John Down

Chief Operating & Financial Officer

United Kingdom
Locked Pro Plan feature


  • Chief Operating & Financial Officer
  • Chief Operating & Financial Officer
    Founder The Dots | Delightfully dyslexic, excuse typos!
  • Chief Operating & Financial Officer
    Founder The Dots | Delightfully dyslexic, excuse typos!

Projects credited in

About me

I help lead the incredible team at The Dots, where my responsibilities include growth, operations, finance, legal / regs, people, board governance and investor relations. I'm passionate about diversity in the start-up and creative worlds, and am a founding committee member of Series Q - an LGBT+ professional network for entrepreneurs. Previously I've held strategy, M&A, consulting and operational roles across digital media, the creative industries and finance. This has been with a range of clients and employers, from small start-ups to corporates. Feel free to get in touch!


  • Finance
  • Project Management
  • Strategy and Insight
  • Operations
  • Legal Contracts
  • Growth Strategy

People I’ve worked with

Companies I’ve worked with

  • A New Direction

    A New Direction

    • Charity
  • D&AD


    • Design
  • Creative Equals

    Creative Equals

    • Social Enterprise
  • WeTransfer


    • Publishing

Work history


Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer

The Dots

May 2015
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Commercial & Operations: Responsible for off-platform ops, working side-by-side with CEO to determine strategy and direction, as well as oversight of growth, data, goal-setting and research / decision support. • 20x platform member growth • Acquired The Dots' largest revenue client • Defined, named and sized the ‘No Collar' professional segment. People: CEO’s chief of staff responsible for recruitment, performance management, remuneration, diversity and HR systems & ops. • Scaled The Dots from 6 contractors to 25 staff in 4 geographies • The Dots is rated #44 in the UK's Top-100 SaaS companies to work for. Finance: Own all fundraising, forecasting, MI / reporting, finance ops (incl cash flow) and grants processes. • Led raise of > £6m in 3 separate rounds • Responsible for marketing materials, terms, due diligence, valuation and EIS. Legal & Regulatory: Oversee legal, IP, data protection, disputes & regulatory & policy environment. • Led The Dots to GDPR compliance with minimal disruption • Led Brexit policy response and political campaigning / engagement. Governance: Board secretary, CoSec, head of investor relations (120+ shareholders).


Strategy / M&A Consultant


Jun 2009 - Jan 2013
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Freelance
  • Clients included: • AMP - Mergers & Acquisitions, joint ventures, strategy (June 2009 to Jan 2013) - went full-time in 2013; • - strategy, fundraising advisory (January to March 2011) • Other start-up ventures


Mergers, Acquisitions and Treasury Transactions


Jun 2009 - May 2015
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Full Time
  • Key projects: • Led / consulted on four fintech acquisitions, consolidating AMP as #1 in the self-managed pension platform space • Acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific - CFO Magazine's Deal of The Year for 2011 • Acquisition of 20% of China Life’s pension business, the first in the space and the largest Australian financial services investment in China at A$250m


Mar 2007 - May 2009
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Full Time
  • Dual role: • Strategy: Planning, development and delivery of strategic projects and advisory • M&A: Research, valuation, due diligence management and execution of deals across Australasia & Asia


Sep 2006 - Nov 2006
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Internship
  • Valuation, modelling and investment due diligence across the technology, consumer and digital media sectors


Technology Communications & Entertainment


Sep 2003 - Sep 2006
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Chartered Accountancy from Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, September 2006



Chartered Accountancy


Sep 2003 - Sep 2006
  • London, United Kingdom


Scholarship Exchange

University of California

Sep 2000 - Jul 2001
  • Davis, United States
  • Perfect Grade Point Average of 4.0/4.0. Cited on the Dean's Honor Roll for every academic quarter.


Oct 1998 - Jun 2002
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • First-class Masters with honours