Erin Platts Joins Octopus Ventures as UK Chief Executive

July 2, 2024

Erin Platts, the long-time leader of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) UK arm, who remained after its collapse and subsequent rescue by HSBC last year, has been appointed UK Chief Executive of London-based investment firm Octopus Ventures.

This appointment marks the end of Platts’ two-decade career with SVB, which transitioned to HSBC Innovation Banking after its acquisition. Platts will continue in her role until the end of the year, helping to select her successor, and will become a “special advisor” to HSBC starting in early 2025.

Reflecting on her departure, Platts stated, “After 20 years at Innovation Banking, with the bank in a strong position and an experienced leadership team in place, I carefully considered my next challenge. Having supported the UK and European technology ecosystem for many years alongside Octopus Ventures, a prominent early-stage investor, I am excited to continue supporting technology entrepreneurs and founders to achieve their goals.”

The collapse of SVB in 2023 sent shockwaves through the British start-up industry, prompting a government-led rescue effort. The swift transition of SVB UK to HSBC Innovation Banking last June was a strategically beneficial move for HSBC, resulting in a reported gain of $1.6 billion after acquiring the business for just £1.

Ian Stuart, CEO of HSBC UK, praised Platts’ contributions, saying, “Having worked closely with Erin as we developed HSBC Innovation Banking, I have valued her leadership, expertise, and unwavering commitment to our clients and colleagues globally, especially within the UK.”

Simon Rogerson, Octopus Group co-founder and CEO, expressed enthusiasm about Platts joining the team, stating, “Erin has been a champion for decades, and I couldn’t think of anyone better equipped to lead our venture capital business into its next phase of growth. Her ability to scale a business is remarkable, and her optimism for the founder community is contagious.”

Platts will officially join Octopus Ventures in January 2025, taking responsibility for the equity capital business and expanding the pool of startups it supports across the UK and Europe. Alliott Cole, the current CEO, will return to a full-time investment role, focusing on supporting portfolio startups through later stages of growth.

Commenting on the transition, Rogerson said, “As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand what it takes to turn an idea into a successful company capable of changing our world for the better. You need strong teams, capital at every life stage, and people in your corner who will champion your vision. Erin embodies these qualities, and we are thrilled to have her onboard for the next chapter of Octopus Ventures.”

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