NOTTINGHAM, 04 May 2018: Foresight Group (“Foresight) announces the appointment of Ray Harris to its Private Equity Investment team, following Ben Dawson’s appointment earlier this year.
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Harris joins Foresight as a Principal on the recently awarded £35 million equity fund (for the East and South-East Midlands) from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”) delivered by the British Business Bank. He will be based in Foresight’s Nottingham office and the recently opened Leicester office. Harris’s appointment adds strength to the senior investment team in the region after Ben Dawson joined the team as Senior Investment Manager in January this year.
Previously a Director at Odyssey Corporate Finance in Birmingham, Harris has a solid private equity background and over 20 years’ experience advising or completing deals within the East and West Midlands. He has developed a strong reputation throughout the corporate finance sector in the region, supported by a track record of 75 deals concluded to date.
Dawson was previously a Director in Structured Finance at Royal Bank of Scotland, and has over 15 years’ experience of working in corporate finance in the Midlands.
Dawson’s responsibilities are to work across the range of funds managed by Foresight, but with a particular focus on the Foresight Nottingham Fund as it comes to the end of its investment period later this year.
Foresight was recently appointed an equity fund manager for MEIF as the British Business Bank (“BBB”) launched up to £100m of equity funding for the region. Foresight will make investments of between c.£100k and £2m in growing small and medium sized businesses across the East and South-East Midlands.
Russell Healey, Partner and Head of Private Equity at Foresight, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Ray into the team. His expertise will be invaluable in deploying MEIF and increasing our presence in the region. In just a few months, Ben has become a strong addition to the team, sourcing deals for MEIF and the Foresight Nottingham Fund. With this strengthened team and a number of deals in the pipeline, we are confident that the deployment of the MEIF funding will have a great start.”
Ray Harris added: “The Midlands is a real hub for up and coming SMEs with a confident business environment and the plenty of opportunity to expand and invest. Foresight has some great success stories in the area and I look forward to being part of the team.”
Ben Dawson commented: “My first few months at Foresight have definitely been exciting and I really enjoy being part of such a dynamic team. My expertise is in the Midlands region and it will be a pleasure to assist Foresight as they focus on deals throughout the region.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
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Notes for editors
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BRP).
Foresight’s Private Equity Team, comprising 22 investment professionals, invests between £100k and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.
Foresight is an appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), as the British Business Bank launched £100 million of equity funding for the region, as part of the wider £250 million Midlands Engine programme. Foresight will make equity investments of between c.£100k and £2m in growing small and medium sized businesses across the East and South-East Midlands.
Foresight’s Nottingham office manages the Foresight Nottingham Fund (“FNF”), a £40 million dedicated regional growth fund providing investment and support to businesses in the Nottinghamshire region on behalf of the British Business Bank and Nottinghamshire Local Government Local Government Pension Fund. FNF is already invested in 16 companies.
Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Seoul and San Francisco.
About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.
The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the recently launched North East Fund www.eib.org.
The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.
The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Our remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
The British Business Bank programmes are already supporting almost £3.4bn of finance to more than 59,000 smaller businesses, through over 100 finance partners. They are participating in a further £5.8bn.
British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.
More information, including a legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries, can be found on the British Business Bank website.