Bridges Ventures Celebrates 10th Anniversary
London, 13 March 2012: Bridges Ventures (“Bridges”), the sustainable growth investor, today announced that it is celebrating 10 years of investing for both attractive financial returns and positive social impact for its ever widening investor base. Last Thursday, Bridges marked this anniversary at an event for over 200 guests which featured a discussion on “How can capitalism better serve society?” The evening included keynote speeches by Al Gore and Sir Ronald Cohen.
To lead Bridges’ into the next decade, Bridges also revealed changes to its governance structure, with founding Chair Sir Ronald Cohen transitioning to Chair of the Advisory Board, and Dr Peter Englander assuming the role of Chair of Bridges.
Bridges Ventures was founded in 2002 with a mission to invest funds which aim to achieve dedicated social and environmental goals as well as financial returns for investors. The firm has since raised six funds, totalling almost £275m, which invest in growth businesses, sustainable property and social enterprises. The launch of its most recent fund, “Sustainable Growth Fund III”, last December, attracted £72m for its first closing from existing investors and one significant new investor, the European Investment Fund, which joined Fund III as the single largest investor to date. This first close all but matched Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund II.
Co-founder and Managing Partner of Bridges, Philip Newborough, commented:
“Ten years ago the prevailing view was that investing for financial and social or environmental returns were mutually exclusive aims. Our experience has shown that this is not the case. In our Sustainable Growth Funds, for example, almost 90% of Bridges’ investments are in the most deprived 25% of England, and half of them are in the most deprived 10%. We also have a strong focus on businesses in impact themes such as health, education and the environment. We have achieved successful exits from these funds ranging from 12-216% IRR. Over the next ten years, we look forward to delivering even greater social and environmental impact.”
As he transitions from Chair of Bridges to Chair of Bridges’ Advisory Board, Sir Ronald Cohen said:
“Bridges has played a leading role in the emergence of the social investment sector over the past ten years. Our society’s multiple pressing problems cannot be solved through government and philanthropy alone. The next decade is therefore likely to be the decade of social investment and entrepreneurship as we harness their powerful forces to innovate in resolving social issues.”
I am delighted that the Board has chosen Dr Peter Englander to sit as the new Chair and that he has accepted this role. I have worked with Peter at Apax Partners for 30 years and at Bridges for 10 and I cannot think of a more experienced or accomplished investor to chair Bridges in the future.”
Dr Peter Englander, who has served since Bridges’ Inception as a non-executive director on Bridges’ management board and has been a key member of its investment committee, said: “I have greatly enjoyed contributing to Bridges’ work over the last ten years and I look forward to guiding Bridges through its next decade, to make successful investments that make a difference.”
Notes to Editors
About Bridges Ventures
Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges Ventures”) is a sustainable growth investor established in 2002 with a mission to use its commercial expertise to achieve focused social or environmental benefit, as well as attractive returns for investors. Bridges Ventures has raised six funds to date which total almost £275m: Sustainable Growth Funds I, II and III, the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund, CarePlaces Partnership and the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.
Bridges currently have two property funds under management: Bridges Sustainable Property Fund and CarePlaces Fund. The Sustainable Property Fund is an entrepreneurial fund which invests in properties in regeneration areas and environmentally sustainable buildings. The CarePlaces Partnership, a partnership between Bridges Ventures and Castleoak, concentrates on first class care facilities for the elderly with a focus on sustainable design and construction.
The Bridges Sustainable Growth Funds (I, II, III) invest in growth businesses across the four impact themes of Underserved Areas, Education & Skills, Environment and Health & Well-being. The Funds typically invest up to £10m at a time in ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses including early stage, growth capital and buyouts / buy ins. Since 2002, these Funds have made equity investments totaling over £75m in 34 businesses
Sir Ronald Cohen – Biography
Chairman of Bridges Ventures since 2002, Sir Ronald began his career at McKinsey before co-founding Apax Partners in 1972. Apax has since raised more than €40bn in funds to support hundreds of companies and is now one of the world’s leading private equity houses. Sir Ronald has also pioneered social investment in Britain. By chairing the Social Investment Task Force he provided the policy framework underpinning the sector and as co-founder of Social Finance he helped develop and launch the UK’s first social impact bond. He is now Chairman of Big Society Capital, Britain’s first social investment bank. Sir Ronald is also a Director of the British Museum, Chairman of The Portland Trust and a Hon. Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. He is a member of Oxford’s Investment Committee and Harvard University’s Board of Overseers.
Dr Peter Englander – Biography
Dr Englander graduated in Chemical Engineering from Manchester University. He won a Kennedy Scholarship to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He subsequently obtained a PhD from London University in the area of technological innovation. He worked for Air Products and then for the Boston Consulting Group before joining Apax Partners in 1981, when the first fund was raised. Dr Englander was a member of the Investment Committee at Apax Partners. He is Chief Executive of the Apax Charitable Foundation.
Dr Englander is currently a Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust.
Dr Englander is married with three children.
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