About

Jake joined Mercia in 2020 as an Investment Associate for Mercia’s EIS Fund team. In addition to research support, origination and execution of early stage investments, Jake undertakes portfolio support across Mercia’s EIS Fund portfolio.

 

Previous experience

Prior to joining Mercia Jake graduated from the University of Southampton with a degree in Economics. As part of Jake’s degree, he undertook a year placement working at an investment syndicate based in London helping with deal origination and due diligence on investment opportunities. Jake has also worked with a startup accelerator where he led the management of investment readiness programmes and helped advise portfolio companies in closing further funding rounds post programme.

 

About

Will joined Mercia in 2018 as an Investment Manager. As part of our Yorkshire-based equity team, he’s primarily focused on the origination and execution of deals for the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, in particular the provision of growth capital to trading SMEs with ambitious and innovative management teams.

Will is also a member of the Mercia O2 Committee – offering the benefits of diverse opinions, ideas and points of view

Previous experience

Will spent more than six years in corporate finance as an M&A specialist with KPMG in Leeds and The McLean Group in Washington DC. Whilst in the US he was typically working with tech-focused, mid-market companies delivering solutions to public sector customers, namely in aerospace, defence and government services, and healthcare. In his last year at KPMG, Will was seconded to NorthInvest, where he developed an angel investor network and support ecosystem for tech startups across the North of England. Prior to his corporate finance career, Will was a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a bipartisan policy thinktank in Washington DC.

Will.Schaffer@mercia.co.uk

About

Julian joined the Group in 2016 and is the Fund Principal for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) with responsibility for the wider Midlands region. His focus is to invest in high-growth technology businesses across the whole of the area, with a particular focus on the Software & the Internet, and the Electronics, Materials, Manufacturing & Engineering sectors. Julian currently sits on the Board of W2 Global Data, VoxPopMe and Living Map.

Previous experience

Prior to joining the Mercia, Julian was a partner with Technology Venture Partners LLP based in Bristol, which managed the South West Ventures Fund (SWVF). The SWVF primarily invested in early-stage technology-focused businesses and university spinouts in software, electronics, medical diagnostics, telematics and semiconductors. He was an associate director for KPMG Corporate Finance in London and Sydney between 2000 and 2006.

julian.dennard@mercia.co.uk

Biography

Julian joined Mercia through the 2016 acquisition of Enterprise Ventures, which he joined in 2004 and was head of technology investments at the time of its acquisition. He has over 20 years of venture capital experience, including the successful listings of companies such as Blue Prism Group plc and OptiBiotix Health plc. Through the subsequent sell down of its holding in Blue Prism, Mercia’s RisingStars Growth Fund realised c£95m, 105x the cost of its investment. Julian leads the equity investment team as well as managing the pipeline of Mercia’s direct investments.

Alongside his wide experience of investing across many sectors,  Julian played a leading role in securing the managed funds contracts awarded by the British Business Bank and North East Fund Ltd and has been Mercia’s Chief Investment Officer since April 2018. Julian has a geology with chemistry degree from the University of Southampton and qualified as a chartered accountant with accountants Smith & Williamson. He is also responsible for investments in nDreams and Soccer Manager.

About

Lisa joined the Group in 2011 as a member of the Investment Team focused on the North West Fund for Mezzanine and Venture Capital aimed at start-up and early-stage businesses where she was responsible for new investments and portfolio businesses. Today, Lisa heads up our portfolio resourcing functions and leads the NED networks.

Lisa is also a member of the Mercia Spirit Committee a group-wide programme translating our values into worthy initiatives.

Previous experience

Before joining the Group, Lisa worked for the business growth services team Grant Thornton, where she was responsible for a number of finance readiness and business support programmes, particularly in the healthcare and life science sectors. Lisa has a science and technology background, with a BSc (Hons) in Human Bioscience from Sheffield Hallam University.

lisa.ward@mercia.co.uk

About

Matthew joined the EV Growth Funds Investment Team in 2018 and is responsible for originating and transacting new investments and advising portfolio companies. He is based in the Manchester office and invests into high-growth SMEs across the UK in a range of sectors.

Matt is also a member of the Mercia O2 Committee – offering the benefits of diverse opinions, ideas and points of view.

Previous experience

Before joining the Group, Matthew spent the last seven years as an assistant director at BDO in the transaction services team based in Manchester, focused on providing due diligence services to mid-market private equity firms, across a range of sectors. Matthew is a Chartered Accountant and holds an Economics degree from the University of Sheffield.

Matthew.Molyneux@mercia.co.uk

About

Maurice joined Mercia in 2017 and is an Investment Associate with the NPIF – Mercia Equity Team. Working across Yorkshire, Humber and Tees Valley, Maurice’s role includes sourcing and executing early-stage deals whilst also being responsible for reporting to our NPIF stakeholder, the British Business Bank.

Maurice is also a member of the Mercia Knowledge Committee.

Previous experience

Prior to joining Mercia, Maurice was responsible for all investment operations on the Finance Yorkshire Equity Linked Fund. He holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management and an MSc joint honour in Finance and Marketing, both from Manchester Metropolitan University.

 

maurice.disasi@mercia.co.uk

About

Megan joined the Group in 2018 as an Investment Associate for the NPIF – Mercia Equity Team, which is focused on investing in businesses located throughout Yorkshire, Humber and the Tees Valley. Megan is based in our Leeds office, and provides research and deal origination support to the Investment Team.

Previous experience

Megan has a background in deal origination, having previously worked at Langcliffe Merger Connect, where she was a senior deal executive in their private equity team, specifically working with their European clients. Megan holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds.

megan.noble@mercia.co.uk

About

Peter joined the Group in 2015 as Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences, with over 20 years’ experience in this sector, and became Chief Operating Officer in 2018. He is responsible for a number of the life science portfolio investments including Locate Bio, Concepta plc, Sense Biodetection and Axis Spine Technologies and in July 2020 he oversaw the successful exit of The Native Antigen Company.

Peter is the champion of several of our key initiatives and working groups as well as heading up the VCT and EIS divisions of Mercia and is a member of:

Mercia Knowledge Committee – a Group wide Information and Data Development team

Mercia Responsible Investment Committee – a Group-wide team committed to delivering the ESG strategy across the business.

Mercia O2 Committee – offering the benefits of diverse opinions, ideas and points of view.

 

Previous experience

Peter has been involved with a number of turnarounds and exits within the sector, including the acquisition of Surgicraft’s loss-making business where, as managing director, sales quadrupled within three years and the business was subsequently sold to a private equity backed business and Diagnostic World, a fast-growing diagnostic provider to the NHS.

peter.dines@mercia.co.uk

About

Sandy joined the Mercia in 2017, originally in the University Team focusing on the North of England she has now moved to the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) team with responsibility for the East Midlands; this fund focuses on proof of concept and early stage opportunities.

Sandy is a member of the Mercia Responsible Investment Committee – a Group-wide team committed to delivering the ESG strategy across the business.

Previous experience

Sandy has hands-on experience of early-stage companies having founded and worked as CEO for a university spinout for eight years. She also has experience of acting as a consultant on spinout formation in the HE sector as well as most recently managing the spinout portfolio at the University of Leicester. In addition, Sandy has acted as both director and observer on a number of early-stage company boards, and holds the Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors. She has a technical background with a PhD in Chemistry, and started her career in corporate research and development.

sandy.reid@mercia.co.uk