LMS appoints new US VC chief

UK-based London Merchant Securities has appointed Scott Potter to oversee the management of the firm’s US venture capital portfolio.

LMS Capital, the venture capital arm of UK-listed investment firm London Merchant Securities, has named Scott Potter as a director at the firm’s venture capital unit. With immediate effect, Potter will take charge of the firm’s US portfolio.


Potter joins the firm from Inktomi, a provider of information retrieval solutions, which acquired Quiver in 2002. Potter was the chief executive at the time of the acquisition of Quiver, an LMS portfolio company.


According to a company spokesperson, Potter has been recruited to take a more active role in the management of the firm’s US portfolio, which represents just over 50 per cent of the firm’s total venture capital investment and largely comprises of software and technology investments. “He is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in the technology industry. He will provide the US portfolio with a higher level of active management.”


LMS has recently focussed on managing its portfolio and almost all of its recent activity has been in follow-on investments. In the six months to September 30, the venture capital unit had a book value of £173m, fractionally down on the previous year. In the same period, £6.8m of profit was realised, along with income contribution of £2.4m although these were offset by £20.7m of write downs, principally from the quoted portfolio.


In Europe, the large majority of the firm’s investments are in the UK, and include hosting services firm 7 Global and UK pharmaceutical business Strakan. The firm’s most recent investment was part of a £4m follow-on round of financing for UK technology company AssetHouse.