Two big hitters from the worlds of business and finance have been selected to head the Birmingham-based £2.5 billion equity fund set up by the major banks.
The Business Growth Fund, which will have its operational and back office functions in the city, will in April start making investments in small and medium-sized firms with a turnover of £10 million and above.
The fund will also have a network of regional offices around the country.
It will be led by veteran industrialist Sir Nigel Rudd as chairman with Stephen Welton, a well-known private equity figure, as chief executive.
The Business Growth Fund is backed by the UK’s major banks Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander and Standard Chartered, who earlier this month agreed to pump an extra £1 billion into the fund as part of the Project Merlin agreement.
Business Growth Fund chief executive Stephen Welton said the fund would invest across a range of sectors with a common objective to help companies grow.
“If they need long-term equity finance, we will be able to provide that,” he said.
“In addition we will be able to provide a source of experience and business advice.”
He added: “These are the companies that will hopefully become the large companies and future successes of tomorrow.”
Sir Nigel Rudd said: “We want to make a lasting and substantial economic impact by broadening
the financial options available to businesses.
“By investing equity in Britain’s most dynamic businesses and being involved at a board level, we
intend to foster a very collaborative approach to financing growth.”
The funds’ investments will be in equity or related instruments, taking minority stakes of between £2 million and £10 million each.
In addition to an injection of capital, the BGF will also normally take a seat on the board of those