Midlands dealmaker Martin Draper is to become joint head of mid-market private equity firm LDC after incumbent chief executive Darryl Eales announced he was stepping down.
Mr Draper, the firm's Birmingham-based chief investment officer, will be co-head and co-chief executive alongside LDC's current deputy chief executive, London-based Chris Hurley.
Mr Draper said: "Darryl was responsible for creating the current LDC model and has presided over its most successful period of investment to date.
"During his tenure, he has demonstrated not only first class investment ability but inspirational leadership based on a belief in backing ambition and supporting the communities where we operate.
"Chris and I intend to build upon this winning culture and continue LDC's philosophy of backing management teams to fulfil their potential."
Mr Eales will step down from the board of LDC, which has a major operation in Birmingham, but will continue his involvement with the business in a part-time advisory chairman role and support the final phase of the transition plan to new leadership.
He will also retain a number of board roles at LDC's portfolio companies, support the firm's 'LDC in the Community project' and assist its Asian operation.
Since Mr Eales became chief executive in 2003, it has invested more than £2.6 billion in circa 165 small- and medium-sized UK companies and delivered capital gains in excess of £1.2 billion.
The firm has more than 100 staff and now holds stakes in over 80 companies.
He said: "It has been an absolute privilege to lead LDC and, especially, to work with so many outstanding people across the UK regions, many of whom have become close and trusted friends.
"Looking ahead, I am delighted that Martin and Chris have been appointed to lead the business.
"They are highly talented investors, grounded in regional, mid-market private equity and, above all, are great friends of many years standing.
"Martin and Chris have my full support as they take up the challenge and opportunity to take LDC to the next level.
"I am, therefore, also delighted that I will continue to play my own part, albeit in a more limited role as an advisor."