The Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Graham to help design and build Northern Gritstone Investment, a Northern-based, independent, investment company
The new organisation Northern Gritstone Investment will be capable of raising and managing a series of successful, early stage technology-focused investments (total value of between £350 to £400 million). This project is being supported by Research England, part of UK-RI, and is seen as an important part of the ‘leveling-up’ agenda.
Andrew has more than 30 years in senior management experience across global Financial Services and Technology businesses working at Board level and dealing with all levels of shareholders and investors.
Andrew was COO of Blippar for 5 years, having developed the business from start up to over 300 people, expanding globally and leading a number of successful funding rounds raising over $100m, dealing with advisors, roadshows and all levels of investors from VCs to large Institutional Investors.
He currently is a Chair/NED to a number of fast-growing businesses, across gaming, tech and healthcare, having successfully supported significant funding rounds and sales to both PE and strategic buyers. This has also involved working with a number of spin-out companies as well as universities to both accelerate the development of commercially successful businesses and the broader ecosystem.
Andrew comments ‘I am delighted to be involved in this ground-breaking project, which will have significant impact on the Northern Economy.’
Northern Gritstone aims to exploit the combined research activities of these three research-intensive Northern Universities to generate a volume of deal-flow greater than any other single University in the UK.
In addition to this, Northern Gritstone will also be given the remit to invest a certain percentage of its capital in high-potential, IP-rich businesses originating from outside the founding group of Universities.
The Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are three leading Russell Group Universities in the North of England with a combined research income in 2018 of £633m. They have created more than 70 spinouts and 303 granted patents in the last 5 years.
The project is being led, on behalf of the three Universities, by Russell-Schofield-Bezer. Russell is the former Chief Investment Officer of HSBC’s Private Banking division in the Americas and was head of the High Net Worth Division of HSBC Securities Inc. Americas. Before this he was Head of Capital Markets Europe, for HSBC Plc and a Managing Director at JP Morgan in London.
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