CCMP exec to head £2.5bn fund

Stephen Welton, a senior member of JPMorgan spinout CCMP Capital Advisors, will act as CEO of Business Growth Fund, which will be chaired by former Barclays director Sir Nigel Rudd.

Stephen Welton, a senior member of JPMorgan spinout CCMP Capital Advisors, has been named chief executive officer of Business Growth Fund, a £2.5bn (€3 billion; $4 billion) vehicle that will invest in UK companies.

Business Growth Fund will begin acquiring minority stakes in lower mid-market companies, typically with an annual turnover of between £10 million and £100 million, in April. Investments will range between £2 million and £10 million each. Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of UK airport operator BAA, will act as chairman of the fund, which is being backed by UK banks Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Standard Chartered.

“We will help businesses that have often struggled to secure finance because of the ‘equity gap’ for companies looking for long-term growth capital in smaller amounts,” Welton said in a statement.

The Business Growth Fund was originally recommended by the Business Task Force, a group formed in April 2010 to advise the UK government on how to ensure small companies are treated fairly and properly when accessing bank finance. The task force is made up of CEOs and senior representatives from the six banks backing Business Growth Fund.

Welton, who has more than 20 years of experience in the private equity industry, joined JPMorgan in 2002 before leaving in 2006 to join spinout CCMP. He will start in his new role at Business Growth Fund after completing all of his obligations at CCMP.

Rudd was a director of Barclays for 13 years, prior to which he founded Williams Holdings, one of the largest industrial holding companies in the UK before splitting into independent companies Chubb and Kidde.