Mark Florman created Maizels Westerberg & Co, one of the first independent merchant banks in 1982. He went on to specialise in the restructuring of failing companies. Mark has advised a wide variety of governments and industries. He is also an entrepreneur, having founded businesses in technology, media, transportation, publishing, private equity, banking and leisure, as well as think tanks, school building and international development programmes, charities and political campaigns. He has been active in politics for 15 years.
In 2004 he created Build a School, developing a new approach to rural community development in Africa’s poorest communities and is active on a number of African-related initiatives. He co-founded the Centre for Social Justice, the UK think tank with a focus on poverty and welfare. The CSJ published Breakthrough Britain, proposing reforms to welfare, social care, education, criminal justice and the third sector; new areas of work include global slavery and gang culture.
In 2009 he founded 8 Miles with Bob Geldof. In 2011 he founded the Mayor’s charity the Legacy List, to drive community development in Stratford following the Olympics. Mark believes that trust and a wider duty is essential in business, and with government and civil society, business should work more to help improve the lives of communities. He defined the term “ERR”, to measure the external impact business has on society. He has recently helped launch the Million Jobs campaign in the UK. In his capacity as CEO of the BVCA he has been providing economic, industrial and financial policy advice to governments and regulators. In 2012 he co- founded the DNA Summit, to bring together the world’s most creative and innovative people with a view to working on solutions for the world’s poorest communities.
Principle positions include: Chairman, CSJ; Strategic Advisor and Industry Ambassador, BVCA; Chairman, Spayne Lindsay LLP; Special Advisor, 8 Miles; Patron, Build Africa; Chairman, The Legacy List; Expert Committee Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.