Gresham partner resurfaces at Bridges Ventures

Mark Blower, who left Gresham in December, has joined Bridges as a dealmaker.

Bridges Ventures, a UK-based group with a social impact-driven investment approach, has snapped up former Gresham partner, Mark Blower, as it bolsters its team with four more appointments.

Blower, who joined Bridges in January, has taken on the role of deal origination director, according to a Bridges statement.

Blower left Gresham Private Equity in December, having joined the firm in 2010 from Lloyds Banking Group where he was head of northwest acquisition finance team. Before that he worked for Rothschild as head of acquisition finance, where he was responsible for deal origination.

In January it emerged six partners had left Gresham recently as the firm underwent a restructuring. Gresham, which lost another five investment professionals last year, prepares to hit the fundraising trail later this year, when it hopes to raise between £150 million and £200 million for its latest fund.

As well as Blower, Bridges Ventures has also hired two executives from Langholm Capital. Paul Richings, formerly a partner at Langholm, has become Bridges’ chief financial officer, while Oliver Wyncoll, also a former Langholm partner, joined Bridges as a deal partner.

Additionally, the firm has hired Khidhr Shafiq as an associate. Shafiq will work closely with portfolio companies as well as focusing on finding new investment opportunities. He joins Bridges from Deloitte, where he has worked in the assurance and corporate finance departments for the last five years.

“Bridges has gone through a period of rapid growth and we are pleased to see that our investment approach and philosophy continues to attract highly experienced people,” Philip Newborough, a partner and co-founder at Bridges, said in the statement.

The new appointments come as Bridges is currently investing its third sustainable growth fund, which closed on £125 million – above its £100 million target – last October.

Founded in 2002, Bridges uses an impact-driven investment approach to create returns for both investors and society at-large. The fund manager currently manages over £340m across three fund types: Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds.