About us

Management team

Hamish Stevenson
Founder & CEO
Hamish Stevenson - Founder & CEO

Hamish, 59, owns and runs Fast Track which he founded in 1997 after securing the Sunday Times as a media partner and 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-performing private companies and entrepreneurs, and ranking them in Fast Track’s definitive annual league tables.

He enjoys working closely with sponsors, media partners and leading entrepreneurs to promote British enterprise and entrepreneurship, and to ensure that their expectations of Fast Track are exceeded and that they remain engaged with our alumni network.

He has been an associate fellow at Green Templeton College, Oxford University since 1997, 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 compiles and publishes seven annual league table programmes, ranging from the Fast Track 100 fastest-growing companies to the Top Track 100 biggest private companies.

He hosts around 30 networking dinners a year, including seven national awards events and over 20 alumni dinners for the entrepreneurial owners and directors of companies on the league tables to network and to meet our sponsors, including Virgin, Barclays, BDO, BGF, BMW, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, PwC and UBS Wealth Management.

Extracurricular:
Hamish was a ‘country expert’ for the Europe 500 fastest-growing job creators. He was 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); was invited by WEF to attend their ‘Summer Davos’ for growth champions in Dalian, China; and gives the occasional lecture on entrepreneurship and has been interviewed on the subject a number of times on BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme.

Charities:
Hamish has completed a number of charity bike rides, including from Land’s End to John O’Groats over nine days, raising over £100k for The Princes Trust and Virgin Unite Foundation; and from Monaco to Tignes with Richard Branson and the Virgin Strive team – cycling 560km over 5 days and climbing more than 15,000m. He has helped Virgin Unite and Big Change charities raise over £3m from Fast Track entrepreneurs for underprivileged budding entrepreneurs in South Africa and the UK.

Interests:
Hamish is married with four grown-up children, and enjoys cycling, hot yoga, sea kayaking and SUPing.

Past:
Originally from South Africa, Hamish won scholarships to complete his schooling in the UK, to study for a BA in political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a British Morehead-Cain Scholar; and to complete his masters and doctorate in management studies at Oxford University.

After graduating he bought into, turned-around and successfully sold his stake in The Venture Capital Report fundraising newsletter after four years, which was bought by Pi Capital.

He returned to Oxford to establish and be appointed the Virgin research fellow in entrepreneurship at Templeton College from where he spun-out Fast Track as a company.

Richard Tyler
Director of editorial
Richard Tyler - Director of editorial

Richard leads Fast Track’s editorial, working closely with sponsors and companies within our network. Before joining Fast Track in 2012, 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. In his spare time, Richard enjoys tennis, cycling and trying to grow veg on his allotment.

Lucy Stock
Associate director
Lucy Stock - Associate director

Lucy works part-time and 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. In her spare time, Lucy enjoys trail running and active holidays.

Support team

Rebekkah Hughes
Creative manager
Rebekkah Hughes - Creative manager

Rebekkah is responsible for the design and print of Fast Track’s marketing and events literature. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2018, she designed documents and proofread for QA, the training and education provider. She has a BA in English literature and creative writing from the University of Surrey. In her spare time, Rebekkah enjoys typography and hand-lettering.

 

Faye Preston-Smith
Executive assistant
Faye Preston-Smith - Executive assistant

Faye works part time and is executive assistant to Hamish Stevenson. Before joining Fast Track in 2012, she 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. In her spare time, Faye enjoys riding, both teaching and competing, and is a judge at national level showing competitions.

Research & content team

Ying Chen Van de Walle
Head of research
Ying Chen Van de Walle - Head of research

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 Saïd Business School, and a degree in English from Beijing Foreign Studies University. In her spare time, Ying enjoys collecting Lego sets for her two young children, and is learning to ice skate.

Joe Kempton
Head of research – “Ones to Watch”
Joe Kempton - Head of research – “Ones to Watch”

Joe is responsible for Fast Track’s “Ones to Watch” programmes. Before joining Fast Track in 2019, he worked as a research manager for consumer electronics designer Bullitt Group, and as a technology analyst for Canalys. He has a degree in economics from the University of Leicester, with a year abroad at the University of Valencia in Spain. In his spare time, Joe enjoys playing the guitar and pretending to go the gym.

John Elliott
Deputy head of editorial and social media
John Elliott - Deputy head of editorial and social media

John plans, produces and curates editorial and social media content in support of Fast Track’s annual league tables and networking events. He joined in 2019 from Powerscourt, the strategic communications consultancy, where he advised fast-growth TMT companies. He was previously a journalist at The Sunday Times for eight years and has also worked for the Telegraph, Condé Nast, and HarperCollins publishers. He has a degree of English literature from the University of Cambridge. In his spare time, he coaches football and rugby.

Michael Cook
Senior researcher
Michael Cook - Senior researcher

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. Michael is a qualified pilot and enjoys playing various sports in his spare time. 

Matthew Elliott
Senior writer and researcher
Matthew Elliott - Senior writer and researcher

Matthew is responsible for helping to create Fast Track’s editorial output and researching companies. Before joining Fast Track in 2018, he worked at the International Coffee Organisation, the Rio Times in Brazil, the Business Year, the Euro Weekly News in Spain, and Consulting.us. He has a degree in law from the University of Glasgow. In his spare time, Matt enjoys cooking and travelling.

Malcolm Gilmour
Senior researcher
Malcolm Gilmour - Senior researcher

Malcolm is responsible for researching companies and providing research support. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2014, he 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. In his spare time, Malcolm enjoys tennis and swimming. 

Amelia Kløverød Griffiths
Senior research manager
Amelia Kløverød Griffiths - Senior research manager

Amelia is responsible for identifying and researching companies, and manages the Tech Track 100. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2019, she spent eight years in consulting and research roles at companies including AlphaSights and Kaiser Associates. Most recently, she was executive director at advisory firm Orbit Partners, working with high-growth companies, PE and VC firms. She has a degree in mathematics and philosophy from University of Bristol, and in business from University of Bath. In her spare time, Amelia enjoys climbing, running and hiking.

Eva Gronbech
Senior research manager
Eva Gronbech - Senior research manager

Eva is responsible for identifying and researching companies, and manages the Top Track 100 and the Fast Track 100 programmes. She was previously head of research at Fast Track. Prior to joining the company in 2000, 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. In her spare time, Eva is a competitive archer and teaches the Alexander technique.

Claire Harrington
Company visit lead
Claire Harrington - Company visit lead

Claire is responsible for optimising our company visit programme. Before joining Fast Track in 2014 as a freelancer, she worked as a solicitor at City firm Travers Smith for six years and taught business law at Oxford Brookes University. She has a degree in Classics from Cambridge University. In her spare time, Claire takes her Frisian Pointer to a local primary school where children with special needs read to the dog.

Helena Martin
Research visit coordinator
Helena Martin - Research visit coordinator

Helena is responsible for coordinating company visits and helping manage Fast Track’s team of freelance researchers. Before joining Fast Track in 2019, she worked as a legal and compliance administrator for Oxford Policy Management, and as a procurement analyst at Oxford University Press. She has a degree in early childhood studies from Oxford Brookes University. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga and meditation, reading and international cuisine.

Gareth Morgan
Senior research manager
Gareth Morgan - Senior research manager

Gareth is responsible for identifying and researching companies, and co-manages the International Track 200. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2019, he worked on the research team at private equity information service Unquote, covering the European market. He has a degree in English language and linguistics, and a masters in applied linguistics – both from the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, Gareth enjoys playing golf and cooking, and is slowly, but surely, learning Italian.

Elise O’Brien
Business researcher
Elise O’Brien - Business researcher

Elise is responsible for identifying and researching companies. She joined Fast Track in 2019 after completing a degree in English language and literature from Oxford University. She was involved with lobbying for women’s rights in Northern Ireland during her studies. In her spare time she enjoys reading and film, as well as the occasional run.

Will Paige
Research manager
Will Paige - Research manager

Will is responsible for identifying and researching companies, and manages the Profit Track 100. Before joining Fast Track in 2019, he worked as a financial analyst at Lloyd’s Register. He has an audit and finance background, having previously worked at PwC in Reading and as a management accountant at National Grid. He has a degree in business economics with German from the University of Exeter. In his spare time, he enjoys running, swimming and playing tennis.

Edward Parsons
Business researcher & visit coordinator
Edward Parsons - Business researcher & visit coordinator

Edward is responsible for identifying and researching companies, co-ordinating company visits and helping manage Fast Track’s team of freelance researchers. Prior to joining Fast Track in 2019, he worked as a paralegal for Roythornes solicitors in their planning department and as a legal assistant in real estate for Freeths. Edward has a degree in law from the University of Leicester, where he graduated in 2016. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, scuba-diving and going to the gym.

Jonathan Sinclair
Deputy research manager
Jonathan Sinclair - Deputy research manager

Jonathan joined Fast Track’s graduate programme in entrepreneurship in 2019, and currently works with the research team, co-managing our Fast Track 100 programme. He has a masters in economics from the University of St Andrews; and previously completed an internship at the TMT research firm Enders Analysis in London. In his spare time, he is a keen sportsman and particularly enjoys tennis, football and running.

Lindsay Uppadine
Senior research manager
Lindsay Uppadine - Senior research manager

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. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys playing the cello and racquet sports. 

Sebastian Wright
Business researcher
Sebastian Wright - Business researcher

Sebastian joined Fast Track’s graduate programme in entrepreneurship in 2019, and currently works with the research team, identifying and researching companies. He has a masters in physics and philosophy from Oxford University. During his degree, he also conducted renewable energy research at a Chinese university in Wuhan. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and reading science fiction.

Events team

Lauren Robinson-Stanley
Deputy head of events
Lauren Robinson-Stanley - Deputy head of events

Lauren is responsible for helping to deliver the Tech Track 100 conference & awards dinner. Prior to joining Fast Track she was a training and events coordinator for Relax Kids, a training company. She has a degree in crime and investigative studies from Anglia Ruskin University. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys travelling and playing netball.

Helen Mount
Senior events manager
Helen Mount - Senior events manager

Helen works part time and is responsible for managing a number of events at Fast Track, including the Top Track 100 events programme. Before joining Fast Track in 2008, she worked as event manager at The Marketing Practice. She has a degree in English language and literature from Reading University. She enjoys yoga and is an enthusiastic novice gardener.

Emma Roby
Senior events manager
Emma Roby - Senior events manager

Emma is responsible for helping to deliver the Fast Track 100 conference & awards dinner. Prior to joining Fast Track, she was a business development and marketing professional at Freeths Solicitors. She has a degree in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. In her spare time, Emma enjoys yoga and coaching youth basketball.

Ben Maxwell
Events manager
Ben Maxwell - Events manager

Ben is responsible for delivering the International Track 200 national awards and Top Track 100 directors’ events. He has a degree in finance and accounting from Newcastle University, where he curated speakers and organised the 2019 TEDx Conference. Prior to joining Fast Track, he undertook a 12-month management placement at Pareto Law, Randstad in London. In his spare time, he avidly follows Formula 1, is a keen waterman, and likes keeping active.

Lucy Walters
Freelance events manager
Lucy Walters - Freelance events manager

Lucy previously worked at Fast Track as a senior events manager for four years, and has re-joined to help deliver the virtual Profit Track 100 alumni events. Whilst working freelance she managed events on behalf of luxury brands including Burberry. Lucy has a degree in international events management from Brighton University. In her spare time, she enjoys running and yoga.

Freelance researchers

Ashley Cavers
Ashley Cavers

Ashley is co-founder of food producer The Wonky Food Co, and runs her own public relations and event management consultancy, Hey-day. She joined the Fast Track team in 2011, having formerly worked as a researcher and reporter for the BBC and Sky TV. She has a degree in English from the University of Warwick. In his spare time, Ashley likes reading, going to the cinema and listening to live music.

Ian Hall

Ian is an editing and communications professional who joined the Fast Track team in 2019. He is a former editor of Public Affairs News and, more recently, was UK Director for pan-European policy media Euractiv. Ian has an MA in urban and regional change in Europe and a BA in economics from Durham University. In his spare time, he enjoys football and golf.

Mike Harding
Mike Harding

Mike runs his own health and wellbeing business, and re-joined Fast Track in 2020 as a freelancer, having previously worked as a senior research manager for ten years. He is a chartered accountant, and previously worked at Grant Thornton. He has a degree in mathematics and a masters in computer science from The University of Birmingham, as well as a degree in osteopathy from the London School of Osteopathy. In his spare time, Mike plays tennis, and is a supporter of Liverpool FC.

Jessica Johnson
Jessica Johnson

Jessica runs her own medical writing company, developing communication materials for the global pharmaceutical industry. She joined the Fast Track team in 2019, having previously worked as a research scientist for the Oxford University spin-out company, Oxford Nanopore. She holds a masters and PhD in chemical biology from Imperial College London. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys time with her family.

Will Laws

Will is a business writer, marketer and analyst, working with VC investors, start-ups and professional services firms. He previously spent five years in a fundraising and investor relations role with Oxford Capital, leaving in 2017 to start his own business. He qualified as a chartered accountant at PwC, and between 2008 and 2010 worked in Fast Track’s research team. He has a degree in philosophy from Durham University. In his spare time, Will enjoys watching movies and reading non-fiction.

Laura Parker
Laura Parker

Laura has run her own corporate copywriting agency, Superscript, since 2005, with clients including Tata Steel. She has a background in public relations and internal comms, working for Grayling and Porter Novelli PR agencies. She joined the Fast Track team in 2017 and has a degree in English from Cambridge University. In her spare time, Laura looks after her small flock of Shetland sheep and helps organise a local literary festival.

Suzie Pilkington
Suzie Pilkington

Suzie runs her family-owned classic car trading company. She previously worked in corporate finance for HSBC and SG in London and Tokyo, and went on to direct large scale financial conferences for the Informa Group. She joined the Fast Track team in 2008 and holds a degree in Japanese studies from Oxford University. In her free time, Suzie enjoys open water swimming, rowing and cycling.

Anita Temperley
Anita Temperley

Anita worked under Fast Track’s graduate programme in entrepreneurship for a year until Sept 2020 in our research and events team. She is studying for a masters in criminology at UCL. She has a degree in experimental psychology from Oxford University, and was a psychology research assistant during her studies. In her spare time, Anita enjoys playing basketball and painting.