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Angel leader to reduce workload

Exclusive: Waddell to step down as CEO at Archangels

John WaddellJohn Waddell, one of Scotland’s leading players in the business angel sector, has decided to reduce his workload and will step down as chief executive of Archangels later this year.

He will hand over day-to-day operations to chief operating officer David Ovens and the small team that runs the Edinburgh-based business.

Mr Waddell, who has been in the role for ten years, has written to members in what is Scotland’s oldest business angel syndicate to inform them of his decision.

In a letter, seen by Daily Business, he states his intention to resign as chief executive on 1 October as he approaches his 60th birthday.

He says he is planning “a phased reduction” in his executive involvement with the business, “so that I can start to pursue other business, public service and personal interests.”

He says he will remain active in a consultancy role and as a director in some of the companies in which the syndicate members have invested.

“I will continue to be involved with Archangels, its investment strategy and its companies, but the day to day running of the investment business will pass into the safe and experienced hands of my colleagues, Andy Laing, Niki Mckenzie and Mary Jane Brouwers, while David Ovens, our chief operating officer, will continue to manage the operations of the business.

“From 1 October this year, I will cease to be CEO, but I will remain as a consultant to Archangels and as a non-executive director on a number of our portfolio company boards. I will continue to be actively involved in the management of some of our near term key exits, as well as remaining on the Archangels investment committee.”

Mr Waddell says investors should not see “any perceptible change” in what the organisation does or how it is done and that it should be a case of “business as usual”.

“My involvement in the business has been graduating towards strategic areas rather than hands on management for a number of months now,” he says.

Archangel Investors, created 23 years ago, recently asked the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde Business School to research the impact of its investment, mentoring and management support activities.

At  a presentation in February, Mr Waddell reported to investors that Archangels had arranged funding of £12.2 million for 14 companies, comprising £7.5m of investment from investors, with a further £3.5m of co-investment from Scottish Enterprise and £1.2m from other partners. The biggest single investment was £2.5m in Scottish bionic prosthetic producer, Touch Bionics, in May last year.

Returns from disposals and dividends amounted to £17.3m, with £11.2m going to Archangels members. This included the successful sale during the year of the electricity supply business, Flexitricity, to Swiss energy company, Alpiq, for an undisclosed sum.

It was an early investor in eyecare company Optos, providing £25,000 to fund proof of concept. The Dunfermline company was sold to Nikon in February for £259m.

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