Continued strategic investment in regional model to support the firm’s £1.2bn three-year commitment
LDC, the leading mid-market private equity investor, has announced several promotions, new roles and appointments following a successful year of investments and exits.
The firm, which operates nine local offices, said the changes were a continuation of its strategy of further strengthening its regional operating model and driving new investment opportunities across the UK mid-market.
Following Yann Souillard’s appointment as Head of London and the South earlier this year and the recruitment of Phillip Weston, LDC is bringing two additional experienced investors into the region.
Chris Wright is promoted to Director and moves to LDC’s team in Reading. Since joining LDC in 2013, Chris has led a number of successful deals including the investment and sale of both Mini-Cam and Synexus. Prior to LDC, Chris spent nine years at Rothschild in the Investment Banking team, principally focusing on mid-market Private Equity and Corporate transactions across a broad range of sectors.
In addition, Director Steve Aston moves to join the London team. An experienced investor with a particular focus on industrials businesses, Steve has been with LDC for 10 years and has delivered notable success stories including AIM Aviation and MB Aerospace, as well as LDC’s investment in the NEC. Prior to joining LDC in 2007, Steve was Group CFO at Doncasters Group playing a key role in its turnaround and before that a Director in PwC’s Transaction Services team, advising on more than 100 transactions, mainly in the Industrials, Aerospace and Business Services sectors.
Yann Souillard, Head of London & South comments: “We have already invested in Rush Hair & Beauty, Blue Bay Travel, IP Solutions and Lucid Group across London and the South so far this year and we know the appetite for investment from the region’s ambitious management teams is at an all-time high. Chris and Steve both bring a huge amount of experience and they will play an important role in helping us to capitalise on quality investment opportunities across the region.”
LDC also continues to invest in its market-leading presence across the Midlands with the appointment of Lawrence Dean who will join the Birmingham team as an Investment Director in mid-January. He joins from Stage Capital where he was a Partner focused on the firms’ UK buyout portfolio. Prior to this, Lawrence was the UK Head of mid-market PE fund NBGI where he spent 10 years. He will report to Andy Lyndon, Head of the West Midlands for LDC.
In addition, Richard Whitwell moves to the Nottingham office as Head of the East Midlands. Richard is an experienced investor and has been involved in a number of investments including Away Resorts, Joules and Forest Holidays since he joined the business in 2013. He will work alongside John Green, David Bains and Victoria Marcer to focus on the opportunities in the East Midlands market and his appointment strengthens a team that has delivered a number of successful investments in 2017 including Addo Food Group, Ensek and Node4.
With this added focus, LDC’s Birmingham and Nottingham teams will continue to work closely across the Midlands region to build on the firm’s regional track record over the last 30 years.
Martin Draper, Chief Executive of LDC, said: “We continue to invest in our people and strengthen our teams across our regional network. Building on the success of the last few years, our ambition is to grow our share of the UK mid-market, capitalising on investment opportunities and backing high-quality management teams.
He added: “These changes will help us deliver on our commitment to invest £1.2bn in UK small and medium-sized businesses over the next three years which in turn forms a key part of Lloyds Banking Group’s plan to help businesses prosper.”
So far in 2017, LDC has invested more than £300m across 21 transactions. This follows a period of sustained success for the firm, part of Lloyds Banking Group, which has invested £1bn of equity over the last three years and generated exit proceeds of £2bn, representing an average money multiple of 2.5x and an IRR of 37% (2014-2016).
The firm has already recruited four new Investment Directors during the year, with John Clarke and Guy Bagshaw joining LDC in the North West, Gareth Marshall joining in Yorkshire & the North East and Philip Weston joining in London.
LDC, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has been investing in the UK mid-market for more than 35 years, making over 550 investments.