UK-based social investment group Bridges Ventures has appointed an investment manager to its Sustainable Growth Funds team as part of a team expansion.
James Hurrell joins the firm from ISIS Equity Partners, where he was an associate director.
At ISIS, Hurrell had a particular focus on healthcare and education, and was responsible both for making new investments and working on existing investments, according to a statement from Bridges.
According to the firm, Bridges now has 20 investment professionals across all three of its fund sectors, 10 of which work in the Sustainable Growth Funds team. Hurrell, who took up the post on 26 August, will be the third investment manager in that team. His appointment follows the successful close of Bridges’ third Sustainable Growth Fund, which closed on £125 million, above its £100 million target at the end of last year. This fund is substantially larger than Fund II, which closed on £75 million in 2007, and its first vehicle, which closed in 2002 on £40 million.
Bridges was founded by Sir Ronald Cohen to invest in businesses that create a positive social impact as well as financial returns. According to the firm’s website, Bridges typically invests between £2 million and £15 million in businesses across a broad range of sectors, including healthcare, education, leisure, manufacturing, consumer, and business and financial services.
Investors in Fund III, which held a first close on around £73 million in December 2011, include a number of previous investors, among them the West Midlands Pension Fund, 3i, South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, HSBC, All Souls College, Merton College and Royal London Asset Management. New investors also included the European Investment Fund, London Pensions Fund Authority, Merseyside Pension Fund, and Flintshire County Council, according to Private Equity International’s Research and Analytics division.
Bridges has made six investments from Fund III. It has acquired a controlling interest in Wholebake, a manufacturer and distributor of healthier snack bars, it has backed ORLA Healthcare, a provider of acute medical home care, as well as Qbic, a new ‘budget boutique’ hotel in Whitechapel in London’s East End.
Bridges also manages a number of other funds which focus on property and the social sector, including the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, a 2009-vintage which closed on £11.75 million.