The Tagsmart journey began when globally renowned frame-maker and art fabricator Mark Darbyshire and product designer Steve Cooke got together to explore a solution for authenticating art and creating a truly secure provenance history for individual works.

Joined by CEO Lawrence Merritt and with the backing of a highly committed Board, this collaboration then expanded to include some of the UK's foremost security, art conservation, software and materials science experts.


Our Team

Tom Toumazis

Tom Toumazis MBE
Chairman
Highly experienced media executive and avid art collector, ex-Endemol, Disney, and Yahoo!.

Lawrence Merritt

Lawrence Merritt
CEO
Proven history of developing high growth businesses for companies including PhotoBox, Yahoo! & Expedia.

Steve Cooke

Steve Cooke
Chief Innovation Officer & Co-Founder
30 years tech and product innovation including the 1st ‘app store’ and products for Mattel, Yahoo! and BBC.

James Fryer

James Fryer
CTO
Software developer with 30 years' experience in websites, multimedia, games and systems programming. 

Rob Suss
Non-Executive Director
Former MD of Goldman Sachs, active art collector and Trustee of the Royal Academy of the Arts.

Mark Darbyshire

Mark Darbyshire
Co-Founder
Globally renowned frame-maker, with over 20 years’ experience working with artists, galleries and collectors.


Technical Advisers

Dr Matthew Baker.jpg

Dr Matthew Baker
World leading synthetic DNA pioneer, CSO at Abzena and Co-Founder of Antitope, Matthew combines work on targeted immunotherapy for cancer and autoimmune diseases with DNA-security applications.

Mike Triggs

Mike Triggs
Formerly Product Development Manager at Avery Dennison, Mike combines a scientific academic training with over 40 years experience of pressure-sensitive adhesive product development.

Dr Carinna Parraman

Dr Carinna Parraman
Professor in Design and Colour Print at the UWE Bristol and Co-Director of the Centre for Fine Print Research, Carinna's studio pioneers new print and ink techniques for leading contemporary artists.

Professor John Watts

Professor John Watts
Leading authority on surface chemistry focused on adhesive bonding and nano-materials for paints and adhesives, John is currently Director of Research and Professor of Materials Science at the University of Surrey.

Dr Melanie Bailey

Dr Melanie Bailey
Pioneering developer of ion beam and ambient mass spectrometry analysis of paints and other materials, Melanie's work has been widely featured in the national and scientific press, on BBC Radio, Sky News and ITV.

Graham Bignell

Graham Bignell
Leading conservator and art printer, Graham set up his first studio in 1981 and is responsible for conservation of works by leading contemporary and classical artists from Picasso to Hirst and Hockney.

 

Professor Bill Redman-White
Currently Professor of IC Design at the University of Southampton, with over 30 years experience of pioneering academic and industrial semiconductor product design at NXP, GEC and British Telecom. 

 

Strategic Advisers

Joanne Wilson

Joanne Wilson
NY-based art collector and active angel investor with a portfolio of over 90 companies including several art-related businesses. 

Philip Mould

Philip Mould OBE
Director of Philip Mould & Co., one of UK's foremost authorities on British Art and the Old Masters and presenter of BBC's 'Fake or Fortune?'.

 

Aino-Leena Grapin

Aino-Leena Grapin
With over 12  years in the art world and the expertise in the area of both online and physical art market, Aino has held senior roles in Christie's and Paddle8.

Colette Loll

Colette Loll
Founder and Director of Art Fraud Insights a consultancy dedicated to art fraud-related lectures, training, and specialised investigation of artworks.

Mike Adam

Mike Adam
Executive Chairman of Digital Animal and entrepreneur with a 25-year track record of founding, building and selling analytical technology businesses. 

Amy Todd Middleton

Amy Todd Middleton
Served as the Global Director of Strategic Marketing at Sotheby’s, where she spent a total of 18 years in various leadership roles.