Paul Smith

An extensive history in the chemical industry and private equity for more than 35 years.

Paul, a graduate Chemist (1976), enjoyed a long and successful career within a number of large multinational chemical companies until moving into private equity and venture capital in late 2001. His early roles included General Manager – Commercial for Albright & Wilson’s Surfactant Business in Europe, Marketing Director at Brent International PLC, and European Managing Director – Elementis Pigments.

Paul’s involvement in the attempt to “take private” the Elementis business in late 2001 was the trigger for a successful change of direction, becoming a co-founder of Cogency alongside leading a private consultancy (Five5miths Market Dynamics) combining experience in business recovery services and the commercialisation of new technology. The success in this latter segment led to a number of leadership roles in VC-backed businesses and an enviable track record of creating value and highly profitable exits for investors, the most recent being the sale of Rahu Catalytics Limited to Wall Street listed US Specialty Chemicals player, OM Group Inc. in late 2011.

Paul is also an investor in and CEO of Catexel Limited – a catalyst developer, and novel polymer company, Parogle Technologies Limited, and an active investor in other disruptive technology companies in the chemicals and materials space.

He has extensive international experience in Europe, North America and Asia, and lived and worked in Germany for 4 years. Paul is a German speaker

Specific areas of functional expertise:

Externally Focused

  • Commercial strategy and strategic repositioning
  • Market research and technology alignment
  • Exit strategy and value development

Internally focused

  • Commercial leadership
  • International sales and marketing development
  • Technology licensing/deal structuring