The Foresight Group continues its regional expansion with Tavia Sparks and Richard Ralph joining the team to support the deployment of the Foresight North East Fund and the Foresight West Yorkshire SME Investment Fund.
They will focus on supporting SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) across Yorkshire and the North East; Providing equity and working with founders and management teams to unlock the growth potential in their companies.
The funds will invest up to £10m in a variety of transactions across the region.
Ms. Sparks, who joins Foresight from Santander UK where she was a Director in the Growth Capital team, has over 15 years of banking and investment experience.
Mr Ralph has been advising SMEs in the region for 10 years and was most recently an Associate Director in the Corporate Finance team at Deloitte in Leeds.
A spokesman said: “Foresight is one of the most active investors in small and medium-sized companies, providing flexible financing and partnerships with companies from all sectors and transaction stages.
“In calendar year 2021, Foresight made 58 investments in UK SMEs and completed eight successful exits. So far in 2022, Foresight has made 65 investments in SMEs and successfully completed eight exits.”
Foresight already has a significant regional presence with offices in Edinburgh, Cambridge, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Nottingham and most recently Dublin.
Matt Smith, Partner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Tavia and Richard and to increase our presence in the North East and Yorkshire.
“Despite much negative news from the broader economic environment, we continue to see a strong pipeline of promising SMEs seeking finance and growth across Yorkshire and the North East.
“Our two new funds will support economic growth and have a positive social and economic impact by creating quality, local jobs. We are confident that the funds will replicate our successful model in the North West, Midlands, East of England and Scotland.”
Ms Sparks commented: “I am thrilled to be part of the Foresight team and look forward to working with some of the region’s most promising SMEs, helping to take businesses to the next level, creating new, sustainable jobs and… Support communities across Yorkshire and in the North East.”
Mr Ralph added: “Foresight has a strong reputation for supporting SMEs across all regions of the UK and I am delighted to be joining the team. Having worked with SMEs in the region for the past 10 years, I believe in the region’s potential and look forward to helping local communities thrive.”
Founded in 1984, Foresight Group is a major public infrastructure and private equity investment manager.
Foresight manages more than 330 infrastructure assets with a focus on solar and onshore wind, bioenergy and waste, and renewable energy enablement projects, energy efficiency management solutions, social and central infrastructure projects, and sustainable forestry assets. The private equity team manages 10 regionally focused investment funds.