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Sovereign promotes two to partner

The promotions follow the UK firm’s successful close of Fund IV on its £395m hard-cap last year

Sovereign Capital, a UK private equity “buy-and-build” specialist, has promoted directors Neil Cox and Jeremy Morgan to partners, according to a statement from the firm.

Cox and Morgan will work alongside managing partner Andrew Hayden, and partners Michael Needley, Dominic Dalli, David Myers, Matthew Owen and Kevin Whittle.

Cox joined Sovereign in 2007 and has more than 14 years of experience in private equity, banking and corporate finance. At Sovereign he has focused primarily on the business support services sector, leading several platform investments including Cordium, a financial services regulatory compliance consultancy, and its subsequent seven bolt-on acquisitions, which was sold to debt investor European Capital in December in a deal valuing the business at around £100 million (€139 million; $155 million) . The sale generated a return of more than 4x for the firm, PEI reported previously.

Cox also worked on the firm’s investment in Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, a specialist veterinary centre for pets, in September last year. The transaction was set to be one of the last deals from Sovereign’s Fund III, a £300 million (€418 million; $465 million) 2010-vintage.

Morgan joined Sovereign in 2013 having previously been co-head of Barclays Ventures, which he helped to establish in 1996. He also primarily focuses on the business support services sector activities, where he led the simultaneous investments in SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams in a transaction worth £100 million, according to the statement.

Last December Sovereign expanded its investment team with two hires, Trevor Stokes and Oliver Hedley-White. The two were brought in to 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, PEI reported earlier.

In August 2014 Sovereign closed its fourth fund on its £395 million (€550 million; $613 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.

In 2014 Sovereign fully realised its first fund, SCLP I, a 2001-vintage £120 million vehicle, which generated an overall return of 3.5x.