NEL Fund Managers is an employee-owned fund management company, committed to strengthening our local economy by providing tailored funding solutions to small and medium-sized businesses right across the North East of England.
We have an extremely strong and dedicated team who have helped hundreds of North East businesses achieve sustainable success over the years, and we’re actively looking to support yet more companies with strong management teams and robust plans for the future.
Since NEL was founded in 1989 we’ve managed, and fully invested, 13 funds with a combined value of over £95m. These funds have been used to strengthen the local economy by funding over 750 business plans, creating and/or safeguarding thousands of jobs, and attracting millions of pounds of further private investment in every part of our region. We currently have a further two funds under management, the North East Growth Capital Fund and the North East Small Loan Fund, which are further bolstering economic prosperity within the North East of England and achieving impressive blended returns for their investors.
Graham joined NEL Fund Managers in 2018. He is responsible for providing corporate governance and oversight of the investment decision process, as well as acting as a sounding board for the executive team.
His role also involves working to enhance the firm’s relationships with key stakeholders both within and outside the region.
During his career he has filled senior management roles within global financial institutions, including Citigroup, Societe Generale and Lloyds Bank, and is a regular speaker at business events and conferences around the world. He has also held board-level positions in global investment, economic development and creative industry sectors, including with North East Access To Finance, Newcastle Science City and regional development agency One North East, where he was chairman of its Business & Skills Committee.
Graham is currently Head of Infrastructure and Investment at Urban Foresight, a strategy and innovation consultancy based in the North East. He is also a trustee and non-executive director of the BALTIC Centre For Contemporary Art, served as chairman of national music development agency Generator for seven years and recently completed a PhD in institutional investment markets for infrastructure at Newcastle University’s Centre for Urban & Regional Development Studies (CURDS).
Jonathan joined NEL Fund Managers in 2004. He is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the organisation. Jonathan also has primary responsibility for sourcing new funds under management, fund structuring and investor relations. Maximisation of returns whilst ensuring economic impact for investors is a key focus.
Prior to joining NEL, Jonathan held a number of senior commercial lending roles within NatWest during an 18 year career. He has considerable experience both in investing and realising assets and sits on NEL’s Investment and Portfolio Committees.
He has FCA approval for his role and is a Certified Employee under the FCA Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR”).
From a technical perspective, Paul has led over sixty M&A transactions, and hundreds of financings across a range of sectors on an international basis encompassing financial products through the capital structure from senior debt to private equity and structured products in liquid and illiquid asset classes across primary and secondary markets as well as fund investment programmes.
He is an experienced voting member of investment and capital markets committees across a range of asset classes, with functional experience across business development, deal underwriting and execution, risk, capital markets with significant portfolio expertise where he has worked closely with management teams and Boards to develop and execute successful value creation plans.
Paul has a track record of bringing new initiatives to market having led the introduction of the €1.75bn GE Capital / Ares unitranche fund, the first of its kind in Europe, had responsibility for the leveraged finance JV between GE Capital and Mubadala in Europe, and while at Clearhaven helped develop an innovative proprietary NAV based fund financing product for private equity funds.
His investment and scaling experience is complemented by long term Executive Committee, Board level (including Chair) and NED roles where he has enjoyed working with entrepreneurial teams to successfully grow their businesses.
Carolyn joined NEL Fund Managers in 2018. Her responsibilities include generating a strong pipeline of investment opportunities from ambitious regional businesses by creating opportunities for collaboration with key intermediaries, business support networks and stakeholders.
Carolyn has a bachelor’s degree in Business from Northumbria University and is an Associate Member of the Institute of Sales Managers. Prior to joining NEL she has worked in Business Development roles supporting SME’s from various sectors and at different stages of development. She is a familiar face on the North East networking scene.
Dawn re-joined NEL Fund Managers in October 2012, she was previously with us from 2003-2006, and is responsible for the preparation of annual budgets, audits and tax, as well as overseeing the production of monthly management accounts.
She is Company Secretary for NEL and it’s subsidiary companies and acts as FCA compliance officer for the organisation.
Dawn is also part of the Fund Design team, contributing to the development of innovative funding models to meet investors unique requirements.
Prior to joining NEL, she held roles in accounting practice, specialising in audit and tax. Dawn is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Donna joined NEL Fund Managers in 1995. She is responsible for the collection and analysis of investee financial information.
She is also part of NEL’s Investor Relations team, preparing reports on the performance of investees and impact of invested funds under management to the Board of NEL, Fund Investors and other stakeholders.
Donna holds a First Class BA Honours Degree in Business Management & Leadership from Northumbria University.
Jane joined NEL Fund Managers in December 2002. She is responsible for NEL’s HR functions, staff training and development, and health and safety matters.
Jane is also responsible for the production of monthly management accounts for NEL and its funds under management, as well as dealing with investment returns, fund bank account set-up and management, and investor drawdowns and distributions.
Additionally, Jane carries out other duties within the Corporate Department, including assisting with company secretarial, statutory and compliance issues.
She is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and gained a Distinction in her Certificate in Personnel Practice. She is also a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (MAAT).
Jane joined NEL Fund Managers in October 2007. She is responsible for sourcing and executing investment transactions with a focus on economic prosperity and generating impact for investors.
Prior to joining NEL she worked in various fund management roles in South Yorkshire and prior to that worked in practice in the North East in a variety of roles where she specialised in corporate finance and related matters.
Jane is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Certified Employee under the FCA Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR”).
Jonathan joined NEL Fund Managers in May 2018. He is responsible for sourcing and executing investment transactions with a focus on economic prosperity and generating impact for investors.
Prior to joining NEL he worked in various client facing roles specialising in business support and investor readiness.
Jonathan holds a BA Honours Degree in Management & Leisure from Manchester University.
Mark joined NEL Fund Managers in March 2017. He is responsible for developing tailored relationship strategies with a focus on achieving maximum impact for investors. He also acts as primary relationship manager for a number of portfolio companies.
Mark is a qualified Chartered ESG Investment Manager.
Prior to joining NEL, Mark was employed by The Co-operative Bank for almost 30 years in a number of relationship roles within the corporate and commercial banking sectors.
Mike joined NEL Fund Managers in July 2016. He is responsible for sourcing and executing investment transactions with a focus on economic prosperity and generating impact for investors.
Prior to joining NEL he worked in various client facing roles across the North East and London in both advisory and executive capacities.
Mike holds separate degrees in Politics and Law from Nottingham University and has spent the duration of his career to date working to support growing SMEs with fund raising requirements.
He is a Certified Employee under the FCA Senior Managers and Certification Regime (“SM&CR”).
Sam joined NEL Fund Managers in November 2019. His role involves providing administrative support to the marketing team, as well as reporting administration.
Sam is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP, DMI PRO) and a member of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).
Sarah joined NEL Fund Managers in August 2022. Her role involves speaking with regional businesses about how they can access investments from both the £9m North East Small Loan Fund and the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund, and then liaising with the Investment Team to process resulting investment applications.
Her role also involves providing administrative support to the investment team.
Sarah holds a BA Honours Degree in Business Studies from Northumbria University.
Steven joined NEL Fund Managers in 1997. He is responsible for all aspects of the organisations IT and Telecommunications.
His experience and expertise in database design and development have led to him creating a number of bespoke systems with a focus on intelligent fund management practices. These custom-built systems allow NEL to efficiently and effectively control all aspects of fund management for a wide range of investment products.
Steven is also part of the Fund Design team, contributing to the development of innovative funding models to meet investors unique requirements.
Susan joined NEL Fund Managers in July 2022. She is responsible for sourcing and executing investment transactions with a focus on economic prosperity and generating impact for investors.
Prior to joining NEL she held various roles during her 22 year career in Banking including working in Corporate, Commercial and Business Banking Teams. During 2013 Susan left Banking and moved into Wealth Management where she worked for 9 years.
Susan holds a Diploma in Regulated Planning which she completed during 2021.
Suzanne joined NEL Fund Managers in 2007. She is responsible for the design and delivery of creative marketing strategies for the organisation and its funds under management.
Her role involves the positioning of funds in the market place, management of traditional and online communications, market research, event management and digital marketing.
Suzanne is also part of NEL’s Investor Relations team, and in addition to communications and relationship management support, is responsible for preparing monthly reports to appraise investors on current fund successes and impact.
Suzanne holds a BA Honours Degree in Business Management & Leadership from Teesside University, and a Diploma in Professional Marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing, of which she is an Associate Member.
Yvonne joined NEL Fund Managers in 2002 in an executive role rising to CEO. She is now a non-executive director on our Board providing governance and rigour, advising the executive team and maintaining positive relationships with key stakeholders.
Yvonne has a portfolio career that includes local, national and international governance and advisory roles that brings together a wealth of experience of investing in high growth entrepreneurial businesses and driving business innovation.
Locally, she is a non-executive director for the North East England Chamber of Commerce, a member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership Business Growth Board and an investment committee member on the North of Tyne Creative and Cultural Investment Partnership.
Nationally, she is Chair of the Government UK Small Business Commissioner’s Office and Chair of the UK Prompt Payment Code Compliance Board, a member of the ICAEW Members and Commercial Board, an advisor to Responsible Finance and an assessor for Innovate UK.
Internationally, she is chair of the ethical lender Shared Interest and was an advisor to the UAE Ministry of Finance-backed, Mohammed bin Rashid AED 2 billion Innovation Fund.
Yvonne is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales specialising in improving access to finance for small businesses, responsible business practice, complex decision making and net zero. She holds a DBA, MBA, IOD Diploma in Company Direction.