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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.

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.