Our Development Advisers are a group of eminent Magic Breakfast supporters who bring their individual expertise and connections. Acting as advocates, they play a key role in supporting us to achieve our aims by raising awareness about our work, expanding our network and helping to execute our fundraising strategy.

 

Priyan Shah

Priyan attended Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet, and went on to study Accounting & Finance at the University of Kent at Canterbury and thereafter completed a postgraduate degree at the London School of Economics.

Priyan, together with his two brothers, Julan and Prag, operate DVS Property, a commercial property business founded in 1985 by their father, Dhiru V Shah. DVS specialise in UK institutional real estate investment across a variety of sectors, including logistics, automotive, out of town retail, supermarkets, and occupational assets to include student accommodation and hotels.

In 2012, the family set up DVS Foundation to formalise their charitable giving. The family’s philanthropy is currently focused in the areas of education, healthcare, mobility, genetic science and food provision, both in the UK and East Africa. Priyan is actively involved in the running of the Foundation. 

Priyan is married with one daughter. He has travelled extensively and enjoys an adventurous, scenic hike. Priyan has from a young age played a number of racquet sports including tennis and badminton.

His favourite breakfast is a hot waffle with a generous serving of chocolate sauce and fresh fruit, with a masala and ginger coffee!

 

Saloni Thakrar

Saloni Thakrar is the Co-founder of LMK (Let Me Know), a charity that educates young people about healthy and unhealthy behaviours so that they can avoid abuse and thrive in their relationships.

Saloni served as Chair for Healthwatch Camden, a statutory health and social care charity from 2017 to 2020. She has also been Chair for the Camden Patient Public Engagement Group, as well as Lay Member for NHS England, for UK National Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Group and for the London Antenatal Screening Group. She has also served as a Trustee for the charity, Little Village. She is a passionate advocate of helping diverse communities have their say in health and social services that impact their lives.

Saloni is an accomplished pharmacist with a US Doctorate (Pharm D.), a Master of Public Health (MPH), a current UK pharmacy licence and extensive clinical experience. She has been well published and has broad experience of working in different healthcare systems around the world, both in a voluntary and professional capacity.

Saloni is married with three lovely daughters. She enjoys swimming, reading and gardening. Her favourite breakfast is a vegetarian full English breakfast!

 

Nick Lawson

Nick attended Dulwich College and The University of Exeter where he obtained a 2:1 in Economic History. After four years at ABN Amro Hoare Govett Nick joined Deutsche Bank in 1998 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2002. From 2004 to 2015 he built and ran the world’s most profitable merger arbitrage and special situations platform. Latterly he was Global Head of Macro and Synthetic Equity. In 2015 he joined the $6bn multi-strategy hedge fund Arrowgrass Capital LLP as a Partner and Head of Strategic Capital. In 2019 he set up his own investment house Ocean Wall Ltd. Ocean Wall specialises in niche alternatives and in 2020 was rated ‘Best niche alternative advisory firm’ by HFM, the global hedge fund magazine.

Nick is the Founding Chair of the ALMT, a £6m regranting children’s charity with over 140 projects that he set up in 2006. Nick was a member of the Conservative Renaissance Forum from 2014-18. In 2013 Nick worked with David Cameron’s Cabinet Office as Chair of Community Lending Steering Group working on solutions for helping the financially excluded from pay day lenders. More recently Nick has worked with the Home Office around county lines & knife crime. He has also been a trustee of Afghan Connection and Unlocking Potential as well as an serving as an ambassador for Afrikids.

Nick is an early stage equity and debt investor in UK technology, healthcare, and university IP.

Nick is married with three sons and lives in Buckinghamshire. In his spare time Nick is a cricket afficionado and is also a passionate Aston Villa fan. His favourite breakfast is marmalade jam on toast and a cup of builders tea.

 

Shahrzad Atai

Shahrzad is Partner and Head of International Clients at solicitors, Child & Child. She is also part of the Senior Leadership Team.

Shahrzad has won various international awards and has lived and worked in many different cities including London, Paris, Dubai and Tehran. She speaks multiple languages including English, French, Italian, Turkish, Persian, Azerbaijani and basic Arabic.

Besides being a lawyer, she is also a lecturer for Master of International Economics at University of Orleans and University of Tours (France).

Shahrzad is a UK qualified solicitor. She holds a Masters of Law (LLM) from the College of Law London, studied Law (LLB),at University of Hertfordshire and Applied Maths at Azad University of Tehran.

Her favourite breakfast is Greek yoghurt with honey and berries. 

 

Simon Woods

Simon is an entrepreneur, innovator and angel investor . He has spent the last 25 years building and scaling technology companies in Europe, the US and Asia. He was instrumental in growing global markets for some of the most innovative Fintech and Supply Chain tech enterprise software companies. 

He is currently Executive Chairman at Real Ice, an environmental initiative that is looking to prove that an end to end renewable process and viable economic model can be developed to restore Arctic Sea ice and help mitigate climate change, working alongside world leaders in Arctic research.  Simon is also President of Texas based startup Senseye, a Neurotechnology company building an ocular brain-computer Interface for mental health visibility.  

Whilst living in Malaysia, Simon founded Reading4Life, a program for children living in orphanages that provided books and reading support to help residents' economic prospects through improved English literacy. 

Simon lives in London with his partner. He is a Chelsea supporter and an enthusiastic tennis player. 

His favourite breakfast is buttered toasted bagel accompanied by a strong coffee. 

 

Lily Silverton

Lily Silverton is a journalist, podcaster and mindset coach. She has been in journalism for more than 15 years and contributes to global publications including Vogue and Refinery29/Vice. 

 

As a coach she works with individuals, businesses and charities and runs panel talks and events for companies such as Soho House, Facebook, the Refugee Council and Crisis. She also has a podcast, Priorities, on which she interviews prominent guests about what really matters to them. 

 

Lily has a BA in Politics from the School Of Oriental and African Studies and she lives in London with her partner and two children. She is an enthusiastic traveller and loves meditation, mountain walks and martinis. 

 

Her favourite breakfast is peanut butter and jam on toast, with an oat milk coffee.