WhiteRock Capital Partners
WhiteRock Capital Partners established to manage Growth Loan Fund in Northern Ireland.
Braveheart Investment Group plc (BRH), the AIM-listed investment management group specialising in venture capital investments and investment services to business angels, high net worth individuals, family offices and public sector organisations, provides a market update following its
appointment to manage a £50 million Growth Loan Fund (the 'Fund') in Northern Ireland. The Fund has been established to support small to medium-sized enterprises ('SMEs') in the region.
As previously announced, Braveheart was awarded the contract as lead bidder of a consortium comprising itself, NEL Fund Managers Limited and Clarendon Fund Managers Limited. These parties have now established WhiteRock Capital Partners Limited ('WhiteRock') as their Northern Ireland operating company, and WhiteRock will act as Manager of the Fund.
Pending Whiterock's authorisation by the Financial Services Authority, the Fund will be managed by Braveheart Ventures Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of
Braveheart Investment Group plc.
Paul Millar has been appointed as Chief Investment Officer of WhiteRock with effect from 21 May. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Mr Millar joins WhiteRock from Bank of Ireland, where he has worked since 2005 in a number of senior roles. He was previously at Deloitte & Touche and KPMG. Progress is being made on the appointment of two investment managers who will join the team in the near term.
The Fund will operate on a fully commercial basis and will provide loans of between £50,000 and £500,000 to SMEs. Invest Northern Ireland, the regional business development agency, has committed £25 million to the Fund, with the remainder being provided by the private sector. Braveheart has agreed to provide £250,000 towards the private sector commitment (through the general partner to the fund).
A marketing roadshow is scheduled to commence on 28 May 2012, in advance of the Fund being due to open for business on 1 June.
Geoffrey Thomson, Chief Executive of Braveheart, commented: "We have made considerable progress since announcing our involvement in the NI Growth Loan Fund on 29 February. The establishment of WhiteRock Capital Partners is a significant step and underpins our strong relationship with our two partners. In Paul Millar, WhiteRock has secured the services of a senior professional in the financial services sector with extensive experience in corporate lending,
"We look forward to launching the Fund and providing what we expect to be a valuable service to the Northern Ireland business community."