Fund Boosts Presence in Scotland and Northern England

August, 2011

Edinburgh – the £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help Britain's fast growing smaller and medium sized businesses, today boosted its presence in Scotland with the appointment of Duncan Macrae as an Investment Director. He joins a team of 3 that is based in Edinburgh. Duncan joins from the retail sector, where he was Finance Director of Cruise Fashion Ltd, a chain of high fashion stores, and prior to that was a Director of Edinburgh-based Dunedin Capital Partners. Duncan is a former Scotland Under 21 rugby international.

Duncan's main role will be to identify investable businesses in Scotland and the North of England, successfully execute these investments for the Fund and support those companies as a board member. He will also play a key role in building a wider team that will drive investment across the region. This is the most recent in a series of appointments made by the fund and comes at a time of rapid growth for the BGF, which now employs a team of 44 nationwide.

At the Edinburgh office, Duncan joins Business Director, Mark Bryant. Appointed in May, Mark is an experienced CEO who has managed and grown a number of manufacturing businesses and will play a major role in mentoring and supporting the fund’s investee companies.

Earlier this month, the BGF also announced the appointment of Audrey Baxter, CEO of Baxters Food Group, as a Non Executive Director. Her first hand experience of building her company in the UK and abroad and of managing a fourth generation family business has clear relevance to businesses in Scotland and throughout the UK.

These appointments are illustrative of the fresh approach that the BGF brings to the smaller company sector, as an active partner providing both capital and advice.

Business Director, Mark Bryant said:

"Duncan is an excellent addition to our team, bringing financial expertise but also invaluable hands-on experience of working at the coalface within a business. Our job is to build confidence within good businesses that need help to grow and to nurture in them an entrepreneurial spirit. To do this we must offer more than just money – partnership, expertise and contacts are equally as important."

Duncan Macrae said of his appointment:

"From my former role in the retail sector, I know first-hand the challenges that are involved in managing growing a businesses in today's challenging market conditions. I also see the huge potential that is latent in the Scottish and North of England markets. The unparalleled resources and in-house expertise provided by the fund give me a great opportunity to capitalise on this and make a real difference to the businesses that we invest in."

With nearly 300,000 private enterprises employing two million people, Scotland is well placed to see the private sector drive growth out of recession. 99% of those 300,000 private businesses are small and medium sized enterprises which in turn account for nearly 53% of Scottish employment.

BGF CEO, Stephen Welton, commented:

"We recognise the importance of Scottish businesses and the Scottish economy and are committed to building a strong team to support investment in the region."