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Understanding the client: Merlin's professionals have all worked in businesses that we seek as clients. Merlin is an entrepreneurial business and so understands the pressures of businesses as they develop.

Matthew Clarke (Principal and Founder)


Matthew is the founder of Merlin. He practised as an international finance lawyer at Linklaters from 1988-1998 working in London, New York and Hong Kong.


From 1996-2001 he was a director at Robert Fleming & Co. Limited, the merchant bank where he carried out numerous emerging market natural resource transactions.


He founded the company as Montrose Partners Ltd in 2002 and turned it into a regulated LLP in 2006. In 2011 he changed the company name to Merlin Partners LLP. Matthew also sits on the Boards of a number of private natural resource businesses.


Henry Clarke (Partner)


Henry started his career at Kitcat and Aitken in 1982 before running the sales desk in London for Bank Sarasin for eight years. In 1993 he went on to found the highly successful distressed debt unit at Collins Stewart. He started his own venture and private equity business, Trafalgar 1805 Ltd, in 1996 which has invested in successful mining, engineering, software, manufacturing, biotech, med-tech, and oil & gas businesses, many of which he has served on the Boards of. In 2011 he co-founded Stone Drum Partners and manages its Resources Early Stage Opportunities Company.

Ashleigh Ruxton (Partner)


Ashleigh joined Merlin in early 2014 after spending three years at GMP Securities on the Institutional Equity Sales team specialising in mining, energy and agriculture. Prior to that she spent 3 years at Close Asset Management as an analyst on the Pan-European Equity Fund, managed the collective investments and was the senior Relationship Manager. In 2007 Ashleigh graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master of Chemistry and went on to do her Post Graduate in Entrepreneurship where she was a founder of Foldeez shoe producer in Cape Town.

Stephen Foss (Partner)


Stephen has over 30 years of experience in the capital markets industry, having spent his career in Australia, Canada and the UK. He previously led the Royal Bank of Canada's International Equities business for Europe and Austral-Asia, prior to joining its global investment banking division in February 2011 to concentrate on senior client coverage, Sovereign Wealth Funds and origination in the natural resources sector. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario, Stephen began his career at the Sydney Stock Exchange and subsequently held a number of senior management positions with another global investment bank. Stephen was recently appointed Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of Amerisur Resources.

Peter Barrett-Lennard (Partner)


Peter joined Merlin at the end of 2014 and has worked for more than 15 years as an adviser in the UK, African, European, North American and Australasian Markets. He began his career at leading chartered accounting firms, working in Corporate Finance at PwC in Perth, Australia, focussing on resource, agribusiness, technology and services companies. In 2004, he moved to London to join Royal Bank of Canada in Investment Banking, focusing on equity/debt financing and M&A in the UK, Europe and Africa with $1 billion raised for African Companies.


Mark Vickers (Partner)


Mark has worked for more than 28 years as an adviser, analyst, private equity investor and credit risk manager in project, structured and corporate finance.

He holds qualifications in law, accounting and finance and joined Merlin in 2008. With a focus on the energy and infrastructure sectors, Mark began his career at leading international law firm Linklaters, working in London, Frankfurt and Singapore. His career in banking and commerce has involved working (in various roles) for BAT Industries, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, WS Atkins, Commerzbank, TCW, Standard Chartered and The Crown Estate. He was latterly Director of Project Finance for NuGen’s 3.8GW nuclear power project at Moorside in West Cumbria, is a founding director of ESVM, a renewable energy investment management business, and is an officer in the RNR with 15 years naval & maritime security experience.

Mark has extensive experience of oil & gas, power generation, renewable energy, asset finance and private equity fund transactions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Dominic Hughes (Partner)


Dominic Hughes has been advising companies on raising capital since 1994, and has IPO’d companies from Beirut to London and most markets in between. Starting as a front-line equity salesman, he has gone on to build equity advisory businesses for institutions including Flemings, Dresdner Kleinwort and, most recently, Berenberg. He has advised clients in a wide variety of sectors and situations, ranging from IPO to complex cross-border public M&A and from banks to bar-owners. He has been working as an independent advisor since 2013, initially at STJ Advisors, the leading IPO-only specialist. He joined the team at Merlin in early 2017.

Patrick Bailey (Adviser)


Patrick has over fifteen years oil and gas experience in industry, venture capital/private equity and financial advisory. Patrick has provided corporate finance and M&A advice to companies within the oil and gas sector including E&P companies, integrated companies and national oil companies.

Prior to Merlin Partners, Patrick worked in the oil & gas team at Jefferies and the natural resources team at Deutsche Bank. Previous to Deutsche Bank, Patrick worked with BG Group in Trinidad focusing on upstream development and LNG projects.

Patrick has an MBA from the University of Oxford, BSc (Chemical Engineering) and MSc.(Production Management) from the University of the West Indies. Patrick is Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK).

Federica Maranca (Adviser)


Federica joined Merlin in 2015 and she is a significant cross-functional experience gained with blue chip employers operating within the global energy sector with a particular focus on Renewable Energy, Gas Storage and Gas Transmission, and LNG sectors. Federica has covered a number of roles across Europe and Africa, primarily as an internal consultant, with direct responsibility for delivering the commercial and technical aspects of high impact capital projects. She has expertise in sustainability, M&A, deal structuring and negotiation, business and project development, and commercial and financial due diligence encompassing business opportunities in the EU gas and power market and the global LNG market.
Federica is a qualified project manager and has a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, a Master's Degree in Integrated Environmental Management, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering.


Michael Hanbury-Williams (Adviser)


Michael joined Merlin in 2016 and has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He was an early investor in the Emerging and Developing Markets of the Pacific Basin and over the years has delivered a strong performance track record, built successful investment teams, and implemented robust investment processes.


In September 1990 Michael moved to head up Royal Insurance Pacific Basin Equity team. He remained with the company through several mergers and acquisitions, ultimately becoming part of the F&C BMO group, and continued to build the investment team, performance track record and the assets under management in the region. In 2011 after 20 years as Director, Head of Pacific Basin Equities, Michael took on the responsibility of business development in the Pacific Basin region and client relationship management for F&C’s strategic institutional clients. He enabled changes to address client needs and significantly improved the company’s relationship with it major clients.


Michael started his investment career working for Tyndall Investment Management in Bristol in 1984. He immediately focused on investing in the Pacific Basin equity markets moving to Hong Kong in 1987 with Aetna Life. Michael graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Engineering from Exeter University taking investment management courses as part of the degree and later completed a number of courses at the London Business School.

Kerry White (Office Manager)


Kerry joined Merlin Partners in August 2016. She previously worked as Assistant Editor and Designer for multiple Financial Services trade publications in the City for over two years. In 2016 she graduated from Birkbeck College, University of London with an MA in Journalism, after receiving her BA Hons in Media and Communications from the University of Greenwich in 2013.