Dr. Gerry Ford is Chairman and Chief Executive of Caffè Nero Group Limited, Europe’s largest independent coffee house group. Dr. Ford founded Caffè Nero in 1997, which was listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) from 2001-2007. In 2007, Caffè Nero was taken private, and today he is the majority shareholder of the company.

In 2005, Dr. Ford was named the UK’s Entrepreneur of the Year by the Financial Times and The London Stock Exchange.

Dr. Ford has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from INSEAD, and a PhD from Oxford University.  He sits on the boards of several consumer goods businesses throughout Europe and the USA and is a frequent speaker about developing consumer brands and entrepreneurship throughout the world.

Ben Price oversees all financial aspects of the Caffè Nero group, as well as site acquisitions in the UK.

Mr Price has a physics degree from Oxford and qualified as an accountant with Ernst & Young, where he worked for five years in the audit practice. Since then he has had over 25 years of senior management experience in the retail sector. For three years he was at Dixons, where he became one of the senior finance managers reporting directly to the Group Financial Director.

He then served as the finance controller of a furniture retailer before joining Caffè Nero in June 1997, as part of Gerry Ford’s original management team.

Michael Ford-Deegan is a Global Director at Caffè Nero. He is also a Partner and Director at Paladin Partners, a private equity group that specializes in investments in consumer goods and food & beverage businesses, including Caffè Nero.

Prior to this, Michael was Executive Officer of a large publicly traded (NASDAQ) global wireless communications supplier, based in the United States. He began his career in public service working as Chief of Staff in both the California Legislature and United States Congress with oversight for the International Finance & Development Committee.

Michael has a BA in International Relations/World Trade from the University of California and an MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Prior to joining TriSpan PE Rising Stars team in 2018 as the European Operating Partner, Robin spent 35 years in F&B, where he held senior management roles with leading casual brands.  From joining Whitbread in 1984, Robin developed and led multiple pub & restaurant brands with leading UK hospitality groups, including Diageo, Scottish & Newcastle, The Restaurant Group before joining Yo! Sushi in 1999.

Over 18 years, Robin built Yo! Sushi from 3 to 100 restaurants in the UK and USA.  In 2017, Yo! Sushi acquired Canada-based Bento Sushi creating a US$200m turnover group. Robin also led Yo! Sushi’s MBOs.

He has been recognised as “Retailer of Year” by MCA, “Group Restauranteur” by Catey, “Icon Winner” at the Peach Factory Awards, and received an OBE for outstanding services to hospitality in 2016.

Robin serves as Non-Executive Director at eathos (Gulf), Yo! Sushi, Marston’s, Rosa Mexicano (US), and Caffe Nero.   He received his degree in American Studies, History, Politics, Literature from the University of Kent.