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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


Michael Blanning Trust Housing Association


Cashflow projections and evaluation of finance proposals as part of a development of 72 retirement homes


Ovation Data


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


Midas Consulting / Business Property Advantage


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 400 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, at least two of which have gone on to become senior figures in arts management, and I am currently a trustee of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.


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 am an active member of our local cycling club, the Sussex Nomads, where I lead social group rides and rebuilt the club’s website, including establishing an online shopping system for the club’s team clothing.

Ashley Knowles

Financial Analysis and Board Support