A highly experienced business consultant has returned to regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers in a part-time role to add his considerable strategic and commercial expertise to its main board.
David Whitmell worked as the Newcastle-based firm’s chief operating officer before leaving in 2011 to set up the first North East franchise of business coaching organisation The Alternative Board (TAB).
The Alternative Board helps forward-thinking business leaders grow their businesses, increase profitability and improve their lives by participating in local business advisory boards and one-to-one coaching.
Over the last five years, David Whitmell has worked with more than 40 North East business owners through the Newcastle TAB franchise that he holds, providing strategic input to facilitate their firms’ development, and has served as a director for more than 15 small and medium-sized companies across the region.
He also holds the Institute of Directors’ Diploma in Company Direction and is a qualified management coach and mentor with the Institute of Leadership and Management.
He says: “Many of the companies with which I’ve worked through The Alternative Board are at the same development stage as the businesses applying for investments from the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund, and this experience will be highly valuable in helping tailor the way it operates even more closely to their requirements
“Investment and guidance from NEL Fund Managers has been central to the success of hundreds of North East businesses over the last 25 years, and I’m excited by the challenges offered by my return to the business in this new part-time role.”
Originally founded in 1989, NEL Fund Managers has made investments in well over 100 regional businesses with a total value of more than £25m the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund over the last six years.
It recently recruited well-known North East businesspeople James Robson MBE and Simon Lenney to its investment committee, which makes the decisions on which investment applications are going to be successful.
Yvonne Gale, chief executive at NEL Fund Managers, says: “Bringing David onto our board gives us access to a wealth of experience across a wide range of different industries.
“The first-hand knowledge that David has of the way in which we work will be invaluable in his new role, and the insight he can provide complements the wide-ranging expertise of our existing board and investment committee members extremely well.”
Established by holding fund manager North East Finance (NEF) in 2010, the £159.5m Finance for Business North East (FBNE) programme is a suite of seven venture capital and loan funds which provide investment for start-up and growing businesses in the North East of England. They will continue investing until 2016, and aim to support 950 companies and to create or safeguard almost 10,000 jobs.
For more information about NEL’s investment criteria, visit www.nel.co.uk or contact the investment team on 0345 369 7007.