James Penney’s early career was in academia, including undergraduate and postgraduate research at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by six years as Principal Lecturer at Westminster College, Oxford. After Oxford, he was a Sloan Fellow at London BusinessSchool from which he has an MSc in Management Studies.
Until 2013, James was the owner and Managing Director of Darwin Consulting, a strategy consulting firm he co-founded in 1998. Darwin provided strategic advice to directors and investors in a range of industries, including financial services, private equity and media. In 2003 Mr Penney co-founded the Darwin Group with Anthony Esse. From 2007 to 2014, James was also Vice-Chairman of MAX BANK, a retail bank specialising in micro-credit and SME finance in the Philippines. He was chairman of the credit committee and member of the corporate governance committee.
Since 2016 James has been a Board member of Loudspring Oy, a Finish company listed on the Helsinki and Stockholm stock exchanges. Loudspring is an investment group focusing on Nordic growth companies that save natural resources.
In 2007 James and Anthony Esse established the Darwin Leisure Property Fund. He is Chairman of Darwin Alternatives which is also the investment advisor to the Darwin Leisure Development Fund and Darwin Bereavement Services Fund.