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CV and

Other Interests

Curriculum Vitae










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Merton College, Oxford

University of Sussex



23 November 1958



Operational Research


Chartered Management Institute

Operational Research Society


Broadgate West

Financial Analyst


Development & investment appraisals, valuations, market and leasing analysis, project financing, refinancing and budget reporting for projects of typical size £100 million - see case studies


Management of IT systems, insurance and non-domestic rating; project planning and in-house graphics


L’Anima Restaurant Group


Operating projections and analysis - see case studies


Ovation Data


Assistance with producing proposals for services to store oil well mapping data in UK and across Europe


Midas Corporate Consulting


Occupancy options analysis to help smaller tenants reduce accommodation costs by consolidating, relocating or renegotiating leases


Gemini Commercial Investments

Financial Analyst


Role generally as for Broadgate West; interim head of finance during a period of transition in focus from development to management & investment; management and statutory accounts - see case studies


Ashley Knowles Associates

Independent Consultant


Business planning and financial analysis for clients in commercial real estate, hospitality and IT services - significant projects described separately, and see case studies


Smoke & Mirrors Productions


Start-up business plan, corporate finance and interim financial management - see case studies


Reichmann International LP


Working in Canada and the UK, financial modelling of large mixed-use real estate projects in Canada, Mexico and Europe; creation of flexible project evaluation tools


Hotel and Marina Projects


Creation of a series of business plans for a private client wishing to invest in hotels and marinas in the UK


Leading Merchant Bank


Modelling the effect of a number of corporate finance and refinancing schemes for property developments in Europe, such as convertible debt / equity options


Leading TV Facilities House


Financial analysis and business plan for a proposed joint venture between a facilities house and a property developer to build a TV studio


Olympia & York Canary Wharf


Lead financial analyst within HQ of £4bn development; flexible budgeting and leasing support systems used throughout the company; analysis of transport projects, taxation and debt restructuring proposals - see case studies


Coopers & Lybrand Associates

Senior Consultant


Financial analysis for industry-leading clients in telecoms and media, operational simulation, network cost modelling, statistical testing, market research in construction and retail sectors in UK and Far East, project planning


Communications Studies & Planning



Financial and operational analysis for most of the major companies in the telecoms sector; economic analysis in UK and Europe; quantitative and qualitative market research in electronics and telecoms sectors in UK, with fieldwork in USA; network planning; technical writing

Publications and Speaking


Conference presentations on spreadsheet modelling for real estate professionals and spreadsheets as a platform for dashboard systems


Articles on financial management in the arts and operational research  in the IT sector

Crossword Compiling


I’m better known to Guardian readers as Boatman and have a modest international following as a setter. I also compile bespoke crosswords for private clients and teach a well-regarded programme of one-day masterclasses for aspiring setters, several of whom have gone on to work for national newspapers.


You can find out more about my work as a setter by visiting my crossword website.


In partnership with another setter, I have an online business which introduces clients for bespoke puzzles to other setters, including a bank of up-and-coming talent from my masterclasses.



Closer to home, I present quirky charity quizzes, including a mass-participation event for 350 people on Ditchling village green.




I play something that can easily be mistaken for jazz piano, and have performed with an offshoot of the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the South Bank Centre. I take little persuasion to bring out an accordion or bodhrán.


I have acted as recording engineer, both for my own material and in recording live poetry and music for the New Departures label.




I am a qualified barge skipper and fair-weather sailor. In pre-family days, I rebuilt a 30 metre working Dutch barge as a cruising home and studio.



I sat on the management committee of Jackson’s Lane Community Centre, where I supervised the work of four of the six paid members of staff, meeting them every month to discuss their problems & achievements and to help them set targets and priorities for the coming month. At least two of these staff members have gone on to become senior figures in arts management.


I chaired the Greenland Dock berth-holders’ association and promoted schemes to enable the berth-holders to act together to buy the marina on its release from control by the LDDC.


I served as a parish councillor in Ditchling and sat on working groups responsible for producing a local area transport strategy and investigating ways of redeveloping council-owned properties.


I serve on the committee of our local cycling club, the Sussex Nomads, where I manage the club’s website and discussion forum and lead social group rides. I recently established an online shopping system for the club’s team clothing.

Ashley Knowles

Financial Analysis and Board Support