Cyrus Investment appoints high-profile UK advisors

The firm that targets UK precision engineering businesses had hired former cabinet minister Peter Hain and former head of the British Army Peter Wall.

Cyrus Investment Management (CIM), which invests in UK precision engineering businesses, has made two high profile appointments to its advisory board. The firm has appointed former UK secretary of state and cabinet minister Peter Hain, and Peter Wall, former head of the British Army and chief of the general staff.

The appointments come as the firm continues to raise its Cyrus Precision Engineering CIS Fund II, which targets undercapitalised UK businesses that are ready to grow with new capital, management, products and markets, it said.

Fund II is expected to close in April this year and will combine assets into one operating business to be sold after a minimum investment period of three years. Cyrus Secured Loans Precision Engineering Fund (1) is fully invested.

“The strategy is to consolidate all growth investments and assets into a single entity with improved sales, profitability, and NAV [net asset value] at exit,” the firm said in a statement.

“CIM believes that the over dependence on single clients, the inability to access debt, and need to acquire expensive equipment has pushed many well established companies into financial difficulty,” it said on its website. “In addition, the absence of corporate buyers for single companies of this size, means there is an opportunity to make growth investments in distressed companies.”

The businesses it invests in fall within the UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) meant to encourage investment in unquoted, small UK businesses in a qualified trade by offering tax benefits to investors. The minimum commitment to Fund II is £25,000 ($35,360; €32,050)

CIM’s existing portfolio includes industrial hydraulic and pneumatic cylinder manufacturer Bradford Cylinders, Rhino Doors, a security door maker, City Engineering, which manufactures parts for the oil and gas, aerospace, electronics, defence and nuclear energy sectors, and FGP Systems that makes components for civilian and military aerospace industries.

“As an active investor in British engineering with a focus on strategic businesses in the aerospace, defence and security industries General Sir Peter Wall and Lord Hain bring to Cyrus a wealth of knowledge and relationships that benefit our investee companies and our investment strategy,” CIM managing partner Peter Schwarbach said in a statement.

Hain served in the UK government for 12 years, with seven in the cabinet and was central to the negotiation of a peace deal in Northern Ireland. He was foreign minister, has chaired the United Nations Security Council and was secretary of state for work and pensions, leader of the House of Commons, secretary of state for Wales, energy minister and a member of parliament for 24 years.

Wall was appointed chief of the general staff in 2010 and retired in 2014. He is now a director of Amicus, a consultancy that advises on the application of military command experience, such as planning, execution, leadership and reputation, to the corporate world.

Schwarbach is also the founder of renewable energy investor Thurlestone Capital.