Ex-3i CEO takes up new non-exec post

Ewen Macpherson, former chief executive of 3i, has been appointed non-executive director of Hotbed.

Hotbed, the UK-based private equity network, has announced the appointment of Ewen Macpherson as a non-executive director.

Macpherson, the former CEO of 3i, where he served for 27 years, left the company in 1997 and will be reunited with a number of ex-3i colleagues at Hotbed.

Gary Robins, CEO of Hotbed, said Macpherson was being brought onboard “for his vast experience of European venture capital”.

Hotbed was launched in 2002 to provide opportunities for private individuals who can invest £25,000 a time (€38,000; $46,000) in a wide range of private equity investment opportunities.

The company has attracted over 320 members globally (approximately 300 of which are private individuals, the remainder a mixture of VCTs, family trusts and pension funds).

Since its launch, Hotbed has invested £23 million (€35 million; $42 million) in 20 investments and from the investors signed up to date, has approximately £400 million still to invest.

The company has been extremely active recently with four investments in the last two weeks – taking a £6 million stake in the buyout of Ultra Premium Brands, a £1.5 million early-stage investment in the publishing house Keep Yourself Nice, and £2.5 million in an overall investment of £18 million in the Quest Hotel chain.

Hotbed has also completed its largest property transaction within the last few days, securing a substantial property investment in the North of England for almost £10 million, according to sources.

Investing across a range of deals and sectors, from start up to syndicated investments with VCs, Hotbed does not restrict itself to seed capital or early venture funding that private investor networks typically focus on.

The company currently employs 14 staff and has just opened a London office. According to Robins, the aim is to reach 1,000 investors, investing £100,000 per annum across a wide range of private equity investment opportunities. Currently focusing solely on UK deals, the longer term view is to seek European and global investment opportunities.