. Adam joined the Board as a non-executive Director of the Company in 2011.
Steven is a former stockbroker with more than 28 years’ experience in the financial industry. In 2005, as Head of UK Equities at Hichens Harrison, he was involved in the management buyout and then subsequent sale to Religare Capital Markets. For the last seven years, he has been involved with Institutions, Hedge Funds and HNW within the regulated arena.
Since leaving Investment banking in mid-2016, he is now using his substantial background and history within the financial and corporate world and has set up a consultancy business that advises SMEs on finance, strategy and growth within their chosen area.