Arbor is based in Mayfair, London. It was founded by Chris Mathias in 2000 after nearly a decade of intense organisation building. During that period, Chris founded several other companies, most notably his flagship Conduit Communications, an IT consultancy and service-provider.
Conduit was merged with NASDAQ listed I-cube which was subsequently merged with Razorfish Inc. (another NASDAQ listed internet consultancy). Chris has also been involved in the start up and creation of a number of other for profit and not for profit organizations.
Chris Mathias is a successful entrepreneur and leader, born and raised in India but now living in the UK. He is married with 3 daughters and is an active sportsman and keen traveler. He combines these interests with active roles in private equity and in social and philanthropic investment.
Chris attended Bristol University studying Politics and Economics and on graduation he joined Arthur Andersen in London where he worked for 3 years with a focus on financial services clients. He completed an MBA at INSEAD, Paris in 1987, graduating on the Dean’s List and then joined Bain & Co’s London office.
Chris co-founded CMG Partners and Arbor Ventures – both are private investment management companies with a strong focus on early stage companies and turnaround/restructure situations. The second of these organizations has a strong interest in ‘social investments’ – viable commercial businesses that also have a strong social agenda and impact from the outset.
Prior to this, Chris successfully founded several companies, most notably Conduit Communications Ltd, an IT consulting firm and service provider. He grew this business to become one of the premier internet consulting companies in Europe with offices in London, Amsterdam, New York and Boston. In 1999 Conduit merged with an American based IT services provider I-Cube and was subsequently acquired by NASDAQ listed Razorfish Inc. Chris was the CEO of the European operations of Razorfish. Chris had previously been the CEO of the Harpur Group, the UK’s second largest provider of fuel card services and has led a number of successful business turnarounds and buyouts.
Chris is the chairman and one of the founders of Imperial Innovations India (a spin off from Imperial College London), a technology commercialisation and investment company focused on creating commercial value from intellectual property developed in the leading research and academic institutions in India.
Chris is actively involved with a number of charities and not-for-profit organizations – in particular organizations and projects that are sustainable beyond the lifetime of a funding commitment, build lasting capacity, develop local skills and are focused on the very poor. Organisations which focus on education and international developments are of particular interest as too are those that relate to India. Chris is a trustee or board member of several organizations including Common Purpose (Chair of Common Purpose UK) and World Links (Trustee). He supported the start up of Basic Needs India and he is also an Ambassador for Action Aid and supporter of and advisor to Oxfam GB. More recently, he helped found the British Asian Trust, has joined the board of Bioss (an international leadership development organization), the advisory committee of Barclays Private Bank and the board of Insead’s Social Entrepreneurship Program (ISEP).
Robert is a qualified Chartered Accountant with several years of corporate finance experience in many sectors, but with a focus on financial services. In recent years, Robert has enjoyed working with and advising a number of successful start-up ventures.
Robert studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Arthur Andersen in the Financial Markets Division, gaining experience across a range of private and public clients in insurance and asset management in his five years at the firm. He then moved to British Linen Advisers where he qualified as a Corporate Finance Adviser with the Securities Institute and for two years advised a number of clients in the leisure, manufacturing and financial services sectors.
In 2004, Robert joined Dawnay, Day International as a Corporate Development Executive. At Dawnay, Day, Robert led the incubation of several, diverse start-up financial services joint ventures in the UK and overseas, including a retail financial services business in India (Dawnay, Day AV) which employed 1,500 staff within three and a half years of its incorporation. In addition, Robert worked on a number of transactions in both the property and principal finance divisions of Dawnay, Day, including the flotation of an AIM-listed UK hotel fund, the acquisition of a restaurant group and the establishment of Indian property development and hotel development businesses.
Robert joined Arbor Ventures in 2008. When not at work, Robert enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children and following the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club (which is not always so enjoyable).