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Bridges Ventures expands its team with two significant new hires

Bridges Ventures, the innovative investment company that delivers both financial returns and social and environmental benefits, is pleased to announce two additions to its investment teams: Stewart Baird who joins as Investment Director on the Venture Funds I & II, and Caroline Tulloch who joins as an Associate on the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Stewart joins Bridges Ventures from the Virgin Travel Group where he managed a portfolio of specialist businesses, created from a combination of start ups, acquisitions and joint ventures.  Stewart has a wealth of experience managing businesses in e-commerce, retail and broader consumer propositions across both SME and blue chip organisations, including the Prudential and Eurostar. His B2B experience features a business process outsourcer, while he led an acquisition to create a vehicle for a new e-procurement venture. Stewart has held a number of non-executive positions, most notably with the travel sector’s regulator. He is also an MBA mentor at the European Business School in London

Caroline joins from the Corporate Finance team at Ernst & Young, where she specialised in providing commercial due diligence advice. Caroline holds a degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy & Economics, and is a Chartered Accountant.

Philip Newborough, Chief Executive of Bridges Ventures, commented today:

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Stewart and Caroline onto the Bridges Ventures team.

Stewart brings with him a wealth of experience working with a portfolio of businesses created from start-ups, acquisitions and joint ventures, which will be invaluable when working with our Venture Funds.

I am delighted that since its launch in November 2008, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund has continued to grow and develop while attracting high calibre individuals such as Caroline.”

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Notes to Editors:

Bridges Ventures is an investment company established in 2002 as a fund manager with a social mission whose commercial expertise is used to achieve social or environmental aims as well as attractive returns for investors.  Four funds have been raised to date: Venture Funds I & II, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund and the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund.

Venture Fund I totalled £40m while Venture Fund II totalled £75m, beating its original target of £50m by 50%, and was closed in 2007. Investors in the second fund include HSBC, Co-operative Financial Services, Barclays Business Banking, Lloyds TSB, and Citigroup, individuals including Tom Singh of 3i, Dr Mike Lynch of Autonomy Corporation, Harvey McGrath of Man Group and Lloyd Dorfman of Travelex, as well as pension funds and endowments including the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the West Midlands Pension Fund and All Souls College.

The Venture Funds invest in businesses based in regeneration areas and in sustainable business sectors such as the environment, education and healthcare. Bridges Ventures typically invests up to £10m at a time in ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses including early stage, development capital and management buy-outs. So far, £52m has been invested in 30 companies, many of whose employees have come out of long-term unemployment. To date there have been five successful exits: Harlands in Hull, SimplySwitch in South London, HS Atec in Yorkshire, EB2 in South London and IDL in Bournemouth.

Bridges Ventures’ key backers include Sir Ronald Cohen, co-founder and former chairman of Apax Partners, 3i and Doughty Hanson.

In August 2009 the Bridges Ventures Charitable Trust launched the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund a quasi-equity fund which provides an innovative financing solution that is tailored to the needs of ambitious social enterprises. The fund has grown in recent months to £8.5m.

Bridges Ventures launched the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund in November 2009, which will invest in properties in regeneration areas and environmentally sustainable buildings that have potential to make strong financial returns as well as delivering social and environmental impact.

For more information please go to www.bridgesventures.com