UK-based corporate venturing consultancy, Greenhouse Ventures, has hired two new team members. Alastair Birt and Dean Hyland both join as Associate Directors, with Birt coming from Accenture and Hyland from Fiorelli Brands International.
Greenhouse, which is chaired by Sir Paul Judge, was set up in April 2000 to help large corporations maximise the value of their intellectual property and niche operations by providing the resources necessary to establish distinct – and saleable – businesses.
As Executive Director Michael O'Leary-Collins commented: 'we intend to give companies a business in a box which can then be sold or listed.' Clients already include BAe, Zurich Financial Services, a UK clearing bank and a couple of UK telcommunications companies.
O'Leary-Collins sees considerable opportunity for the firm to realise value for its corporate clients: 'there's a lot of latent value in technology-oriented firms for instance, and firms like the idea of giving us the responsibility of delivering that value,' he says. The two new hires takes the staff total to 10 and will enable Greenhouse to assist more clients, as a key part of the firm's proposition is that the strategic advice given is also executed by Greenhouse personnel in the short term.
'We want to make sure that our clients develop the skillset necessary to grow these businesses fuurther without us, but in the short term our people are there to get the jobs done,' commented O'Leary-Collins.
Greenhouse is in the process of applying for FSA approval in order to raise its own fund by the end of 2003 so that it can co-invest in the businesses it has helped grow. At present the firm has a fee-based compensation structure and the opportunity to take an equity stake in these new busineses has obvious appeal.