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Sian Lloyd Jones to leave Finance Wales

The Board of Finance Wales has announced that Sian Lloyd Jones is to step down from her role as Chief Executive at the end of September 2015.

Sian became Chief Executive in 2004, successfully overseeing Finance Wales’ transition from a subsidiary of the former Welsh Development Agency to a subsidiary of the Welsh Government.

Under her leadership, the number and range of funds Finance Wales manages has increased significantly, including the launch of the Welsh Government-backed £20 million Wales Capital Growth and £7.5 million Wales Technology Seed Funds as well as the £170 million Help to Buy – Wales scheme in 2014.

Finance Wales invested a record £50 million in the 2013-14 financial year and exceeded its investment target for the first half of the 2014-15 financial year.

Sian will remain in post until the end of September 2015 to assist Finance Wales as it adapts to new challenges.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Ian Johnson, Chairman of Finance Wales said: “Finance Wales has evolved significantly in the last 14 years and needs to continue delivering Welsh Government policy effectively.  The board believes this will best be achieved under new leadership and confirms that Sian Lloyd Jones will step down from her role as Chief Executive. 

“I’m grateful to Sian for her long-standing leadership of Finance Wales.  Thanks to her dedication and passion for the business, our investments are at record levels and continuing to rise as more and more Welsh SMEs benefit from the wide range of funds we have available.  She leaves Finance Wales in a strong position and with the board’s best wishes for the future.”

Minister for Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart said: “I would like to thank Sian for her contribution as Chief Executive of Finance Wales over the past decade. During this time investment in SMEs by Finance Wales has exceeded £350m, creating and safeguarding almost 40,000 jobs across Wales, and the number of funds managed by Finance Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government is at a record level. Her efforts have been appreciated and I wish her success in any new ventures.”   

Sian Lloyd Jones said: “Finance Wales has grown into a key Welsh financial institution and I’m proud of its achievements since I became Chief Executive in 2004.  Investment levels have risen from £13 million to £50 million a year in that time as it has adapted to Welsh SMEs’ changing funding needs.  I’ve enjoyed leading and developing Finance Wales which is now a far stronger organisation than when I joined.

“I’d like to thank Barclays which has supported Finance Wales from the outset.  I’d also like to thank the European Investment Bank which, alongside the Welsh European Funding Office and Welsh Government, has enabled Finance Wales to expand the range of funds it offers new and growing Welsh businesses.  I’m grateful to both past and present board members for their support and guidance and above all, I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve worked with at Finance Wales.”

By the end of September 2014, Welsh SMEs have benefitted from £353 million of investment from Finance Wales. These investments have also leveraged additional investment totalling £510 million, taking its total impact on the Welsh economy to £863 million. With Finance Wales’ backing, Welsh SMEs have created or safeguarded 39,085 jobs in Wales.