Our Team

Justin is a social investment specialist with 20 years experience in supporting the deployment of private capital to create more and better jobs for vulnerable populations, often in fragile contexts. These investments have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives across a diverse range of countries in Africa and the Middle East. Prior to founding Innovest Advisory in 2015, Justin’s wide-spanning career history has included working for Youth Business International (patron HRH Prince of Wales) the United Nations Youth Employment Network (Chair UN Sec. Gen Kofi Annan) and Silatech Foundation (Chair former First Lady of Qatar and mother of the current Emir). He serves as a board member and adviser to a number of microfinance institutions and international charities engaged in supporting the livelihoods of low income communities. He is a non-executive director on the Guernsey domiciled $210 million impact investment fund, Partners Group Impact Investments(PGII).


Justin Sykes

Founder & Managing Director

Michelle brings over 25 years of legal, corporate finance and fiduciary experience to impact investment. Prior to joining Innovest in 2016, Michelle was a Senior Partner of a US law firm, specialising in corporate finance transactions, including initial public offerings, structured finance and M&A transactions. After relocating to the UK she established the UK subsidiary of a global legal and financial services firm serving international capital markets clients. Upon leaving commercial practice, Michelle served as an advisor and fiduciary of nonprofits and social finance initiatives, helping to facilitate the strategic deployment of philanthropic and social investment capital to achieve social change.


Michelle McMahon


Jo is an expert in the global response to climate change with 15 years’ experience in sustainable business, international development, climate change and impact investment. She has considerable project and programme management experience, along with monitoring and evaluation including for UK Aid, HNWI’s, the Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. During her time at PwC, Jo provided sustainability advisory to corporates, and has worked with a range of impact focused businesses across Africa on their readiness for impact investment and finance raising. Jo has been based in Africa and South America for the last 10 years, which has allowed her to develop a close understanding of how these skills can be best applied to development including the green growth context.


Jo McDonnell

Impact Lead

Alexandra is a social entrepreneur; design thinker and believer in business for good.  Alexandra brings ten years experience leading multidisciplinary teams on successful corporate and start-up ventures. Her atypical professional experience spans from developing award winning marketing strategies for KFC at Ogilvy Sydney, running emergency relief operations in a refugee camp in Northern France and discussing policy with UK cabinet ministers to leading a venture innovation project for Pearson. Over the last few years, Alexandra has co-founded multiple ventures; including TimePeace a not-for-profit leveraging tech to reshape refugee inclusion and Mo’s Eggs a high profile social enterprise.  Alexandra has a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh; including a EAP Scholarship to UC Berkeley and more recently was awarded a scholarship for Seth Godin’s altMBA. Alexandra will be leading out the go-to-market strategy for Innovest’s growing suite of impact measurement and verification products as well as serving as a project manager for key clients.


Alexandra Simmons

Project Manager

Ali studied BA International Studies at Leiden University, specialising in the developing region of South Asia. Ali has spent time studying in Pune, India with a particular focus on the experience of women within the political, economic and cultural space of India. Ali has experience working in both the private and public sector in Guernsey, the Netherlands and non-profit organisations in India. Ali supports the Innovest team in Guernsey in various capacities including project coordination, communication and impact client support.


Ali Buckland

Administrative and Communications Officer

Larissa studied BA Development Studies and Politics at SOAS, University of London. She has experience working for a number of nonprofit organisations engaged in early childhood development in Southeast Asia and Africa and supporting female refugee engagement in sports in Switzerland. While at university, Larissa worked with two London based charities focused on providing tutoring for children on the Free School Meals plan and inclusive play for children with disabilities. Larissa provides research, drafting and analysis support for Innovest’s impact client engagements.


Larissa Kirkpatrick

Research Analyst

British and Zimbabwean national, born in Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh law school. Nele trained as a commercial lawyer with a silver circle law firm and now specialises in private equity, structured finance and general corporate and commercial law with an offshore magic circle law firm. He has a strong professional interest in impact investing and ‘re-purposing offshore capital’ towards impact investments in Africa. Nele has been involved in the design and execution of a number of impact investment corporate transactions and structuring in the African Agribusiness sector as well as being a founder of two African owned and operated social enterprises – one a specialist trade finance house for African agribusiness SMEs called Genesis and the other Moolah! a FinTech solution to support access to finance for Dairy farmers in Kenya. Nele also holds a Lean Six Sigma Leadership qualification from the University of Oxford and a Social Sciences (Hons) degree from Edinburgh Napier University.


Nele Bhebhe

Non-Executive Director

Imogen studied maths and philosophy at Durham University, followed by a graduate diploma in law. She is a member of ICAEW (chartered accountant) and has five years’ experience in audit and assurance at EY, working with various banking and capital markets clients. Imogen joins Innovest as a Fellow, supporting the team across its impact client engagements, and in particular bringing her assurance experience to Innovest’s impact verification service.


Imogen Box



Dr Ben Taylor


Lee Sorensen


Dr. Atef Shabrawy


Reuben Coulter


Nisrin Metcalfe-Zerekli


We’re Hiring

Office Manager / Administrator

We are looking for someone to work closely with our team in Guernsey to help manage our office administration as our internationally based team grows. This is an opportunity to join an exciting early stage business that puts social and environmental mission at the centre of what we do. As a small team, the role would be varied with daily tasks including managing accounts, client invoicing, payroll, supporting events, communications, CRM management and general office support.


Let’s Talk

Get in touch and tell us your story

+44(0)1481 715507

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Johannesburg, South Africa