Welcome to
Arbor Ventures

About Us

Arbor is based in Covent Garden, 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

Chris Mathias is a successful entrepreneur and leader, born and raised in India but now living in the UK. He is married with three daughters and is an active sportsman and keen traveller. He combines these interests with active roles in venture capital and in social and philanthropic investment.

Chris attended Bristol University, studying Politics and Economics. Upon graduation, he joined Arthur Andersen in London, where he worked for three years with a focus on financial services clients. He completed an M.B.A. 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.

Chris is actively involved with a number of charities and non 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. He is particularly committed to the eradication of the trafficking of women and children through Kolkatta, India.

Robert Keane

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 children and following the fortunes of Arsenal Football Club (which is not always so enjoyable).

Mark Mathias

Mark Mathias joined the Arbor team in 2013, having been involved with managing investments and businesses for most of his working life. He started his career a fund manager with Thornton Investment Management, running UK and global equity portfolios, and has never lost his early interest in investing. A few years on, he decided that running businesses might be more fun than running money, and left to do an MBA at Cranfield School of Management.

After business school, Mark worked for Coopers & Lybrand as a management consultant, spending time in the internal strategy team, as well as in financial services consulting. Remembering that he stopped managing money in order to run a business, Mark returned to fund management – on the business management side. During the ninetiess and early noughties he ran Finsbury Asset Management, and subsequently the structured products business of Legal & General, overseeing a more than doubling of profits in each case.

In 2003 Mark started his own fund management business in joint venture with Dawnay Day. The business, Dawnay Day Quantum, grew to be the leading commodities fund manager in the UK retail market, and won awards for Best Commodities Fund Manager and Best Structured Products Provider. The business was an innovator and a market leader in its chosen product areas. It also turned profitable and cash positive in year 2.

After exiting Dawnay Day Quantum, Mark joined up with his brother Chris and his old colleague Rob Keane, at Arbor Ventures. Along the way he has started up a home care business, and also run a training business. He is currently on the board of a number of hedge funds, mainly focused on Africa. Mark is married with two children. He is a tennis and a rugby fan, and is still regretting having recently taken up golf.