BGF more than doubles Birmingham based team to drive investment in the Midlands

November 2011

Birmingham - Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help Britain's fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses, today announced that it has appointed three investment directors in Birmingham, bringing its Midlands regional team to 5 people. All three will be based in BGF's Birmingham office, from where they will be responsible for identifying investable local businesses and working with them to achieve their growth plans.

All three investment directors have considerable experience of investing in East and West Midlands based independent businesses, across a variety of sectors and situations.

Ian Downing joins from Quotient Clinical, an independent company providing specialised clinical trial services to the global pharmaceutical sector, where he spent five years as CFO, and was previously at private equity firm 3i Group plc where he spent a decade based in the Midlands. Mark Freer has spent 12 years in the Midlands with LDC and Barclays Ventures. Tim Whittard has worked with both Gresham Private Equity and Sovereign Capital.

BGF Head of Investments, Richard Bishop, who is also based in the Birmingham office, commented:

"Since launching in Birmingham in May 2011, BGF has been working hard to create a nationwide infrastructure that will enable us to put capital to work, executing thirty to forty investments per year. These appointments are illustrative of this and underpin our commitment to Birmingham and the Midlands. Our local team collectively has over fifty years of working with private companies, many of which are locally based, and this will enable them to make a full and active contribution to Birmingham’s business community."

He added:

"We are already seeing a healthy level of local deal flow and are actively pursuing a number of investment opportunities. We believe that there are many high quality businesses in the Midlands which have real potential but which have not obtained the funding they need. We are here to support them. Taking a business to the next stage can be daunting. It requires confidence, capability and capital, and sometimes these three elements call for external support. BGF can bring a lot to the table over and above finance and we urge East and West Midlands based business to come and talk to us."

An interim member of BGF's investment team, Stuart Layzell, recently ended his short-term contract and has taken up an appointment as CFO of a Cheshire based business. Richard Bishop said: "We'd like to thank Stuart for the contribution he made as a part of a team of contractors that enabled BGF to get up and running in a relatively short time frame. As we welcome new members to our permanent team, we wish him all the best for his next venture."