SEP hires 3i software specialist

Scottish Equity Partners has appointed former 3i senior director Russ Cummings, to help the Glasgow-based VC build its presence in London.

Scottish Equity Partners, the Glasgow-headquartered UK venture capital investor, has hired Russ Cummings, a former senior director at 3i, to lead the growth of the firm’s business in London.


Cummings, who will join in SEP in January 2004, has quit from his role as deputy global head of 3i’s software group. He has over 15 years experience in venture capital.


Cummings joins investment director Gary Le Sueur in SEP’s London office in and will play a key role in SEP’s drive to capitalise on improving market conditions.


Cummings is the latest executive to leave 3i, which last month confirmed that four senior members of its investment team had left to launch a new operation. The departing quartet comprises: Tom Sweet-Escott, who was involved in the investment in budget airline Go, which made 3i a £264m profit; Richard Campin, who headed up the firm’s French operations; Chris Graham, who was involved in a number of media investments; and Hugh Richards.


“We are delighted that Russ Cummings will be joining us,” said SEP’s managing director Calum Paterson. “This is an important appointment for us and [Cummings] has excellent experience and an established track record in supporting the growth of entrepreneurial companies.”


The firm is hoping to expand its presence into London and the South East of England. “Scotland remains an important market for us, but we are committed to a broader UK market growth strategy and to identifying and backing those innovative companies with the most significant potential for growth.”


SEP is currently investing from SEP II, which raised £110m in 2001. The firm typically invests between £500,000 and £5m in early stage and growing companies, principally in the information technology, communications, healthcare, biotechnology and energy sectors.