Stephen Welton to be appointed Executive Chairman of BGF
BGF announces that Stephen Welton, founder CEO of BGF, will be appointed by the Board to the new role of Executive Chairman. Stephen has been responsible for the management and strategic direction of BGF since 2011 and will continue to focus on the expansion of the company, which has become the most active investor of growth capital in the UK and Ireland.
As part of the announced Board changes, Sir Nigel Rudd will retire as BGF Chairman in June 2020, at the end of his third term in the role. Sir Nigel became Chair when the company was founded and has been instrumental in helping to steer the successful expansion of the company ever since.
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director Neil Johnson, who has served on the Board since 2011, will become Deputy Chairman to uphold the strong governance under which BGF operates. These changes have been ratified by the Board and shareholders of BGF and will be effective as of 30th June 2020.
Sir Nigel Rudd said: “Stephen Welton has expertly led BGF’s growth and expansion, combining a deep understanding of entrepreneurship in Britain with vast experience of the investment industry. I am delighted that as Executive Chairman he will continue to build on the work of the past nine years, leading the company into what I know will be a very bright future.
“It has been an absolute honour to have served as Chairman whilst BGF made roots in cities and regions across the UK and Ireland.”
Stephen Welton said: “I want to thank Sir Nigel for his tremendous contribution in supporting an idea back in 2011 and helping us to turn that into a significant investment company today. We know that we have his continued support and offer him the very best wishes for the future.
“I am delighted to take on the role of full-time Executive Chair. BGF has created an investment platform capable of identifying brilliant businesses and deploying capital, in volume, across all regions and sectors to support the entrepreneurs and innovators of the UK and Ireland. As we enter a new decade, with growing optimism across UK plc, our opportunity now is to continue to build on that platform and help expand the country’s growth capital industry.”
Neil Johnson, Senior Independent and Non-Executive Director who will transition to Deputy Chair said: “The Board and shareholders of BGF welcome Stephen’s forthcoming appointment as Executive Chairman, recognising the significant achievements that have been made over the past nine years. I am pleased to move to the role of Deputy Chairman, where I will continue to provide support and guidance to both the company and its shareholders.”
BGF has invested over £2bn across more than 300 companies. The company has most recently added to its network of 14 offices with new openings in Cambridge, to support its growing investments in life sciences, and Cork to drive further expansion in the Republic of Ireland.
To support the newly created role of Executive Chairman, the following changes have been made to BGF’s executive and operational teams:
Andy Gregory has been promoted to Head of Investments, UK and Ireland. Andy has been with BGF since 2011 most recently as Head of Investment for the North, Scotland and Ireland. Before BGF, Andy held senior roles in the private equity industry, including as a Director at LivingBridge (then ISIS Equity Partners). Andy sits on BGF’s Executive Committee and will manage BGF’s regional investment team.
Alistair Brew, Head of Investment Operations, will change reporting lines to John Swarbrick, Head of Portfolio, who sits on BGF’s Executive Committee. Jane Vinson has been promoted to Regional Portfolio Head for the South. Jane joined BGF in 2016 from Octopus Investments. Ben Barker has been promoted to Regional Portfolio Head for the North. Ben joined BGF in 2016 from Caird Capital. Jane and Ben will join BGF’s Investment Committee.
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