Regional fund management NEL Fund Managers has added three decades of financial industry experience to its team with the appointment of Mark Wharton.
Mark has joined NEL as a portfolio executive after almost 30 years with the Co-operative Bank in the North East, the last 25 of which were spent as part of its corporate and commercial team.
He is now part of the team that provides a direct and ongoing link to the firms in which NEL has made investments, reviewing the progress they’re making against their business plans and acting as a sounding board for their management teams as they make decisions on their companies’ future development.
Over the last seven years, NEL has been responsible for running the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund, making 146 investments worth a total of £30m from it at an average deal value of around £205,000.
With three years still remaining in the investment cycle to which NEL usually operates, it has already surpassed the £20m mark in terms of the returns already generated from Growth Fund investments, and is on target to create a substantial return on the overall investment figure, which will be reinvested into North East businesses in the future.
Mark Wharton says: “Having the chance to maintain close contact with a range of expanding and ambitious North East firms, and being part of a small team that has the ability to make local decisions and can get on with its job made taking this role a very attractive option.
“NEL holds an important position in the North East’s business investment community, providing capital which enables regional firms to take advantage of development opportunities which might otherwise have remained out of reach, and it’s exciting to be working with lots of companies that are now being able to realise their growth potential.”
Originally founded in 1989, NEL Fund Managers is the region’s most active business investor and has managed investment funds with a combined value of over £100m.
Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Mark has a huge range of hands-on experience of working with North East businesses across a lot of different industry sectors, and his insight is already proving extremely valuable in identifying the best ways to work with our investee firms.”
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.