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Muckle LLP Host Finance for Business North East Fund Seminar

3rd Mar 2010

On Wednesday 3 March over 180 delegates took advantage of a rare opportunity to meet the fund managers of the Finance for Business North East Fund at a Muckle LLP seminar hosted at the Hilton Newcastle-Gateshead.

Andrew Davison introduced the evening’s speakers and fund managers before a Q&A session from the floor.Click here to view slides of the evening’s presentations.


From left to right: Andrew Mitchell (North East Finance), Peter Robinson (Muckle LLP), Margaret Fay CBE (One NorthEast), Andrew Davison (Muckle LLP) and Robert Drummond(Finance for Business North East).

Margaret Fay CBE – One NorthEast

As Chairman of One North East (ONE), Margaret has established strong relationships with the region's business and political communities and in 2006 she led the Agency in achieving the top "performing strongly" grading in a National Audit Office assessment of its work.

In 2007 Margaret played a key role for ONE as its Chair of Chairs this involved her leading discussions with senior Government Ministers and officials about national economic development issues. She is currently a member of the Regional Economic Council, which was established by the Prime Minister in November 2008 to ensure that the issues and concerns of each region are heard and acted upon across Government.

Robert Drummond – Finance for Business North East Chairman

Robert is on the board of two AIM listed companies and chairs the advisory board of the £125m Finance for Business North East fund. Robert has been regional director for 3i. He became Managing Director of NatWest Ventures (now Bridgepoint) and in the 90s he ran Grosvenor, a private venture capital company, specialising in early stage technology with many successes.

Robert served on the BVCA council for six years becoming its chairman. Fifty companies financed with venture capital under his management went public and many are substantial today. He also ran the National Business Angel Network and reorganised Chrysalis Venture Capital Trust, turning it from one of the worst into one of the best performers.

Andrew Mitchell – North East Finance

Andrew was previously Chief Executive of NStar and subsequently North East Finance. In these roles he has been heavily involved in a range of venture capital and related initiatives in the region, including the creation of the NE Co-investment and Proof of Concept funds which have secured some £70m plus of venture funding for growing companies.

Andrew was also instrumental in the formation of North Star Equity Investors. Prior to his involvement with NStar, Andrew ran a £25m angel venture fund investing in university spin-outs. Andrew has also been an investor in, and director of, a number of SMEs primarily in the digital space.

Helping companies

Peter Robinson - Muckle LLP

Peter has spent three years working as a senior manager with the Gartland Whalley and Barker plc which specialised in acquiring businesses, growing them and building them into groups for future I.P.O's. Peter gained extensive experience of how a venture capitalist works together with valuing businesses, conducting commercial due diligences and project managing transactions from inception through to legal completion.

Peter's business experience is consequently wide ranging and since joining Muckle LLP Peter has worked with investee companies (and with many of the panel members in various guises) on their investments.

Fund managers

From left to right: Duncan Lowery (IP Group plc), Andrew Davison (Muckle LLP), Marion Bernard (NorthStar Equity Investors Ltd), Peter Wright (FW Capital Ltd), Richard Exley(NorthStar Equity Investors Ltd), Steve Garbutt (Rivers Capital Partners), Barry Hensby (NEL Fund Managers Ltd) and Peter Robinson (Muckle LLP).



Duncan Lowery – IP Group plc Managing the Technology Fund for early stage and mature technology businesses with funding available up to £1.25m.


Marion Bernard  – NorthStar Equity Investors Ltd  Managing the Accelerator Fund for start-up and early stage businesses in most sectors with funding available up to £1.25m.

Dr Richard Exley, also from NorthStar Equity Investors Ltd Managing the Proof of Concept Fund for early stage technology businesses with available funding typically between £50,000 – £150,000.


Barrie Hensby – NEL Fund Managers Ltd Managing the Growth Fund for mature companies in most sectors at the development and growth stages needing between £50,000 to £400,000.


Peter Wright – FW Capital Ltd Managing the Growth Plus Fund for mature companies at the development and growth stages with funding available up to £1.25m.



Steve Garbutt - Rivers Capital Partners Managing the Angel Fund for growth businesses in most sectors with an active focus on working with business angels. Available funding will typically be between £50,000 – £150,000.

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