Sovereign expands investment team

Trevor Stokes and Oliver Hedley-Whyte join the UK buy-and-build specialist, just months after it closed its fourth fund

Sovereign Capital, a UK private equity “buy-and-build” specialist, has expanded its investment team with two new hires, the firm said in a statement.

Trevor Stokes has been appointed as investment manager and Oliver Hedley-Whyte as investment executive.

Stokes joins the firm from Global Leisure Partners, a financial advisory firm, where he was a vice president focused on originating and executing M&A, corporate strategy and capital raising transactions, including CVC Capital Partners’ acquisition of Virgin Active in 2011, in a deal valuing the gym chain at around £880 million (€1.1 billion; $1.38 billion).

Prior to this, Stokes spent five years working in the mergers and acquisitions and debt advisory teams at KPMG corporate finance.

Hedley-Whyte joins Sovereign from August Equity, where he was involved in originating and executing deals within the business services, healthcare and technology sectors. He was previously a member of the financial sponsors group at HSBC, advising private equity clients on M&A, equity capital market and leveraged finance transactions.

At Sovereign the pair will work across the firm’s three investment sectors: business support services, healthcare, and education and training. They will work on both platform investments and buy-and-build opportunities, according to the firm.

In August, Sovereign closed its fourth fund on its £395 million hard-cap after just five months in market. SCLP IV will invest up to £50 million of equity in services based companies. Sovereign typically targets investments in the business support services, healthcare, and education and training sectors. The firm develops companies through a combination of organic and buy-and-build growth strategies.

Earlier this year Sovereign fully realised its first fund, SCLP I, a 2001-vintage £120 million vehicle, which generated an overall return of 3.5x.