Gresham House has bolstered its £898m venture capital trust (VCT) team with a string of senior promotions, following a bumper year for the business.
Five people have climbed the ranks of the investment team of Gresham House Ventures (GHV), which is home to its Baronsmead and Mobeus VCTs.
Maya Ward and Rowan Grobler have been promoted to investment director “in recognition of their outstanding track record leading on numerous successful deals”. the growth equity investor said.
Ward has been with GHV since 2019, during which time she has led investments in the digital healthcare and pharmaceutical services spaces in companies including eConsult, Panthera Biopartners and Metrion Biosciences.
Grobler joined the business more recently in September 2021 after Gresham House acquired the Mobeus VCT team and has led on several growth capital fund raises for the likes of Connect Childcare and ActiveNav.
Both sit on the boards of several investee companies.
GHV eyes recruitment drive
Gresham House said it was looking to ramp up recruitment for GHV, following a strong 2021 in which the team continued to grow its capital base. Last year it raised an additional £75m for its Baronsmead VCTs and in January its Mobeus VCTs closed after raising £35m in less than 24 hours.
Alongside Ward and Grobler, it has promoted James Hendry to associate director in the GHV team, while Matt Jones and Mackenzie Travers have been promoted to investment manager.
“This series of senior promotions reflects the outstanding performance of the team in the face of challenging market conditions in recent years,” Bevan Duncan, managing director of Strategic Equity at Gresham House, said.
“In their new roles, we are confident Maya, Rowan, James, Matt and Mackenzie will continue to unearth innovative and ambitious companies with enticing growth prospects to deliver outstanding results for investors amid the ongoing uncertainty.”
Strategic Equity Capital loses investment director
The raft of promotions comes as Gresham House loses an investment director from its Strategic Equity Capital (SEC) trust.
The asset manager revealed earlier this week Adam Khanbhai had resigned from the business, leaving Ken Wotton as the sole manger on the £197m UK smaller companies trust.
Khanbhai had worked on the trust since 2017 and joined Gresham House when it acquired the mandate in May 2020.
SEC had been caught in the middle of a bitter battle between its existing manager, Gresham House, and Harwood Capital, which has proposed merging the vehicle with its own Odyssean Investment Trust. This is the second time the two asset managers have gone toe to toe, with Harwood also trying to take over as manager on Gresham House Strategic, which has since gone into wind down.
SEC’s board rebuffed the offer from Harwood, instead offering a series of proposals for discount control mechanisms, including an increased tender offer and share buyback programme. These will be put to a shareholder vote later this month.
Though SEC’s share price rose 58.9% in the year to 30 June 2021 compared to the previous year, its discount has remained persistent. Shares are currently trading 11.8% lower than its net asset value, according to data from the Association of Investment Companies.
See also: Gresham House refuses to go quietly after unsolicited approach for £350m trust merger