BGF hires Barclay from Souter Investments

Keith BarclayThe Business Growth Fund has expanded its investment team in Aberdeen by hiring Keith Barclay from Souter Investments, taking its dedicated investment staff in Scotland to ten.

Mr Barclay joins BGF’s 70-strong nationwide team responsible for providing long-term minority growth capital in businesses with revenue typically between £5 million and £100m.

BGF’s investors also provide support either as board members or observers in the companies in which they invest.

He joins BGF from the private investment vehicle of Sir Brian Souter. He previously worked at boutique corporate finance house, Blas, run by Mary Campbell, and originally trained and qualified as a lawyer at Shepherd and Wedderburn. He has an honours degree in law from the University of Aberdeen.

Since 2011, BGF has invested more than £100m in 19 companies across Scotland, including Aberdeen headquartered Aubin and Inoapps. This year, the team has made investments in Keenan Recycling, which is expanding its food waste business across Scotland, and ROVOP, a subsea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services company. BGF also provided a further £4m to one of its earlier investments, STATS, which continues to expand its business in the Middle East and US.

Mike Sibson of BGF’s Aberdeen office said: “Market conditions are tough in the energy sector, but difficult markets can also provide opportunity. Building and positioning during a downturn can create a strong business ready to accelerate its growth when the market turns. BGF is here to support businesses, which aim to do just that.

“We have an appetite to continue to invest and to support local businesses to achieve their growth ambitions. To do this we need to recruit the highest calibre investment professionals, and Keith is a great addition to the Aberdeen team.”

Mr Barclay said: “BGF’s offering is unlike others in the market, and its minority approach offers a different, and importantly, long-term funding solution.  I am excited to be joining BGF and looking forward to working with the team in Aberdeen and across the North of Scotland.”

Set up to fill a funding gap for Britain’s growing smaller and medium-sized businesses, since 2011 BGF has invested in a diverse portfolio of close to 100 companies including manufacturers, retailers, technology providers, restaurants and more.

Alongside investment BGF also provides portfolio businesses with practical and strategic support through its network of senior and experienced business leaders.

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