Russell is qualified as a Chartered Accountant but left the industry in 1984 to work in Europe’s international leisure property development market.
He managed the construction and operations of leisure complexes in Europe before co-founding a property investment management business focussed on the UK residential property market. The business grew to manage over £1.6 billion of property investments, involving over 200 companies or company groupings, and was floated on AIM.
Russell then emigrated to Australia and, in 1997, co-founded Wisper, an internet backbone. In 1998, he returned to the UK to manage the company’s development to encompass 17 countries across the UK, Middle East, North Africa and the US. He arranged Wisper’s absorption into the INS and its subsequent sale to Cable & Wireless in 1998/1999.
In 1999, Guy Marson and Russell founded Profusion, a SaaS business focused around their proprietary email marketing platform.
Russell has also been involved in a number of telecom infrastructure developments over the past 2 decades. Russell and his partners founded Subsea Environmental Services in 2015, a business which reclaims, reprocesses or reuses out-of-service subsea fibre networks.
Guy’s career started in 1994 as a chartered surveying graduate in Hong Kong. He soon turned to sports marketing, where his journey in the digital space began.
He met Russell Parsons in 1998 and together they founded Profusion: a tech company that developed and marketed an email platform. After multiple providers entered the market, Profusion partnered with Neolane (now Adobe Campaign) and evolved into a services business supporting clients with their email marketing strategies and execution. In 2014, Profusion brought a data science team on board to expand its offering.
Guy was CEO of Profusion for its first 12 years and has a particular focus on the technology and client sides of the business.
Beyond Profusion, Guy is passionate about education and founded a school in the South West of the UK. He is also a farmer and lives and works on a farm in Somerset.
Natalie is a digital marketing and start-up operations expert. She has more than a decade of experience leading private, public and third sector organisations through significant periods of innovation and change. This includes creating and scaling tech solutions for government organisations and developing the digital capability of third sector organisations.
At Profusion, Natalie leads a team of 60 consultants, data scientists, data architects, developers and digital marketing experts. She is responsible for Profusion’s strategic direction, expansion of its product offering and the growth of its blue-chip client base.
Before Profusion, Natalie was Chief Operating Officer of The Careers & Enterprise Company. She helped to grow the company from a £6 million to a £30 million a year operation in 2 years. As well as setting up the company’s nationwide operations, Natalie was instrumental in developing digital, user-driven products to support schools with careers assessment, planning and delivery. One product, the Compass tool, enabled schools to assess themselves against international best practice and was adopted by 3,000 schools in 9 months. This data enabled the company to publish its ‘State of the Nation’ research, which provided a platform to influence government funding decisions and encourage engagement from businesses.
Natalie’s varied career has also seen her involved in the delivery of the London 2012 Olympics, where she was part of the team that recruited, mobilised and managed the 200,000 workforce required to deliver the games.
After her stint with London 2012, Natalie became the leader of the Mayor of London’s Team London initiative. Backed by 1,800 charities and over 100 businesses, their work involved the mobilisation of a million volunteers across London. The success of the campaign led to London being named European Volunteering Capital for 2016.
Natalie began her career at Deloitte after graduating from the University of York with a degree in economics and politics.
Natalie is also an experienced public speaker and has given keynotes at Sisense Eureka, the CBI conference, European Parliament sessions and multiple events at City Hall.
She is a strong advocate for improving diversity in the technology industry and has set up and run multiple employability programmes for both young people and late returners to the workplace. Natalie recently spoke at the mBolden event to support women entrepreneurs to develop their ‘side hustle’. She has also established the foundation, ‘Profusion Cares’, which works with schools to bring student courses to life through practical experience and tailored advice.
In her spare time, Natalie is a keen netballer, a bit of a serial volunteer and a passionate sports fan.
Anne Spackman has recently retired as CEO of Career Ready, a charity helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve career success through employer-led programmes. She began her career in journalism, working as a writer and editor for multiple well-known media outlets, including the Independent, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times and The Times. She took Career Ready from three successive years in deficit to five successive years of surplus. She increased the income by 50% from diversified sources, created a new digital volunteer platform, and received recognition in the national careers strategy as a ‘provider of high-quality services’ to young people.
In addition to her extensive career in employment, she has served as a Chairperson, committee member, Board member and Director of education, media and property foundations and trusts, including being a Board Member at Times Newspapers Limited for 6 years and a Director of the Camelot Foundation for 5 years, distributing £2 million of funding and scrutinising bid applications.
Charlie Wijeratna brings a wealth of commercial, brand and marketing experience garnered over 25 years in broadcasting, investment banking and sport. Charlie drove the sponsorship, retailing and broadcast sales functions for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games organising committee, before becoming Commercial Director at Tottenham Hotspur, the European Games and Aston Villa football club. In those roles he was responsible for brand, marketing, ticketing, social media, retail and hospitality areas of the business along with sponsorship sales.
He is currently helping Lord Deighton at the Cabinet Office solve the challenges of PPE procurement; in other recent projects he has advised a major supermarket group on a large naming rights deal, the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games on their sponsorship programme and the Roundhouse music venue on its commercial programme.
Charlie qualified and practiced as a solicitor with the City firm Clifford Chance prior to moving into more commercial roles. Charlie is also an advocate of and champion for diversity and inclusion.