Pi Capital, one of the UK’s premier private investor organisations, has named Paul Thomas as chief investment officer and managing director. Thomas also joins the firm’s board with immediate effect.
Prior to joining Pi Capital, Thomas spent 19 years at UK mid-market private equity house ECI, most recently as joint managing director. The appointment is part of Pi Capital’s plans to provide its members with the best investment opportunities in development funding, the firm said in a statement.
Simon Oliver, chairman of Pi Capital said: “Having lived through the evolution of the UK private equity industry from its beginnings to a multi-billion pound industry, Thomas is uniquely placed to understand the need for a professional organisation operating in the early stage investment market.”
Pi Capital has invested £45m in smaller companies in the UK over the past four years, investing between £1m and £3m in unquoted UK businesses with no specific sectoral bias. Investments include IRISYS, a developer of passive infrared sensors, UK spread betting group Sporting Index, FlightStore, an interactive shopping service for airlines and Immersive Education, a developer of education software.
The club comprises 160 business people. The business, which was set up in 1999 by Christopher Powles, is chaired by Simon Oliver. Last year, London-based Venture Capital Report agreed a merger with Pi Capital. David Giampaolo, chairman of VCR, became chief executive of the enlarged group. Other shareholders includes Michael Stoddart, Roger Brooke, Etienne de Villiers, one of the founding partners of Englefield Capital.