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Finance Wales boosts new investments team with key appointments

Finance Wales has boosted its new investments team with a number of key appointments. Experienced investment professionals, Joanne O’Keeffe and Stephen Galvin have joined the team which covers the whole of Wales and is headed up by Fund Manager Chris Griffiths.

O’Keeffe, who joins from NatWest where she was a Business Development Director, will work with SMEs and their advisers to increase the take-up of Finance Wales’ investments. Galvin will work with SMEs on larger debt, mezzanine and equity investments.  He joins Finance Wales from Lloyds Banking Group.
O’Keeffe and Galvin’s appointments follow the appointment of Steve Stolliday as a Senior Investment Executive in the second half of 2014.  An experienced corporate finance specialist, Stolliday is focusing on encouraging Welsh SMEs to consider the benefits of equity investment.

Welcoming these latest additions to his team, Fund Manager Chris Griffiths said: “More Welsh SMEs are turning to Finance Wales to fund their growth plans and these appointments significantly increase both the capacity and the breadth of expertise and knowledge in our new investments team. 

“Joanne, Stephen and Steve have considerable experience in SME investment.  They’ll play a pivotal role in building even stronger relationships with SMEs all over Wales to maximise the impact of our investments.”

O’Keeffe and Galvin join Finance Wales at a time when its investment levels were up by 63% to £31.2 million in the first 3 quarters of the 2014-15 financial year.

Joanne O’Keefe said: “At NatWest I was impressed by the extent of expertise and experience of Finance Wales’ investment staff as well as their understanding of the challenges growing businesses face. Finance Wales focuses on SMEs’ true growth ambitions to shape an effective funding package for them. I’m pleased to join Finance Wales and look forward to working with more Welsh SMEs and their advisers to explain what Finance Wales can offer.”

Stephen Galvin said: “SMEs make the Welsh economy tick and many of them have lots of untapped potential.  Finance Wales is uniquely placed to work in partnership with more aspirational Welsh SMEs and I’m determined to convince more of them to take the growth challenge and structure funding packages to help them succeed.”

Steve Stolliday said: “There are many talented, innovative and experienced management teams throughout Wales who could be even more successful with Finance Wales’ backing. Building a sustainable business often requires an injection of growth capital and I believe more businesses could benefit from equity investment.”

Griffiths is impressed by Welsh SMEs’ renewed confidence and is keen to encourage more of them to consider how investment from Finance Wales could help them turn their confidence into successful business growth.

“Finance Wales’ rising investment levels are excellent news and we’re determined to be the catalyst for more growth in the Welsh economy. Our new investments team has a broad spectrum of expertise as well as individual specialisms, an unrivalled network of contacts and is ready to work with even more ambitious Welsh management teams,” he concluded.

Led by Chris Griffiths, Finance Wales’ locally based new investments team works with SMEs throughout Wales. The team also includes Deputy Fund Manager, Beth Cousins, Senior Investment Executives, Cenydd Rowlands, Steve Stolliday and Alun Thomas, as well as Investment Executives Leanna Davies, Rhodri Evans, Stephen Galvin, Oliver Jenkins and Joanne O’Keeffe. Natalie Phillips supports the team.