UK Crowdfunding Association Directors

JGcropped-w199-h150 Julia Groves – Partner, Downing Crowd

A pioneer of digital businesses since founding in 1994, Julia has spent the last 20 years working on disruptive customer-led propositions across online retail, renewable energy and financial services market spaces. She co-founded the UK Crowdfunding Association in 2012, was CEO of Trillion for three years and is now the Partner heading up Crowdfunding for DowningLLP.

Straight-talking and passionate about making finance more democratic, she is also a Senior Fellow of the Finance Lab, a Founding 50 member of Innovate Finance and recently completed a Non-executive Director position with the influential campaigning organisation Move your Money.

Frank Mukahanana headshot March 2015 wpKaren Kerrigan, Chief Legal Office, Seedrs

Karen is the Chief Legal Officer of Seedrs. Before joining Seedrs in July 2013, Karen worked at international law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP in the Financial Markets Litigation and Contentious Regulatory Team, where she acted for a range of financial institutions. At Seedrs she heads up the legal, financial, compliance and administrative functions. Karen is an England and Wales qualified lawyer who holds an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford, and post-graduate legal qualifications GLD and LPC. Karen was named one of the top women in fintech by Innovate Finance, and UK in-house individual of the year in the Finance sector by Legal 500.

Frank Mukahanana headshot March 2015 wpFrank Mukahanana, Chief Executive of  Quidcycle

An investment banking professional turned financial adviser, with over 13 years experience in the financial industry, across Asset Management, debt & capital markets, investment banking and, recently, advising on technology strategy.Frank is a seasoned business and financial strategist, entrepreneur, and Chartered Management Accountant. While working under a large institution as a financial adviser helping families manage their money, he became ever-more frustrated by the standard products at his disposal, and so decided to bring together a team to develop a new and better way that delivers what some have dubbed “an ingenious and sustainable model with no immediate equal.”In 2014, Frank was appointed Director of the UKCFA (UK Crowd Funding Association), an association that considers P2P as a significant part of the crowd funding revolution. Frank’s motivation is to see the industry grow and gain full acceptance in the wider financial market, especially across ISAs, institutional investments and opportunities with SIPPs and recent changes in annuity requirements.

paul Bruce Davis – Co-Founder and Director of Abundance Generation 

Bruce Davis is cofounder and joint managing director of Abundance Investment. He was a founding director of the UKCFA. He is Visiting Research Fellow at the Bauman Institute, Leeds University and a Trustee of the Finance Innovation Lab. Prior to founding Abundance, Bruce was a member of the founding team that created and has worked extensively researching money and financial innovations for institutions in the UK and across Europe.


Paul Massey – General Counsel, Crowdcube

Paul is General Counsel of Crowdcube where he leads the legal and compliance team.  He is also a director of the European Crowdfunding Network.  Paul’s experience includes working in City law firms, blue chip technology companies and as a non-executive director of a technology startup.  Before joining Crowdcube he spent four years leading commercial legal work at eBay.  Paul also launched his own startup and is passionate about helping others raise finance to do the same.


martinMartin Smulian – Head of Legal and Compliance at FundingKnight

In a career spanning retail financial services, running the London office of a private investment group and managing company recoveries, he has always been fascinated by business processes. He has seen many times the difference that the intelligent use of processes and systems can make to the success of an idea, project or business.

Now working within the crowdfunding sector he has first-hand experience of the challenges posed by legal, tax and regulatory regimes that had never envisaged crowdfunding or P2P. He sees the UK Crowd Funding Association as the ideal vehicle to engage with other firms, the government and regulators to meet those challenges.

He has B.Sc. in Maths, Statistics and Economics from the University of Sussex, and went on to specialise in Statistics, gaining his M.Sc. from the University of Reading.

martinJustin Hubble – General Counsel at Property Partner

Justin is qualified as a Barrister & Solicitor in New Zealand and as a Solicitor in the UK. He began his legal career as a litigator in Auckland, NZ before reading law at UCL, London where he completed his Master of Laws specialising in intellectual property and internet law. In 1999 he joined London based private practice, Ashurst as a senior associate in the Technology Team engaging in a variety of deals during the dotcom boom and bust.

In 2003 Justin joined Betfair as General Counsel, staying with the business in a variety of roles and helping the business grow, float and face challenges as a public company. During his time at Betfair he was an executive director and Company Secretary of 26 companies in the Betfair Group and led an increasing number of teams until, as Director of Legal & Compliance, he led legal, compliance, AML, integrity, insider threat and the company secretarial function. On leaving Betfair Justin joined Wonga in February 2014 as SVP – General Counsel & International Regulatory where he was responsible for international (non UK) regulatory strategy and the legal function. He attended main board meetings as Company Secretary at a time of material challenge staying until Wonga applied for full FCA authorisation in February 2015.

Justin joined Property Partner as General Counsel in March 2015.

martinAtuksha Poonwassie – Co-Founder of Simple Backing

Atuksha’s background is in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and data analytics. She has helped businesses, across many industries build and maintain a loyal customer base through her consulting business Focus 2020. Her book, ‘Cave to Castle, How to transform any property business using Customer Relationship Management’ hit the Amazon #1 bestseller spot (in the business skills category) in 2015.

In 2013, Atuksha co-founded Simple Backing, a property focused crowdfunding platform. Being a property investor herself, she understands the benefits that crowdfunding brings to this industry.

Atuksha is a firm believer in the importance of building a long-standing community and raving fan base; something that is well suited to both CRM and crowdfunding.