New advisory committee for Bridgepoint

Pan-European private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital has announced the appointment of Alan Milburn, Sir George Mathewson and Penny Hughes to a new advisory committee.

Bridgepoint Capital has established a new three-strong advisory committee to provide advice on strategic matters to Bridgepoint and its portfolio companies.

Alan Milburn joins the committee, having retired from his post as UK Secretary of State for Health in June 2003. Milburn, who was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is still a Labour MP representing Darlington. 

He is joined by Sir George Mathewson, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Penny Hughes, who was president of Coca-Cola UK until 1995 and who holds non-executive directorships at the likes of Vodafone, Gap and Trinity Mirror.

Bridgepoint director James Murray said the committee would ultimately comprise up to five members. There will be no more than three UK representatives, meaning the one or two remaining places will be filled by appointees from continental Europe.

The three current members bring extensive experience of the retail, healthcare and financial services sectors: three core areas of investment for Bridgepoint. It has backed the likes of high street retailer Adams Childrenswear, healthcare firm Robinia Group and financial services provider Bank Machine.

Murray said the committee would meet four times a year to provide “us and our management teams with a broader external perspective on business and industry matters at a strategic level”. He pointed out that this perspective is needed now that Bridgepoint has become a large mid-market business, with €4 billion under management and about 100 portfolio companied around Europe.

The advisory committee, which has traditionally been the preserve of LBO firms, seems to be increasing in popularity in the mid-market. When UK-based Englefield Capital launched its debut €700 million fund last year it announced an advisory board line-up including the likes of broadcaster and businessman Sir David Frost and NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.