Meet the team
Meet the team

Informed Funding provides an independent, structured and educational route for business owners to find the type of finance and supplier that might suit them – allowing them to engage directly with those suppliers.

Our aim is to provide independent information on the wide array of funding options available to businesses in one easy to navigate website, enabling businesses to access the right type of funding quicker and easier.

We have developed an experienced team to ensure Informed Funding has the right expertise and know how. You can find out more about the team below:

Chris Dines, CEO

Chris is a chartered accountant who qualified with PWC and spent 10 years with the firm specialising in the middle market. He has since had various FD and CEO roles, including AIM listed Ovum plc, Europe's largest technology research business which was acquired by Datamonitor in 2006. Chris has since successfully founded Knowledge Peers, a specialist in developing online, P2P knowledge-sharing networks, such as the Charity Leaders’ Exchange and Alternative Funding Network. Chris created the concept for Informed Funding due to his experience in witnessing the challenges that businesses have in raising finance.

Andy Davis, AFN Programme Director

Andy Davis is a writer on investment, finance and business. He spent 15 years as a journalist on the Financial Times, where he held a series of senior roles including Development Editor and most recently editor of FT Weekend. He writes for a range of newspapers and magazines and is the author of several research reports on alternative sources of finance for small businesses including 'Beyond the Banks', and 'Seeds of Change‘. He is a frequent speaker on alternative finance and appeared as a witness before the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.

Jo Chapman, Head of Marketing

Jo is an effective business woman who had over 15 years of FMCG senior management experience in PepsiCo and Diageo before founding her own successful management consultancy in 2011. Her fast track career path has helped her to build a deep and diverse skillset in key functional areas such as Sales, Marketing, Product Development, Procurement, Commercial & Shopper Marketing. Regarded as someone who can make things happen, Jo has outstanding ability to drive permanent change, tackling organisational and cultural barriers, and successfully embedding new ways of working.

Diarra Smith, Operations Manager

Diarra has 7 years’ experience across a number of areas including political campaign management and consultancy research in the UK’s Third Sector. He has also provided a multi-jurisdictional political and regulatory monitoring service. As Operations Manager, Diarra has operational responsibility across Knowledge Peers including the Charity Leaders’ Exchange, Informed Funding including the Alternative Funding Network. He is a key contact for many of our strategic partners. Diarra’s personal ethos is anchored to getting things done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Phoebus Ebbini, Project Director

Phoebus joined the team in November 2014, and comes to us from a background in law and finance: he spent 5 years as a commercial solicitor in the City of London, and prior to that he spent a year as a financial trader. More recently, Phoebus has retrained to become a career and performance coach, and helps individuals and businesses reach career and business goals.

John Austin Brooks, Head of Business Development

With a background in financial sales and marketing and successfully founding and managing his own business, John is well placed to offer a holistic view of the borrower/funder landscape. Whilst at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), John led the business development team responsible for initiating banking and financial services relationships with new and lapsed not for profit clients.

Informed Funding is a division of Knowledge Peers who are a specialist in developing online, P2P knowledge-sharing networks such as the Charity Leaders Exchange and the Alternative Funding Network

Key Sponsors