Hamish owns and runs Fast Track which he founded in 1997 after securing cornerstone sponsorship from Richard Branson. With the help of lots of people, he and his team have built Fast Track into the UK’s leading research and networking events company focusing on top private companies and entrepreneurs, and ranking them in league tables published with The Sunday Times.
He works closely with sponsors, media partners and leading entrepreneurs to try to ensure that their expectations of Fast Track are exceeded, and that they remain engaged with our alumni network.
He is an associate fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford University, where he completed his masters and doctorate in management at St Edmund Hall, and later set up and held the Virgin research fellowship in entrepreneurship.
Fast Track: With media partner The Sunday Times, Hamish publishes seven annual league table programmes, ranging from the fastest-growing to the biggest private companies. He hosts around 25 networking dinners a year, including seven national awards events and around 20 alumni dinners a year for the entrepreneurial owners and directors of companies on the league tables to network and to meet our sponsors, including Virgin, Barclays, Grant Thornton, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and UBS Wealth Management.
Past: Originally from South Africa, Hamish graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a British Morehead-Cain Scholarship; and completed a masters and doctorate in management studies at Oxford University. He then bought into, turned-around and successfully sold his stake in The Venture Capital Report fundraising newsletter after four years, which was subsequently bought by Pi Capital. He returned to Oxford to establish and be appointed the Virgin research fellow in entrepreneurship at Templeton College and launched Fast Track.
Extra curricular: He has helped Virgin Unite charity raise over £1.8m from Fast Track entrepreneurs for underprivileged students at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was a ‘country expert’ for the Europe 500 fastest-growing job creators. He was involved as an Ambassador to Team 2012, securing support from entrepreneurs for British athletes for the London 2012 Olympics. He collaborated on entrepreneurial cases with Stanford Graduate School of Business for the World Economic Forum (WEF); and in 2011 he was invited to attend the WEF’s ‘Summer Davos’ for growth champions in Dalian, China.
Richard leads Fast Track’s research and editorial, working closely with sponsors and companies within our network. He was the enterprise editor of The Daily and Sunday Telegraph for nine years, covering private companies and government policy towards business. He trained in journalism at Euromoney, part of The Daily Mail & General Trust, after completing his degree at Manchester University.
Claire is responsible for Fast Track’s programme of events and managing VIPs and speakers. Previously, Claire was the lead programme manager at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, where she oversaw the portfolio of co-curriculum programmes, events and activities at the Entrepreneurship Centre. She was also a project manager at the University of Cambridge, and managed an education programme in South Africa after completing her degree at Leeds Beckett University.
Lucy is responsible for account managing Virgin, and working closely with other sponsors including BMW and UBS. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2001, she spent four years at ship-based forum organisers Richmond Events. She has a degree in photography from Nottingham Trent University.
Lindsay is responsible for helping with business development and working with our sponsors to ensure they get a good return on investment. She was previously a lawyer with Gowling WLG, where she trained in commercial and real estate law. She has a degree in modern history from Oxford University, and also studied at Princeton University.
Richard is responsible for the design and print of all Fast Track’s marketing and events literature, and for managing the website. He previously freelanced and was the in-house designer at World Telecom. He has a degree in mathematics from Leeds University.
Emma is responsible for curating and managing Fast Track’s social media accounts and strategy. She previously worked in digital marketing and communications for the economics consultancy, Oxera; and before that was a university lecturer and communications officer at Magdalen College, Oxford. She has a BA and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Oxford and a PhD in medieval linguistics from the University of Leicester.
Faye is executive assistant to Hamish Stevenson and also helps with business development. She previously worked for a successful entrepreneur and has experience in banking and private equity, including as head of research for Skillcapital. Prior to this she worked for Vision Capital and Goldman Sachs. She has a masters in chemistry from Bristol University.
Lizzie is responsible for managing the office and accounts; and also provides support for the events and research teams. She previously worked as a client relationship manager for a mortgage broker in Oxford and has experience working on national cycling events. She has a masters degree in philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
Thea is executive assistant to Hamish Stevenson (maternity cover), and also works in business development. She was most recently a senior consultant at PRIME Research, having previously spent two years at Fast Track as a research project coordinator. Prior to this she worked in development for Sotheby’s International Realty. She studied French and Spanish at Oxford University.
Ying is responsible for helping manage Fast Track’s research. Before joining Fast Track in 2005 she worked for the Beijing subsidiary of French consultancy Metizo, and managed HR for City Centre Bistros. She has a masters in HR from Oxford University’s Said Business School, and a degree in English from Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Chris is responsible for helping to create and manage Fast Track’s editorial output. He also researches companies and manages the Tech Track 100 programme. He was previously a journalist at Citywire for six years, covering investments and global financial markets. He has also worked as a reporter at Financial Times Business. He has a degree in applied biology from Aston University.
Michael is responsible for researching and identifying companies and for helping train Fast Track’s team of freelance researchers. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2005, he worked for NatWest Bank as a senior tax consultant, and has held various positions in US Embassies abroad.
Malcolm is responsible for co-ordinating company visits and providing research support. He previously worked as client services director at corporate communications agency Investis, and conducted media research at Prime Research. He has a degree in English from the University of Warwick and a masters in European Literature from Oxford University.
Eva is responsible for identifying and researching companies and was previously head of research at Fast Track. Prior to joining the company in 1999, she worked for companies such as Kuwait Petroleum and Maersk Line. She has a masters in politics from Oxford University, and a degree in business from Copenhagen Business School.
Mike researches companies and is responsible for managing the Top Track 250 and the Profit Track 100 programmes. He trained as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton (Oxford) and has an audit and corporate finance background. More recently he worked as a finance manager for Unipart. He has a degree in mathematics from Birmingham University.
Kaye is responsible for identifying and researching companies. She previously published a European biotech business and finance newsletter, BioBusiness, which she sold to US publisher BioCentury. She was also head of UK internal communications for Rhône-Poulenc. She has a degree in biochemistry from Kings College, London, and a post-graduate degree in psychology from Oxford Brookes University.
Laura is responsible for coordinating company visits and managing Fast Track’s team of freelance researchers. She previously worked for over seven years at school expeditions organiser, World Challenge, as the account manager for a portfolio of schools in the southeast. She has a degree in English studies from the University of Nottingham.
Verity is responsible for identifying and researching companies. She has previously worked for leisure management organisation Fusion Lifestyle, in commercial and partnerships for Oxford United FC, and as a project coordinator at IT consultancy firm White Cat Consultancy. She has a degree in geography from University College London.
Yvette is responsible for identifying and researching companies. She previously worked as a senior researcher at ORX, a not-for-profit financial firm which focuses on operational risk. She has a degree in Psychology from Aberystwyth University.
Dan is responsible for helping to create Fast Track’s editorial and social media output, as well as for researching companies. He was previously an advertising copywriter for 303 MullenLowe in Australia. He has a degree in English and communication studies from the University of Western Australia.
Lindsay manages research projects including the International Track 200. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2006, she worked as a research associate at Library House in Cambridge; and as a post-doctoral research chemist at the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France. She has a doctorate and masters in chemistry from Oxford University.
Rachael is responsible for managing a number of events at Fast Track, including the Fast Track 100 and Top Track 250 events programmes. She previously worked at solicitors, Manches LLP. She has a degree in International Business from Loughborough University.
Emma is responsible for the SME Export Track 100 and Tech Track 100 events programmes. She previously managed the alumni events calendar at Wadham College, University of Oxford, as well as organising large charity events for The Hospice of St Francis and launching a new wedding venue, Kings Chapel, earlier in her career. Emma has a degree in English Literature and Language from The University of Leeds.
Maya is responsible for the Profit Track 100 and Tech Track 100 events programmes. She previously managed the global events programme for the central Alumni Office of the University of Oxford. Maya has a degree in Modern History from the University of Oxford.
Emily is supporting the SME Export Track 100 and Top Track 100 events programmes. She previously managed networking events at Oxfordshire Bioscience Network, the Oxford-based membership organisation for life sciences companies. Emily has a degree in English Literature and Media, Communications and Culture from Keele University.
Helen is responsible for managing a number of events at Fast Track, including the Top Track 100 events programme. She previously worked as event manager at The Marketing Practice. She has a degree in English language and literature from Reading University.
Lucy is responsible for the Profit Track 100, International Track 200 and the Tech Track 100 events programmes. She previously worked for the University of Oxford at St Catherine’s College, where she managed their alumni relations and annual programme of events. Lucy has a degree in International Events Management from Brighton University.
Frances has worked in a number senior marketing and communication roles, most recently as director of audiences at the British Library and global marketing director at the Financial Times. She is the founder and CEO of WildCrowd, a crowdfunding platform for conservation and animal welfare charities, and is a charity trustee. She has a degree in microbiology from Liverpool University and a Masters’ degree in virology from the University of Oxford.
Ashley formerly worked as a researcher and reporter for the BBC and Sky TV. More recently she has run her own public relations and event management consultancy. She has a degree in English from the University of Warwick.
Claire qualified as a solicitor at Travers Smith in 2000, specialising in financial regulation. More recently she taught law at Oxford Brookes University. She has a degree in Classics from Cambridge University.
Elizabeth is a researcher and consultant specialising in the role of digital technologies at work. In 2015 she co-authored ‘The Digital Renaissance of Work: delivering digital workplaces fit for the future’, which was shortlisted for CMI Book of the Year 2016. She holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Kent.
Rosie works as a freelance journalist for titles including The Telegraph, Times, Independent and Mail on Sunday. She was formerly the Deputy Personal Finance Editor of The Telegraph and has a degree in Classics and English from Oxford University.
Laura has run her own corporate copywriting agency, Superscript, since 2005, with clients including Tata Steel and Carillion. She has a background in public relations and internal communications, working for Grayling and Porter Novelli PR agencies. She has a degree in English from Cambridge University.
Suzie has worked in corporate finance for HSBC in London and Tokyo and more recently she directed large scale financial conferences for the Informa Group. She holds a degree in Japanese studies from Oxford University.
Luke is director of development at the Royal College of Art. He is an experienced fundraiser in the Higher Education sector, with a proven international track record in securing major gifts from individuals, foundations and corporates. He holds a degree in modern history from Oxford University.
Francesca is the founder of Slanted Door Communications, a marketing agency. She has previously worked in a number of communication and marketing roles, most recently at a business incubator, and before that at the Co-Op, the Foreign Office and John Lewis. She has a degree in French and German and post-graduate degree in German Studies from UCL.