The Winning Team

JON SMITH – Chairman

Charity patron and former CEO of a London Stock Exchange business, Jon’s work in the sport sector has left a lasting impression on the UK. He is responsible for many of football’s most high-profile player transfers and also for staging some of the country’s biggest sporting events. He was the promotor of the NFL, NBA and NHL, chairman of the London Monarchs during their inaugural World Bowl winning season, and developed the Team England commercial vehicle which the FA still uses to this day.

His autobiography, The Deal, was listed as a best seller in autumn 2016. Also involved in the entertainment industry, Jon once owned the largest theatre marketing business in New York and London.

PHIL SMITH – COO

One of the most experienced agents in world football, Phil was a former co-owner of First Artist and is widely considered one of the most well-connected people in the industry. In a career spanning more than thirty years, Phil has been involved in countless multi-million pound transfers and remains one of the most-trusted names in the sport, by players, managers and owners alike. Phil prides himself in knowing everything about his clients and their needs, and works closely with them in all aspects of their development. Aside from football player representation, Phil is highly experienced in all forms of football consultancy and also specialises in other services such as arranging friendlies, tournaments and pre-season tours.

Phil started his career in the music industry and was Head of Promotion of several agencies, before launching his own label, Double Impact, where he worked regularly with the likes of Simon Cowell and Pete Waterman.

ROBERTO DE FANTI – Director

ROB JONES – Financial Director

Rob is a fully qualified chartered accountant with the ACCA and AAT. He is a skilled Senior Financial Management Professional with excellent experience gained managing the finance of large global organisations and SME types of businesses. He is highly focused in the development of financial services and controls, utilising technology and leveraging country specific taxation regulations to optimise returns.

He has been responsible for successfully introducing structured control and operational management, defining corporate strategies, establishing and managing complex financial departments. He has written articles for the Association of Accounting Technicians and featured in their November 2015 Magazine.

He is also a Mentor for the Business Growth Hub in helping small business owners with their fundraising and financial planning. He also mentors AAT students at the FutureSkills College in Media City and speaks at the KPMG annual graduate program meeting in promoting the AAT qualification.

In addition to being a Finance Director and Business Owner, Rob is a session drummer and performs with bands live and in recording studios.

BEN HORTOP – Commercial Director

ZHENG ZHANG – Finance

Having spent a decade in the financial industry in her native China, Zheng graduated from Exeter University in MSC Finance and Investment in 2010 and has since worked at several global organisations both in the UK and abroad. Most recently, she managed the financial department of China Beijing Bioengineering & Pharmaceutical Industrial Park (CBP), a State-owned company in China, and before that at BDO over here in the UK.

She started her career at fashion outlet Uniqlo, after graduating from Renmin University of China in accounting, before taking up the role at Bensa Ltd in the accounting department.