Bloc’s management team

Financially led and operationally centric

Bloc’s management team features a powerful combination of financial, operational and technology expertise. Paul Roy is highly respected in the financial sector while the experience of Bruce Beckloff and David Leftley at ARM and Vodafone respectively provides a strong operational and financial platform. In addition Bloc’s team has a high level of industry fluency derived from their role in literally 100’s of transactions across a wide spectrum of VC and start up investments.

Understanding the market

Bloc’s knowledge of the markets and the market players that are defining the future of technology and its role in enterprise and industry is second to none. The management team has hands-on experience working with start-ups and proven industry leaders in some of the most prestigious firms in UK and global tech.

Understanding tech investing

Through many years of working with start-up and established industry players at an operational, investment and deal flow level Bloc is able to access an influential network of corporate, venture, industry and university contacts that it can bring to bear on portfolio companies. The combined force of Bloc’s industry contacts and Bloc’s management presents early stage tech start-ups with personal access to a highly-regarded and sought after investors and advisors that traditional VCs would not, but more importantly could not touch.

Paul Roy

Chairman

Paul has over 40 years experience in the Banking, Brokerage and Asset Management industries.

He was a founding partner and chairman of NewSmith Asset management, a fund manager for a wide range of institutional, pension fund and high net worth investors. Having started his career at the stockbroking firm Kemp Gee he subsequently became senior partner following the merger with Scrimgeour Vickers and Citibank. In 1988 he joined Smith New court, the leading market making firm on the London Stock Exchange and as CEO, together with chairman Michael Marks merged the business with Merrill Lynch in 1995. At Merrill, Paul held a number of senior positions including head of Global Equities and in 2001 was made EVP and president of Merrill Lynch Global Markets and investment banking, responsible for the firm’s investment banking, debt and equity business worldwide. He left Merrill in 2003 to start NewSmith.

He has served as a non executive director of Benfield plc and Cenkos securities and is currently Chairman of New River Retail plc the leading UK REIT specialising in retail property investment.

Between 2007 and 2013 Paul served two terms as Chairman of the newly created British Horse Racing Authority, responsible for the Governance and Regulation of the country’s second largest sport. He is now Chairman of ROR, the sports main charity, responsible for ensuring that horses are cared for, retrained, and re-homed, after their racing careers are over.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from Liverpool University and in 2009 was awarded an Honoury Doctorate of Law from Liverpool University.

David has more than 30 years global technology industry experience in start-ups and multi-nationals as an engineer, manager, director and investor.

From 1983 he worked as a design engineer in the defence industry, specialising in radar and airborne electronic countermeasures, first at Cossor Electronics and then at Racal Defence. In 1987 he moved into the TV and film industry, working for Abacus Cox and then Vistek on the design of the world’s first digital TV production technology. In this time he progressed to become R&D Manager and later became General Manager. In 1996, as CTO he founded Digital Vision UK for DV AB of Sweden, a world leader in video compression, transmission and post production technology, securing contracts with the BBC, several Hollywood studios and customers as far afield as China. In 1999 DV AB successfully went to an IPO.

In 1998 he began his career in mobile telecoms at Vodafone to become Chief Engineer for Technology Evaluation running the world’s first 3G trial network to evaluate the business case and technology behind Vodafone’s multi-billion investments in 3G. In 2001 he joined the corporate R&D function in San Francisco focusing on strategic vendor management with Apple, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and others.

In 2004 he moved to the Group CTO office in Germany, managing group-wide technology strategy projects, many of which are in action today. In 2006 he returned to the Corporate R&D activity as Head of the Technology Economics function, with the brief to identify and develop new business models and technology investment strategies.

In 2009 he joined Vodafone’s corporate venture team as head of its European activity, closing numerous investments in Mobile Health, Clean Tech, Infrastructure and Financial Tech services. In this time the fund ranked in the top 5 CVCs, achieved an IRR of 27% and in 2012 received an industry award for its exit of portfolio company Amobee for $321M. In 2010 David was ranked in Wired Magazine’s top 100 innovators’ list. He represented Vodafone on the boards of nine portfolio companies. In April 2013 David departed Vodafone to establish Bloc Ventures with Bruce.

He has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Aston Birmingham, and is a Chartered Engineer.

David Leftley

Managing Partner

Bruce Beckloff

Managing Partner

Bruce’s experience comes from over 20 years in the technology industry working in a wide variety of different technical, business and corporate roles.

Bruce started his career in 1996 working at Texas Instruments’ semiconductor fabrication facility in Dallas, Texas on the fabrication of a revolutionary micro electro mechanical system technology for digital image projection (DLP). After increasing the yield by three fold he moved into a Business Development role in the DLP Product Marketing team.

In 2001, Bruce joined ARM holdings’ strategic marketing group as the Segment Manager responsible for developing the market, the partner ecosystem, and the product development roadmap for ARM’s imaging product line. After one year, he was put in charge of the entire segment marketing team. During his time running the group, ARM’s unit shipments increased from c.100 million to over two billion.

In 2005, Bruce moved under the CFO as VP of Investor Relations to create an Investor Relations group. In this role, he developed a deep understanding of the investment banking community, the financial markets and their requirements, as well as an extensive network. In 2007 he was ranked as one of the FTSE 250’s top three IR managers.

In 2008, Bruce took over as VP and Head of Corporate Development responsible for corporate strategy, long range financial planning, and M&A. During his time in this role, he created ARM’s investment activity investing in 13 companies and managing approximately £30 million over three years.

In 2012, Bruce was named as one of the most influential CVCs as part of Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist 100. In 2012, Bruce was approached by the UK Government’s Trade and Investment (UKTI) group to help set up their Venture Capital Unit tasked with assisting the UK’s high growth early stage companies access finance from venture providers. Following Bruce’s work at the UKTI, he left ARM in February 2013 to establish Bloc Ventures with David.

He has a Masters of Science degree in Material Science from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Masters in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.

We have an influential network built on experience working with startup
and industry players at an operational, investment and deal flow level