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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
FinanceBridges establishes first Northern office

Bridges establishes first Northern office

Bridges Fund Management (Bridges), the specialist sustainable and impact investor, has established a new base in Manchester as it looks to partner with more impact-driven management teams in the regions.

This is the first time that Bridges has established a permanent presence in the North, to complement its existing office in London. It has recruited Simon Braham, formerly of LDC, to build the team and spearhead its investment activities across the north of England.

Founded in 2002, Bridges invests in growth companies that are helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable future. It typically partners with management teams of purpose-driven companies with revenues between £5m and £50m, investing between £2m and £20m of equity to help them execute organic growth, buy-and-build or multi-site roll out strategies.

Since inception, Bridges has raised almost £400m across its UK private equity funds and completed almost 60 investments in high-impact growth businesses. Through its hands-on approach to value creation and impact management, the firm’s current portfolio achieved an EBITDA compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43 per cent over the three previous financial years.

The firm has previously backed a number of businesses in the North: its current investments include GEV, a wind turbine repair business based in Hull, and the Ethical Housing Company, an ethical landlord on Teesside. Its investor base also includes a number of Local Authority Pension Funds in the North.

To lead this new effort, Bridges has appointed Simon Braham as a partner in the Sustainable Growth Funds. Based in Manchester, Simon will be responsible for leading investments in purpose-driven growth businesses across the North.

Simon is an experienced private equity investor and non-executive director who has worked across a number of sectors, including TMT, healthcare, leisure, support services, consumer goods and industrial. At LDC, he completed 12 investments in businesses across the North, investing over £200m of equity. His successful exits included Cheshire-based field service management software specialist Kirona, Lancashire-based clinical research specialist Synexus, Hull-based cloud service provider Giacom and Seabrook Crisps in Yorkshire. Simon has also previously held positions at JP Morgan and KPMG.

Simon Braham, Partner in the Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds, said:
“Over the last few years, there has been an explosion of interest in purpose-driven business and investment. More and more people are recognising that by helping to solve our biggest social and environmental challenges, businesses can tap into long-term growth trends and create lasting economic value.

“There are a growing number of entrepreneurs and management teams across the North who are putting purpose at the heart of their business model and are actively seeking a mission-aligned investment partner. I am looking forward to talking to these teams – and the advisor communities across the region – about how Bridges can support them to accelerate their growth and deepen their impact.”

Philip Newborough, CEO of Bridges Fund Management, added:
“Establishing a permanent presence in Manchester was a natural next step for Bridges, given the ever-growing appetite for sustainable business and the fact that a number of our biggest investors are based in the north.

“Simon is just the right person to lead our efforts in the region. His track record as an investor speaks for itself, and we are looking forward to drawing on all his experience, as well as resources from across the Bridges platform. By expanding our presence in the region, our goal is to get to know more of these next-generation companies and show them why Bridges should be their growth partner of choice.”

The North has become a key market for private equity in recent years. In the last decade, nearly 200 buyouts have been completed across the region, at a value of around £6bn, according to the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR).

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