Business Growth Fund bolsters Scottish team

UK state-backed investment vehicle the Business Growth Fund continues to grow its fledgling investment team, bolstering its ranks in Edinburgh with the addition of former Dunedin Capital Partners executive Duncan Macrae.

The £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund, raised last year to invest in UK-based SMEs, has appointed Duncan Macrae as investment director in its Edinburgh office, it said in a statement.

 Macrae was previously finance director at fashion retailer Cruise Fashion. Prior to that, he was a director at Scottish private equity firm Dunedin Capital Partners. He is also a former Scotland Under-21 rugby international. Macrae joins an existing team of three in Edinburgh, which includes business director Mark Bryant.

At the BGF, Macrae’s role will be to identify, execute and then manage investments in Scotland and the North of England. He is also expected to build a wider team that will drive investment across the region, the group said in a statement.

The BGF has been building out its team since its formal launch in February this year, having been set up by five banks on the UK’s Business Finance Taskforce: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, RBS, and Standard Chartered.  It has grown its headcount from 30 in May to more than 44 now.

The fund aims to invest between £2m and £10m in return for a minimum 10 per cent equity stake and a seat on the target company’s board. Its aim is to provide long-term equity investment for growing companies that do not have access to this source of capital, and thereby kick-start their way out of recession.

As well as hiring investment staff, the BGF has also brought on board a raft of experienced personnel from the corporate and investment worlds in an advisory capacity. Recent appointments include Audrey Baxter, chief executive of Baxters Food Group;  Stephen Murphy, chief executive of Richard Branson’s Virgin group of companies; Neil Johnson, chairman of aviation and defence engineering company Umeco; and John Burgess, co-founder and managing partner of European buyout firm BC Partners.