Livingbridge calls in business giants for advisory board

The firm, led by Wol Kolade, has created the board to provide advice and an external perspective on critical issues that impact Livingbridge’s business and investment strategy.

Livingbridge, a UK lower mid-market firm, has brought together senior figures from business, politics and finance to create a strategic advisory board, according to a statement.

The board will provide “senior counsel and an informed external perspective on critical political, economic, social, regulatory and technological matters” and on how these could impact Livingbridge’s business and investment strategy, the firm said.

Alison Carnwath, who has been a non-executive director of Livingbridge since 2001, will chair the board.

Carnwath is chairman of Land Securities, a UK commercial property development and investment company. She also holds non-executive positions at insurer Zurich, and truck manufacturer Paccar, and is senior advisor to Evercore Partners and supervisory board member and audit committee chair of chemical producer BASF.

Carnwath will be joined by four board members: Lord Livingston, former chief executive of BT Group and former UK minister of state for trade and investment, who chairs investment management firm Man Group; Edward Bonham Carter, vice-chairman of Jupiter Fund Management; Amee Chande, managing director for global strategy and operations at Alibaba Group, and Andy Harrison, former chief executive of Whitbread, Easyjet and RAC.

“The strategic input from such an experienced, knowledgeable and diverse group of people will be invaluable in helping us anticipate, support and plan both our own development as a firm and that of our portfolio companies,” managing partner Wol Kolade said in the statement.

“In an increasingly complex global environment it is imperative to be well informed on current issues outside of our normal scope of activities.”

The board’s formation follows the final close of Livingbridge 6 on £660 million ($825 million; €774 million) in September. The fund, which is the firm’s eighth private equity vehicle since it was founded in 1995, is almost twice the size of its predecessor which closed on £360 million in 2012.

Livingbridge is also investing its Enterprise 2 fund, a £220 million vehicle that invests up to £10 million in fast-growth small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK.