THE £155m North West Fund (NWF) has announced that finance director Cliff Maylor is to be its new chief executive.
Mr Maylor will replace interim chief executive John McGuire who stepped in after the departure of previous head, Andy Leach, in July.
It has been a turbulent year for the EU-backed NWF, which launched at the start of 2011 with £185m to provide equity and loan funding to North West small firms through six separate funds. Of that, 40% was ringfenced for Merseyside companies.
However, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) took back £15m that was earmarked to be used in 2014 to be utilised for more immediate projects.
And in October it was announced that YFM Equity Partners was to cease managing the £45m Development Capital fund.
There was concern that money wasn’t being allocated to firms quick enough and a further £15 was subsequently returned to Europe.
This year, NWF’s six funds have in invested £29m in 80 businesses – a big increase from the £10.6m allocated last year.
It was also announced that Malcolm Edge, a consultant with KPMG, would become chairman of North West Business Finance, which oversees the NWF.
Both he and Mr Maylor will take up their roles with immediate effect.
Malcolm commented, “I am very much looking forward to leading the team at NWBF, and I have every confidence that we will create a strong and sustainable legacy fund for the North West region.
Mr Maylor said: “We have now invested over £40m in more than 140 North West businesses, with £30m of this invested in 2012 alone, helping to create or safeguard more than 1,000 jobs.
“I am looking forward to continuing my work with The Fund, building a successful investment fund for the region and driving the economy of the North West forward.”