The Board of Harwood Capital Group have launched a new investment business to complement its existing portfolio of successful companies.
The Group has identified a significant gap in the current market and believes that investors are increasingly looking for long term, unconstrained, concentrated opportunities to invest in publicly listed small to medium sized quoted companies.
This new business (which is subject to the requisite regulatory approvals being granted) will be chaired by former HgCapital Chief Executive Officer Ian Armitage. Mr Armitage holds more than three decades’ industry experience in Private Equity and is currently Chairman of The Key and Non-Executive Director of Tenzing Private Equity. As Chairman of the new business, Mr Armitage will be joined by one of the industry’s best known and most highly regarded fund managers; Stuart Widdowson.
Mr Widdowson joins the Group from GVQ Investment Management where he held the position of Fund Manager for more than 7 years. He has spent the last 16 years investing in public and private UK small and mid-size corporates and a further two years providing investment advisory in the same field. During his tenure as lead fund manager at GVQ, Mr Widdowson transformed the performance and drastically improved shareholder value of Strategic Equity Capital plc (“SEC”). Consequently, he led SEC to win several industry awards and was recognised as Fund Manager of the Year at both the PLC and QCA awards.
Commenting on Mr Widdowson’s appointment, Chairman Ian Armitage says: ‘I was lucky enough to hire Stuart in 2000 when he joined the newly independent PE firm, HgCapital. We worked closely together during this time and I admired his willingness to get stuck in with all aspects of the business as well as his focus on long term rewards. I was also particularly impressed with his innate desire to align the interests of fund managers and investors. Stuart’s proven track record and outstanding performance at SEC was more than enough to encourage me to buy a 5% share of the growing trust.’
Armitage added: ‘It was a very personal decision to back Stuart in his former role and naturally I am excited and very much looking forward to the prospect of working with him on this new venture.’
Harwood Capital Group Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mills said: “Stuart brings a highly complementary skill set and a distinctive investment strategy to the Harwood Capital Group. I have acquired a deep understanding of his unique investment style and techniques over many years which is why I am hugely confident in our ability to build a long term and successful partnership.’