Stephen West

Stephen West

Entrepreneurship Expert


Stephen started a number of businesses as a founder, and he has been involved in many more as a founder shareholder/board member. 

Stephen is a Principal at Gravis Capital and Scape Student Living. He studied law at UCL and qualified as a Barrister at Grays Inn in 1983 following which he ran various global trading operations in the 'bulge bracket' Swiss and American investment banks. These firms grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s fired by a spirit of entrepreneurialism that is a key component for success in larger institutions as well as in start ups.

Since leaving the City Stephen has started a number of businesses as a founder, and he has been involved in many more as a founder shareholder/board member. In Financial Services, two have been particularly successful: one he co-founded in 1999 now runs €18.5 billion in consumer loan assets (managed by a husband and wife team since inception); and the second, Gravis where he presently acts as an Executive Partner, founded in 2008, manages seven Funds aggregating to in excess of £3.0 billion in infrastructure and student accommodation assets.

Stephen has been involved as a founder shareholder across a number of other enterprises including in the restaurant sector, starting with Carluccios. His most recent involvement is in MOD Pizza, a US business rolling out in the UK which, within seven years of launch, has 250+ outlets in the US and plans to IPO in 2019 with a valuation of $1.0 billion+. Other enterprises include materials science and manufacturing, focused on basalt fiber as a replacement for steel in construction and in transforming the global wooden pallet market with smart versions; in these endeavours backing has been provided by Woodford Investment Management.

Stephen has also been a founder shareholder in a number of technology investments, where  he and his partners collaborate and co invest with a boutique specialist US West Coast VC and Incubator practise. He has also had some in-depth property development involvement, particularly at Scape Student Living, where state-of-the-art student accommodation buildings are built, with academic space and co working offices, in London, Australia and the US, and he has been a shareholder and on the Board of UK construction specialists the McGee Group.

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