A marathon fundraising effort
A team of investment managers from BGF swapped their brogues and boots for trainers earlier this year to raise funds for Diabetes Scotland and handed over their £2,376 fundraising donation to the charity.
BGF colleagues Duncan Macrae, Mark Bryant, David Gammie, Gemma Hamilton, Jennifer Graham and David Murray were joined by BGF board director, Karen Bothwell from Lloyds Banking Group, to form two marathon relay teams during this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival in May. The first BGF team completed the marathon relay in 3 hours 34 minutes, with the other only three minutes behind.
BGF risk and compliance manager, David Murray who ran two out of four legs of his team’s marathon relay totalling 12.4 miles, explained:
“BGF chose to raise funds for Diabetes Scotland as a number of us have close family members who suffer from the disease and have a good understanding of the dangers and strains of living with it on a day-to-day basis. We are all very proud to have raised so much for the charity and understand it will go far to helping those currently living with diabetes as well as those that will be diagnosed in the future.
“We really enjoyed training together but also competing against each other on the day.”
Susie Williamson, Diabetes UK Scotland regional fundraiser for Glasgow and Edinburgh said:
“Team BGF Edinburgh’s fundraising efforts totaling £2,376, including matched funding from BGF itself, represents one of the biggest donations from this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival, and this has increased the total raised at the event by Diabetes Scotland runners in 2014 to more than £31,000. Both teams made a tremendous effort in fundraising during their gruelling training, for which we are immensely grateful.
“Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK, and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke. There are over 260,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland, and around 50,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but are undiagnosed. As many as 620,000 people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 350,000 people will have diabetes by 2025.
“Donations such as BGF’s play a vital part in helping our charity to care for, connect with and campaign alongside people living with, and at risk of, diabetes. We can’t thank the team enough for their efforts.”
New report from BGF and Barclays finds UK start-up activity rises in first half of 2013
With the UK economy seemingly on the way to a sustained recovery, business confidence and entrepreneurialism also seem to be on the rise according to a new joint report from BGF and Barclays.
The Entrepreneurs Index, which tracks the full entrepreneurial lifecycle using data to measure start-ups, growth and share sales, has found that the number of start-ups and high-growth companies has climbed in the past year in the UK. This is the first report of what will be an ongoing series.
Using data from Experian, Companies House, Office for National Statistics, StartUp Britain and YouGov, the report gives a telling insight into the state of the UK’s entrepreneurial activity and reveals that there has been a 3.4% rise in the number of active companies in the first six months of this year, taking the total number of companies in the UK from 2.73 million at the end of 2012 to 2.82 million at the end of the first half of this year.
The proportion of high-growth companies in the UK has also shown an impressive increase, from 17.4% in 2011 to 20.5% in 2012. This means that one in five of these companies can now be defined as high-growth. Read the full report to see how we have defined ‘high growth’ companies.
The report also gives a fascinating breakdown of the activity across the regions of the UK and provides a revealing look at which regions make a vital contribution to its economic growth. If you are interested in which two Scottish cities outside the South East are included in the top ten cities with highest start-up rates in 2011, then it is worth reading the full report. Similarly the report reveals which part of the UK attracts the highest value of angel investment, second only to London and the South East.
At BGF, we recognise that these types of businesses are an integral part of the economic recovery and through a deeper understanding the entrepreneurial talent in the UK, we can better provide the right finance and networks to help their continued growth and development.
The report, hosted on the Barclays Wealth website, also features interviews with BGF CEO Stephen Welton and Richard Phelps, Managing Director, Barclays Wealth and Investment Management.
The full BGF and Barclays Entrepreneurs Index can be read here.
Investing for the long-term…an interview with BGF’s Simon Munro
In an interview with Holyrood Magazine, Scotland’s fortnightly political and current affairs magazine, BGF Regional Director Simon Munro describes how we are helping ambitious Scottish firms and the attractions to business owners of BGF being a long-term investor.
“One of the attractions is that we are a long-term investor. Most equity investors will typically be looking for an ‘exit’ in three to five years. We are quite happy being involved with a company for five to 10 years, or longer if that is what the business plan dictates.”
Read the full article here.
Inoapps on the acquisition trail following £10m investment
– BGF backs leading IT consultancy to support its ambitious growth plans –
Inoapps, one of the leading Oracle Platinum Partners and Applications specialists in the UK, intends to increase the size and scale of its operations significantly, thanks to a £10m investment of growth capital from BGF. This was BGF’s seventh investment in Scotland brought its current Scottish investment total to just over £36.9m.
BGF, the independent company established to help the UK’s growing businesses, invested £10m in growth capital to allow Inoapps to make several acquisitions to increase its customer offering, and to fund international expansion. BGF took a minority stake and BGF investment director Mike Sibson was appointed to the board. Long-time adviser to the company, Bobby Anderson joined the board at completion, and BGF will also be working with the company to appoint a chairman with industry and entrepreneurial experience to support Inoapps CEO Andy Bird in the next stage of the company’s development.
Inoapps is based in Aberdeen with offices in Edinburgh, Derby and Kuala Lumpur, and a team of around 200 employees and associates. It was founded by Andy Bird in 2006 and is the leading Oracle Reseller and Platinum Partner in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The business specialises in providing consulting, implementation and hosting and managed services for Oracle applications, technology and hardware. Inoapps is on a high growth trajectory, and has doubled turnover in each of the last two years and turned over around £20m to year-end July 2013.
Inoapps initially focussed on implementing Oracle applications and technology solutions into the oil and gas industry but has since diversified into other sectors including construction, defence, and the public sector. It delivers robust, resilient and powerful Oracle solutions that support and transform businesses, bringing rapid return on investment. It has recently completed several multi-million pound projects, and now supports major international blue chip clients across the full range of Oracle products. Inoapps’ “50 in 15” strategy lays out a plan to continue to grow to £50m revenue in 2015, through organic growth and acquisition.
BGF investment director Mike Sibson who will be joining Inoapps board, said:
“Andy Bird is a driven entrepreneur who has built Inoapps into a successful business over the last six years. It is on a highly impressive growth trajectory, driven by consistent high quality project delivery, Andy’s strong leadership and the experienced management team.
“The team has demonstrated its ability to lead the delivery of larger projects to blue chip clients, with outstanding results. Andy has a vision for how Inoapps will build on this platform both in the UK and overseas. BGF was established to provide long term capital to ambitious UK companies and we are very excited to become part of that vision.”
Andy Bird, founder and CEO of Inoapps, commented:
“We are very pleased to have BGF’s support during a pivotal period of growth. We had several recommendations of BGF from trusted advisers and we have been pleased with the efficient investment process.
“We have an aggressive growth plan, and having made two acquisitions in recent years, we know that BGF’s investment will give us the platform to increase our capabilities and our resources for international delivery. This will further strengthen our position as a market leader.”
In August 2013, Arran Aromatics, Scotland’s leading manufacturer of luxury toiletries, lifestyle products and gifts, secured a £2.8m growth capital investment from BGF. This was BGF’s sixth investment in Scotland.
Founded by Janet and Iain Russell in 1988 on the Isle of Arran off the West coast of Scotland, Arran Aromatics has built a brand that is recognised across the world. The performance of the family owned business has fluctuated over the last decade and the company was rescued from the brink of administration in 2009 by independent businessman and turnaround expert, Iain Pittman.
BGF took a minority stake and BGF Investor Duncan Macrae took a seat on the board. Since BGF’s investment, Arran has recruited Jacqui Gale, who was previously chief executive of Crabtree&Evelyn’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as its new chief executive to drive forward the company’s ambitious international growth plans.
Iain Pittman, who has had a long association with the company, has become chairman following the departure of Alastair Kerr. Alastair joined the business as chairman in 2013 when BGF invested in the company and stood down after completing his role to help stabilise the business and lay the foundations for its expansion.
Jacqui studied chemistry at Edinburgh Napier University before joining cosmetics brand Estee Lauder.
Her career has included working with brands such as Lulu Guinness, Pretty Polly lingerie/hosiery and Revlon Cosmetics, as well as driving the European performance of clothing manufacturer Russell Europe prior to its takeover by Fruit of the Loom and leading the growth of clothing distributor, Falk & Ross Group based in Germany.
Iain Pittman began working with the company in 2009 and brought on board BGF to take a minority stake in 2013. The company has annual revenues of around £5m a year, and employs 120 staff on Arran and in its network of ten shops and nine concessions on the UK mainland.
All of its products are still made and hand-finished in Scotland, before being sold in more than 30 countries. The business most recently opened a new store in Edinburgh’s George Street, relocating from a basement space to a prime retail position in the heart of the city’s stylish shopping district.
Arran Aromatics also creates bespoke products for several big-name brands, including Cromlix, Abode Hotels Macdonald Hotels, Cameron House and the DeVere Group.
BGF announces trio of appointments to its Scottish investment team
BGF has announced three new appointments in its Scottish investment team to support the increasing levels of interest in the fund and expand its presence.
The Aberdeen office has appointed Kathryn Ramsay as Senior Investment Manager and David Gammie as an Investment Associate, while Gemma Hamilton will join the Edinburgh team as an Investment Manager on 12 August. Each of them will be responsible for identifying investable local businesses across Scotland and working with them to achieve their growth plans.
Ramsay brings a wealth of investment finance and business development experience gained from working at Simmons & Co International, Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance and Venture Production plc before carrying out investor relations’ roles with Dana Petroleum plc and most recently Parkmead Group plc.
Gammie has joined BGF Aberdeen from PWC’s Transaction Services team in Glasgow where he specialised in M&A financial due diligence, prior to which he worked in the firm’s Assurance practice on clients including Stagecoach plc, STV Group plc, Babcock International plc and Cigna Group.
Hamilton is joining from the central Scotland investment team of Maven Capital Partners in Glasgow where she has worked since 2009. Prior to Maven she worked as a solicitor in the corporate team of DLA Piper involved in private equity investment and M&A.
BGF has invested £24.1m in five Scottish-based businesses since it launched in 2011. The appointment of Ramsay, Gammie and Hamilton brings the BGF investment team based in Scotland to eight overseen by Regional Director Simon Munro.
Simon Munro, commented:
“These are significant appointments for the BGF team in Scotland and come in direct response to the growing interest from companies looking to accelerate their growth. BGF has enjoyed a great deal of traction the oil and gas industry in the north-east since we launched given the appetite for funding as well as the experience of the investment team.
“While there has been plenty of interest and investment activity within the central belt of Scotland, we believe that there are many companies and sectors which have yet to discover how BGF can support their business. Our growing team can now help to expand our presence across the country.
“The dynamic of the investment team is crucial to the success of BGF as we are a people business offering our investee companies our expertise as well as funding. We’re thrilled to welcome Kathryn, David and Gemma to the team and look forward to working with even more ambitious Scottish companies in the future.”