Back to profiles
Ben Heald
Ben Heald
Chair/NED, Sift, BDG & St George's Bristol
Ben‘s professional bio / interests
Studied psychology at Bristol, then trained and qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG in London - the highlight of which was being involved on the Nestlé audit in Switzerland 3 years running. Left KPMG in 1992 wanting to get involved in businesses. Co-founded digital publishing business Sift in 1996, which I'm still involved with. I chaired Bristol's payment platform Bristol Pay (an evolution from Bristol Pound) for 5 years until 2022. I still chair charity and arts venue St George's Bristol - but will be stepping down in April 2022. I also do some investing - chairing BDG and was one of Guild's angel investors. Outside work, I'm a passionate parkrunner, cycle a bit, play the piano & violin and recently have moved into Hotwells (Bristol) from the wilds of LA (Long Ashton).
I’d like help with…
Connecting is always good - especially Bristol people. Always good to connect with people in the digital publishing space (Sift), anyone involved in running performance & music venues (St George's) and those in the business comparison space (BDG). As well as chatting about the role of the chair and the attendant exec/non-exec boundary issues! I'm not yet ready to take on anything else (although I'd love to get involved in a South West rewilding project).
An interesting, or unusual fact(s) about me…
Met my wife Mary in Malawi when she was teaching Latin there and I was on a 12 month trip by Land Rover from the UK to South Africa through 17 African countries.
I live in
A career highlight
Founding and growing Sift, including starting its principle title AccountingWEB from my back bedroom in Clapham in 1997 through all the various roles I've had growing and developing the company to now sitting on the board as a major shareholder, but no longer either as CEO or Chair!
Joined Guild
14 November, 2018