Before founding The Ink Factory with his brother Stephen, Simon’s career spanned a combination of the commercial, the financial and the creative. Most recently, Simon was at top European venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners, one of six partners together investing over $750 million in high tech start-ups. At Amadeus, Simon focused across the media value chain, actively involved in taking several companies from inception to IPO and successful trade sale. Before that, Simon was founder and CEO of Two Way TV, an early pioneer of interactive television, BAFTA-nominated for its work in the field. Simon’s early career included stints at the Boston Consulting Group in the US, Granada in the UK, running refugee relief programmes for the UN in Thailand, and in Europe and New York with Titus Productions. Simon is a graduate of Oxford and Yale universities.
Stephen co-founded The Ink Factory in 2010 with his brother Simon. After working as an award winning photo-journalist, Stephen moved to California in the late 1980s to join the MA program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. His graduate film led to directing assignments on a couple of independent features and a TV movie for Showtime, before focusing on work as a screenwriter.In the last fifteen years Stephen has written for most of the major Hollywood studios, working with directors and producers including Ridley Scott, Guy Ritchie, Kathleen Kennedy, Joel Silver, Frank Marshall and Lorenzo di Bonaventura. With his writing partner Oliver Butcher, Stephen co-wrote last year’s ‘Unknown’ starring Liam Neeson. In addition to his work for The Ink Factory, he is currently writing ‘Gravel’, an adaptation of the Warren Ellis comic book, for Legendary Pictures.
Rhodri joined The Ink Factory at its inception after four years at The Weinstein Company, where he worked as Vice President, Production and Development. During his time there he was involved with productions as diverse as ‘The Reader’, ‘Shanghai’ and ‘Nowhere Boy’ and developed a slate of UK based scripts through the London office. His key success during his time at the company was the multi Academy Award winning film, ‘The King’s Speech’, which grossed almost $400m during its worldwide theatrical run. Prior to The Weinstein Company, Rhodri worked as a development executive and script editor at BBC Films, the film arm of the BBC.
Alexei joined The Ink Factory team after five years at Paramount Pictures International where he most recently ran their international co-production and acquisition activities. Overseeing local and English language films across a number of territories Alexei was involved with the production and acquisition of a wide range of box office hits including Cell 211, Tomorrow When The War Began, Made In Dagenham, Russian Disco and a Japanese language remake of Ghost. Prior to Paramount, Alexei was Commercial Manager at BBC Films where he was involved in the co-production and financing of over 30 titles including Shooting Dogs, The History Boys, My Summer of Love and The Cry Of The Owl.
Stephen Kirk is Chairman of The Ink Factory. Stephen tells us he is honored to be chairing The Ink Factory’s board, as he shares the company’s values, but we feel lucky to be working with someone with such a wealth of experience. He has 20 years experience of founding, managing and exiting a succession of companies in media and telecoms industries, including bidding for and winning cable franchises for 5 London boroughs (Cable London), pioneering interactive TV (Broadsystem) and providing the idea and initial technology for Skytalk. More recently, Stephen was asked to act as a Non-Executive Director at Shine Group, which he did until it was sold in 2011.
Ashley sits on our board, and has a great deal of experience in the media and finance sectors. She has worked in media for most of her career, initially in business development for Maxwell Entertainment Group and then launching thematic television channels for United International Holdings, a large global cable operator. She has also produced television documentaries for the BBC and worked as a production executive and script editor for Sky Pictures and RPTA. She has also worked at the Boston Consulting Group and Salomon Brothers. Most recently she has published a memoir, ‘Farangi Girl’. She has an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in London with her family.