Dealmaker to take major role at growth fund

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ONE of Yorkshire’s best-known dealmakers is joining the Business Growth Fund to manage its growing portfolio of investments.

John Swarbrick will become head of portfolio at BGF, which has been set up to help fast-growing SMEs across the UK.

It is backed with capital of up to £2.5bn from Barclays, HSBC, LLoyds, RBS and Standard Chartered.

Mr Swarbrick spent a dozen years at the helm of Lloyds Development Capital in Leeds and led on 24 investments worth a total of £215m.

The office reported total gains of £220m during his tenure.

LDC announced in September that Mr Swarbrick would move into a part-time role until his departure at the end of 2013.

Stephen Welton, chief executive of BGF, said: “We are delighted that John is joining BGF. He brings with him a wealth of experience.

“This appointment completes our senior team and as the pace of our new investment activity continues to increase, we will have further resource available to make positive contributions to our investee companies as they grow and flourish.”

BGF plans to make eight investments across the North of England next year, it was revealed this week. Investors are particularly interested in manufacturing, digital media and healthcare sectors.

BGF has completed four deals across the North in the past eight months and hopes to complete one more before the end of 2012.

It typically invests between £2m and £10m in return for a minimum 10 per cent equity stake and a seat on the board.

Mr Swarbrick will divide his time between the six regional offices, help monitor investment quality and sit on the investment committee. He will continue to work part-time at LDC until the end of 2013.