Martin Dunphy

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Martin A. Dunphy
Born Waterford, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Alma mater George Mason University; Harvard Business School
Occupation Entrepreneur
Employer Poleberry Foundation, Ascot Capital Partners

Martin A. Dunphy is an Irish entrepreneur who quite recently founded Ascot CP and is the Patron of the Poleberry Foundation. Previously he founded the successful UK based Marlin Financial Group (MFG) and its main investment companies; Marlin Capital Europe (MCE), Marlin Financial Services (MSF) and Marlin Legal Services (MSL), until its full exit to Encore company Cabot Credit Management.

Early life and rducation[edit]

Dunphy was born in Waterford, Ireland and educated at De La Salle College, Waterford. Dunphy played for the Irish schoolboy European football team, winning the championship in 1982. He was awarded a four-year soccer scholarship at George Mason University, Virginia where he captained the University soccer team.[1] He still holds the university record for most career saves. Dunphy earned a BSc in Marketing and an MBA at George Mason University. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School. [2] and a Chartered Director and fellow of the Institute of Directors in London. [3]


Dunphy set up an Asian telecommunications company in 1996, with branches in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.[4] During his time there Dunphy learned Mandarin. He was Chairman of the Irish Network China and hosted Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahearn in Beijing in 1998(14), subsequently spent 3 years with International SOS in Beijing before moving to London. .[5]

In 2002, Dunphy founded the Marlin Financial Group in the living room of his home in London.[6] Headquartered in West Sussex, UK, the Financial services group specialises in investing in non-performing consumer debt and has revenues in excess of £60,000,000 in 2013. Marlin has consistently been ranked amongst the UK's 100 fastest growing companies by The Sunday Times, generating sales growth of 55% per annum between 2009 and 2013.[7]

In 2010, Dunphy partnered with private equity firm, Duke Street, who invested in Marlin Financial Group purchasing 58% of the business. Dunphy remained as group CEO and a major shareholder. Analysts at the time believed Duke Street agreed to put £50 million into the business, to fund expansion.[8]

In February 2014, Dunphy sold his stake in Marlin Financial Group to Cabot Credit Management,[9] a debt buying business controlled by US based Encore Capital Group, Inc., a US publicly listed company (NASDAQ: ECPG) and New-York buyout house JC Flowers.[10] Duke Street joined Dunphy in selling to Cabot in a deal worth £295 million (US$492 million).[11]

In February 2015 Dunphy set up Ascot Capital Partners, a private investment company specializing in assisting small, entrepreneurial and growing companies. Ascot is a lead investor in Immuta, Social Toaster, the Dips society and WeSwap. Dave Page joined as Managing Director in 2015. [12]


Dunphy set up an endowed athletic scholarship at George Mason University in 2012 followed by establishing the Poleberry Foundation in 2014 to support and motivate young people to fulfil their potential using workshops, competitions and individual scholarships. [13]

To date the foundation has supported over 100 transition year students in Ireland, a budding film maker in the UK, and is evaluating projects to support school girls in Tanzania.

Future plans[edit]

Dunphy has been quoted saying he would like to start a foundation that supports entrepreneurism, take a company public, and develop a global brand.[6] He is an active advocate within the credit industry and is the author of several articles on the British and European non-performing debt markets.[14] Dunphy has a keen interest in art and shooting. His son Eli Dunphy is a member of Irelands’ international DTL shooting team.[18][15]



  1. ^ "Business success for Waterford entrepreneur". Munster Express. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Martin A. Dunphy". LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "IOD chartered ambassadors". Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Irish businessman nets £25m from sale of debt collection firm". Irish Times. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Bilateral Relations Between China and Ireland". Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "From Soccer Star to Globe-Hopping Entrepreneur: Martin Dunphy '92 Finds Success". George Mason University. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Awards". Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Duke Street Capital lands Marlin". Credit Today. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Shameless ploy defies all logic". The Times. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Cabot buys smaller rival from Duke Street". The Financial Times. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Entrepreneur nets £59m for stake in debt collector Marlin". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ascot Capital Partners". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Entrepreneur Scholarships for Transition Year Students". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Founder of debt collector Marlin nets £30m windfall". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "HCIT Banbridge Irish Team Scores". Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  16. ^ "London finalists of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards announced". London Loves Business. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Seven Inducted into Mason Men's Soccer Hall of Fame". Go Masons. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  18. ^ "10 Sporting Gods Turned Businessmen". Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  19. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Awards". Retrieved 8 June 2016.