Sunday, June 25, 2006


Robin Klein – CV highlights

• Experienced creator of and investor in fast growth businesses.
Specialising in Consumer facing, Branded, Multi-channel retailers, Digital Media and Internet Services.

• Specific expertise in Brand building, eCommerce, Digital Media, Database, Direct Marketing and Internet

• Ten years on Public Company boards in the UK and South Africa. Lived in the UK since 1976

Operational Experience and Highlights:

• Ran, built and successfully sold three companies: Berda Electric (1976), Salton (1985) and Innovations (1996).

• Previously Chairman and CEO of Innovations Group PLC, a multi-brand mail order business. The group included Innovations (household and technology gadgets), Hawkshead (clothing) and McCord (Housewares)

• In 1995, Innovations conducted the UK’s first secure Internet transaction with consumers- supported by NatWest bank and ICL. Innovations was also the first UK company to hit £1m in web sales.

• Sold Innovations in 1997 to the Burton Group (£45m) and subsequently to GUS.

• Co-founded a consumer data company (Consumer Access) in 1993. It was sold to Consodata (listed French Company) in 1998. £16m.

• Managing Director, Arcadia Marketing and Home Shopping ’96-’98.

• Founded fashion portal Zoom for Arcadia (March ’99) – sold 50% (£15m) to Associated Newspapers in August ’99. Remained as part time Chairman of Zoom until June 2001.

• Created Dial, the home shopping joint venture between Arcadia and Littlewoods. Remained as part time Chairman of Dial until June 2001.

Active Investment and non-Executive roles:

• Partner at the acceleratorgroup London, (Business Accelerator Ltd – founded 2000), an investment and advisory company for early stage, internet services businesses and multi-channel retailers. Other Partner, son, Saul Klein

• Through Accelerator or Local Globe (family investment company) currently have interests in the following businesses:

• Currently a director of the following companies: Mooprint Limited, Fizzback Group Ltd,  Quickbridge Ltd, Optimor Systems Ltd, MyBuilder Ltd, onefinestay, farfetch,
  • Board Observer at:, FreeAgent Central, Skimlinks

Voluntary Sector:
Governor of Rhyl Primary School (2004 - to date)
Chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital Promotions Ltd (1998-2001)

Exits from Previous Private Companies:
Notable Successes and failures in portfolio as investor/non-exec director

Successful Ventures:

1. Berda Electric Manufacturer, Distributor of Electrical Appliances Successful sale to SA listed company Exec Chairman
Part Owner 1971-1975

2. Salton Ditto Successful sale to Pifco plc – listed on LSE Exec Chairman
Part Owner 1976-1985

Innovations plc Direct Catalogue Retailer – multi-brand.
Listed on LSE Successful sale to Burton Group. (Debenhams, Arcadia) Exec Chairman
Part Owner 1986-1997

3. Consumer Access Ltd Lifestyle Database business Successful sale to Consodata of France Co-Founder. Non-Exec Chairman 1993-1998

4. Aroma Ltd Coffee Bars backed by APAX. Successful sale to McDonalds.
Co-founder, Non-Exec Director 1993-1997

5. Zoom Fashion Web Portal for Arcadia and other brands 50% sold to DMGT. Associated News. Founder within Arcadia and Chairman of the JV 1997-2000

6. Last On-line Travel company Listed and shares subsequently sold.
Early stage investor – alongside first VC money 1998-2003

7. Sit Up TV TV auction shopping channels. Successful sale to Telewest/
Flextech. Independent Non-Exec 2002 -2005. Chairman of Remuneration and Audit Committees.

8. Agent Provocateur Upscale lingerie brand. Successful sale to 3i for a sum exceeding £60m. Chairman of the board from October 2002 to November 2007.

9. Dopplr: helps you make more of your travels by sharing your personal and business travel plans privately with the people you trust. Sold to Nokia September, 2009

10. Twitterfeed: Sold to

11. LoveFilm: Sold to Amazon

12. Tweetdeck:  Sold to Twitter

13. Fizzback: Sold to Nice Systems

Less Successful Ventures (from financial point of view): eCommerce. Sold at loss. Non-exec Chair. Investment alongside VCs 1999 - 2001
GroupTrade B-B eCommerce Sold at loss. Non-exec Director. Investment alongside VCs 1999-2002 Email services Sold at loss. Non-exec Chair. Investment alongside VCs 1998 - 2002
Retail Variations plc Multi-channel Retail platform with brands. Wound up. Non-exec Chairman 2001-2005

Personal Details:
Married, 2 children. 4 Grandchildren. MSc Industrial Engineering
Moved to UK in 1976. Lives in London and France.
Born 1947 in South Africa