George joined BGF in early 2012 and is based in the London office. Covering London, Essex and Norfolk, George is responsible for identifying and completing new investment opportunities as well as continuing to work with the boards of BGF’s investee companies.
Prior to BGF, George advised a number of large cap companies in fundraising and M&A across the Telecoms, Media and Technology sectors as an investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
He holds a MA Oxon in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a MSc in Finance from the London School of Economics.
“With a background in investment banking working on large pan-European deals, the move to BGF in 2012 was a complete change of course for me. Here I have the opportunity to work closely with management teams of some of the UK’s brightest and most aspirational companies. The added bonus is that with the financial clout of £2.5bn from the banks behind us, BGF is at the heart of the growing conversation around funding UK small and mid-sized businesses. Having the flexibility to listen to and fulfil entrepreneurs’ ambitions is a great place to be.”
- Four Communications (Board Observer)
- Thames Card Technology (Board Observer)
- Broadbandchoices (Board Observer)
- McMIillan Williams (Board Observer)
- Renal Services (Board Observer)
- Oliver Sweeney
- The Exchange Lab
Jonathan joined BGF before its launch in early 2011 to help establish the BGF investment process and strategy. He is now focused on the origination, appraisal and execution of new investment opportunities. He also represents BGF on the board of a number of portfolio companies. Jonathan has 10 years’ investment experience, having previously worked for Bank of Scotland and subsequently Lloyds Banking Group in the Joint Ventures team, where he undertook several asset-backed investments. Prior to that he worked in the equity management and corporate banking divisions within the bank.
Jonathan holds an MA in Economics and Finance from Leeds University Business School. He lives with his wife and two children in North London. As well as following his home town team United, he enjoys running, having occasionally completed the London marathon and triathlon.
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Chris is skilled in developing equity solutions to meet the growth objectives of ambitious management teams, the companies they run and their shareholders.
Chris is an investment professional and non-executive director with over 15 years of experience leading growth capital, buyout and venture capital investments. His sector experience includes software, aerospace/defence, engineering, media (technology and creative services), semiconductors, telecommunications and alternative energy. Chris’s responsibilities on the BGF team include leading our regional coverage of Cambridgeshire, East Anglia and Essex.
Chris has a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and a M.A. in Physics from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining BGF, he served with The Carlyle Group for nine years, 3i Group plc and P.A. Consulting Group.
“The exciting part of my role at BGF is about understanding the short and long term objectives of owner-managers and tailoring a solution that gets them where they want to be. It’s not just about investing patient, minority capital. I find that BGF can really help in situations where there is a desire to align in figuring out corporate strategy, succession planning and shareholder transition.”
- Four Communications (Board Director)
- Molecular Products Group
- 3sun Group (Board Director)
- The Exchange Lab (Board Director)
- Abacus e-Media (Board Director)
- Workshare (Board Director)
- M Squared Lasers
- Unruly Media
Workshare acquires IdeaPlane
BGF portfolio company Workshare, a leading provider of secure enterprise collaboration applications, yesterday announced exciting news that it had acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries.
The deal will provide Workshare customers with a complete collaboration and communication solution by integrating IdeaPlane’s easy-to-use, secure and compliant social networking features into Workshare’s collaboration platform.
According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, adopting social technologies offers companies the potential to improve productivity of highly skilled workers by 20-25% – and save billions of dollars from time lost on inefficient communications and information searches.
Built in partnership with one of the world’s largest investment banks and launched earlier this year, IdeaPlane’s customizable social networking platform can be rapidly and securely deployed across regulated organizations. IdeaPlane will enhance the Workshare platform with robust social networking features, including status updates; the promotion of important events, news and content; email notifications and the creation of open, closed and secret groups. Enterprise administration features allow companies to comprehensively manage and moderate the network.
The acquisition comes two months after BGF invested £7.25 million of growth capital in SkyDox alongside Scottish Equity Partners, management and other employee shareholders in September 2012 as part of a £20 million investment round. The capital raised enabled SkyDox to acquire Workshare.
Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare, said:
“Our combined platform will allow organizations to monitor, manage and closely control the social network being used within their organizations while facilitating collaboration and the exchange of information and ideas.”
James Fabricant, founder and CEO IdeaPlane commented:
“This acquisition makes strategic sense for us given both companies’ focus on customers for whom security, compliance and control are paramount. We have a shared vision for the application of social tools in the enterprise and we have platforms that can be integrated into one unified solution to realize that vision.”
Established in March 2009, SkyDox is a provider of cloud-enabled document collaboration software for the enterprise sector and enables business users to keep large quantities of sensitive information secure, to share files and collaborate efficiently on content while reducing the cost of electronic storage and network traffic. The company regularly handles thousands of file collaborations per week on behalf of significant blue chip customers including the NHS, PwC and the European Court of Human Rights.
In September 2012, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), the UK’s leading growth equity and venture capital investor for innovative companies, and BGF co-invested £20m of growth capital in SkyDox alongside management and other employee shareholders. SEP led the transaction which enabled SkyDox to join forces with Workshare, a document comparison and policy management business, which has a strong position in the legal sector; and will fund growth of the combined business.
Workshare was founded in 1999 and is a strategic supplier to a broad range of professional services companies, particularly within information-centric vertical sectors. Handling millions of the world’s most sensitive documents, Workshare’s customer base spans 70 countries and includes more than 60% of Fortune 1000 companies.
The investment enabled the launch of the first policy-based document collaboration platform, under the Workshare brand, which allows business users to work across mobile, tablet and desktop devices via the cloud. Whilst maintaining its focus on the legal industry, the combined business has secured new customers in other professional service sectors and achieved broader viral adoption of the software for non-subscribing business users.
In November 2012, Workshare, acquired IdeaPlane, an enterprise social network built specifically for highly regulated industries.The deal provided Workshare customers with a complete collaboration and communication solution by integrating IdeaPlane’s easy-to-use, secure and compliant social networking features into Workshare’s collaboration platform.
The market for online content storage and collaboration software continues to grow strongly, driven by businesses seeking to enable knowledge-based employees to work securely and at their convenience from fixed and mobile devices and to reduce the costs of email traffic, storing and archiving.