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Dave Watson ACIBEssex SME Business Manager

Dave Watson ACIB 07526 171257

With over 25 years Corporate Banking experience across start-up, growth and turnaround businesses alongside Client Strategy Consultancy for NatWest Commercial across East Anglia Dave has a wealth of expertise and contacts within the Essex SME market. The last 4 years Dave has worked with a significant number of SMEs providing hands on support to “make things happen” and specialises in finding funding solutions. Most recently, Dave has supported Prospects College of Advanced Technology and TfL to successfully relaunch the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in East London.

James CookMarketing Assistant

James Cook

James is a recent BA Hons History and Politics graduate from the University of Essex who initially joined Invest ESSEX as an intern before being made a permanent member of the team. He is responsible for assisting the marketing team at Invest ESSEX in a number of ways - primarily with profiles on progressive businesses in the county, blogs, social media and SEO.

David RookeLocation Services Director

David Rooke +44 (0) 7989 380435

In a career spanning over 35 years David’s experience includes large-scale, food industry technical and factory management and 21 years providing inward investment, business growth and support advice and services in the north west of England, London and Essex.

David has worked with a wide range of SMEs, major corporates and organisations both in the UK and overseas, advising companies on business growth strategies, inward investment projects, business relocations, expansion and consolidation projects supported by a strong network of public and private sector organisations and professional contacts and at local, national and international levels.

David is also an Essex County Board Member for Young Enterprise, a charitable organisation that operates in conjunction with educational establishments providing young people, the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners, gain real world business experience through the establishment and operation of a real company.

Nicola HarrisBusiness Administrator

Nicola Harris

Nicola has recently joined the Invest Essex team as a Business Administrator to provide administrative support, primarily supporting the SME team with ERDF projects. Prior to this Nicola spent several years in the North West working in Economic Development, with a key role in managing a network for companies interested in doing business with China.

Graham JohnsonEssex SME Business Manager

Graham Johnson 07718 478447

Graham has spent over 35 years helping the owners of UK businesses to deliver their business plans. Having worked in relationship management roles with Barclays, NatWest and Coutts he has provided a wide range of funding solutions to SME’s and larger corporates including commercial loans, mortgages as well as Invoice Finance and Asset Based Lending solutions. Graham also spent 12 years in Lead Advisory Corporate Finance, with accountancy firms Moore Stephens and Baker Tilly, working with SMEs on business disposals, acquisitions and corporate fundraisings.

Karthik DurgaprasadInward Investment Manager Technology & Manufacturing
Karthik Durgaprasad

Karthik Durgaprasad 07515 199255

Karthik has over 15 years of economic development and enterprise support experience and specialises in business development, project management, stakeholder engagement and partnerships. He has worked on major regeneration projects, smart cities, innovation, procurement and SME growth programmes.

Karthik was also responsible for an India focussed international trade programme which supported UK based advanced manufacturing and clean tech companies to trade overseas and has a strong network of contacts at UK local authorities, private sector and overseas trade support professionals in India and the Middle East.

Laura SmithInvest ESSEX Office Manager

Laura Smith 07557 168111

Throughout her career Laura has worked closely alongside senior management teams and understands the varying degrees of support businesses can require. She has managed a team for a centralised hub operation and provided assistance with writing bids along with covering all the bits which fall in-between.

Laura now supports the Invest ESSEX team through various channels: diary management, budget supervision, event organisation, client, company and project database maintenance, as well as frequent minute taking & report writing.

Laura also spends some of her time at our Ongar Business Centre, where she works with the tenants to ensure all of their business needs are covered.

Robert EdgeInward Investment Manager (UK Multimodal Gateway:Essex)

Robert Edge +44 (0) 7740 179497

Following a ten year career with a major Colchester freight forwarder shipping everything from confectionery to oxygen plants, Robert has spent almost 15 years in inward investment promotion. Having had experience in China, India and the Middle East, Robert leads on the logistics and renewables sector.

Corinne HearneInward Investment Manager (London-Essex UK Finance Corridor)

Corinne Hearne +44 (0) 7702 900667

With over 25 years’ experience in the Financial Services and Global Relocation industries, Corinne has developed an extensive, specialist, commercial network and has successfully supported projects focused on the strategic development and growth of both overseas and UK companies in business, professional and financial services sectors.

Jacinda LoveMarketing Manager

Jacinda Love 07966 713361

Jacinda has had an extensive career in the fields of marketing, travel, recruitment and fashion, working with some of the UK's top designers and photographers. The last four years have seen her supporting Invest ESSEX to be one of the UK's top investment promotion agencies and the last two years leading on marketing Essex as a place for business and b2b event management.

Dave Russell-GrahamInward Investment Manager (Life Sciences)

Dave Russell-Graham +44 (0) 7881 310776

With over 30 years’ experience in the life sciences and healthcare sector Dave has an extensive range of contacts in the industry as well as experience in pharmaceutical development through to facility refurbishment and fit out. Dave’s work has predominantly been with major pharmaceutical companies, and in 2011 he was a key player in the deal between Pfizer and Mylan for Pfizer’s respiratory technology platform. Dave is passionate about growing the sector in Essex be that through foreign direct investment, partnering with the NHS or supporting SMEs.