TOBY
CLARK

VENTURE PARTNER

I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit and experience many far corners of the world driven by a multi-generational family obsession with travel and exploration.


Following my studies at Durham University and at the London School of Economics I was drawn into banking in London a few years after “Big Bang”. Little did I know at the time that these changes, together with London’s handy position between East and West would drive London to become the leading global financial centre and possibly the most international.  Life as a banker in London through the 1990’s and 2000’s at Deutsche Bank, working with global companies and witnessing two financial crises and influences such as the rise of Asia, was never dull.


I first visited China in 1996, during a spare few days in HK just before the handover when I crossed over into Guangzhou and took the train up to Guangdong, a journey that bears no resemblance now.


Ever since then I have followed the rise of China’s influence and increased my understanding of its history and culture so in 2012 when I was approached by China International Capital Corporation (CICC) to run their operations for Europe, I jumped at the chance.


Little did I know how long and steep the learning curve is for doing business in China. But equally the opportunities are much greater than I anticipated the opportunities for China/Europe deals and cooperation can only grow.


My grandmother told me as a teenager that our life on this planet is very short and we should make the most of every day - advice that has resonated more than any other since then.


So in between banking I have enjoyed learning new skills and interests that can be combined with travel, from cycling (with and without motor) and scuba diving, to sailing boats (big and small), running and skiing. Now with three young sons in tow, priorities are slightly different, but passing on the passion for travel and skills learned is just as rewarding.


Getting to know founders, often eventually as friends, and their businesses is what drives me at work.  Whether it succeeds or fails the process, life is enriched by the learning experience and enjoying the tactical challenges.


I have now left CICC in the search for more entrepreneurial opportunities and SILK is a great platform with strong links to the Chinese government as well as private companies and a group of highly motivated commercial people with diverse backgrounds.  Whether it is financial capital, IP, market access or relationship building, SILK has the experience and connections to help.

Team

We are a team of entrepreneurs and investors with distinctive backgrounds who have lived and worked in China experiencing its exciting development over the past 20 years. Collectively, our experience covers 15+ industries and all stages of a company’s life from inception to exit.