Investor BGF undertakes 'organisational evolution' with string of executive changes

Investment outfit BGF has unveiled a shake-up at the top and a string of other senior appointments.

As part of an “ongoing organisational evolution”, BGF - formerly known as the Business Growth Fund - announced that Andy Gregory, current chief investment officer, is to be appointed as chief executive from September 1.

Stephen Welton, executive chairman, will become non-executive chair, effective January 1, 2023, following a decade of executive leadership.

Welton was appointed founding chief executive of BGF in 2011 and under his leadership it has grown from a start-up to become the most active growth capital investor in the UK & Ireland, with more than £3 billion invested across more than 400 companies by a regional network of 16 offices.

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BGF has also just declared its maiden dividend of £30 million to its shareholders: HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest and Standard Chartered.

To support the new leadership structure, new appointments have been made to BGF’s executive committee, effective January 1. These include: Richard Taylor, head of growth; Ben Barker, head of portfolio; and Cate Poulson, head of talent network.

Patrick Graham, head of Scotland and Northern Ireland; Neil Inskip, head of north west and Midlands; and Ned Dorbin, head of south west and Wales, will join the current members of BGF’s investment committee, the venture’s central engine for investment decision making.

Welton said: “From a standing start in 2011 and spurred on by the global financial crisis, BGF’s leadership, shareholders, regulators and other stakeholders envisaged a new equity investment platform that would deliver long-term value creation and patient capital, supporting entrepreneurs on a local basis right across the country.

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As part of an 'ongoing organisational evolution', BGF - formerly known as the Business Growth Fund - announced that Andy Gregory, current chief investment officer, is to be appointed as chief executive from September 1. Picture: Piranha Photography

“I could not be prouder of what has been achieved and would like to thank our portfolio companies, our team and our shareholders for their enduring support in delivering what is a core mission for BGF and a crucial part of the growth economy.”

Graham added: “BGF generated strong deal flow in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the first half of 2022 with exit activity delivering a 3.5-times return off four exits. We are looking forward to continuing our investment momentum in the second half of the year.”

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