About

Natalia joined Mercia in 2021, and is the Portfolio Director for the North East Venture Fund (NEVF) and the EIS Fund. She is an experienced non-exec, and a venture boards expert. In her role at Mercia, Natalia is supporting portfolio companies with strategic direction, growth optimisation and board oversight. She is based in the Newcastle office, and is a board observer of several Mercia’s investee ventures across the UK.

Previous experience

Natalia has over twenty years of experience working with businesses; as a technology consultant at Accenture, a senior investment manager at Angel Co-Fund and North East Angel Fund, a business support advisor, and, most recently, as a coach to student entrepreneurs at Northumbria University. Whilst at Northumbria, Natalia also developed a deep expertise in venture boards, researching, publishing and speaking on venture board effectiveness internationally. She holds a Doctorate in Corporate Governance of early ventures, PG certificate in coaching, and the Investment Management Certificate (IMC) from the CFA.

Outside Mercia, Natalia is a board member of Northern Stage Theatre (Newcastle), a guest faculty at ScaleUp Nation Board Programme (Amsterdam), and a chair of North East Women on Boards peer-support group.

About

Victoria joined the Group in August 2021, as Portfolio Resourcing Manager to support our current and future investee companies in building out their Boards.

Previous experience

Before joining the Group, Victoria spent six years with BGF, as a Talent Network Manager. Victoria cultivated relationships with a range of experienced senior business leaders in order to offer investee companies access to a pool of expert talent, focusing primarily on non-executive appointments.  Prior to BGF, Victoria gained 13 years’ experience with Directorbank, placing Executive and Non–Executive board directors on a permanent and interim basis for a diverse client base including VC funds; privately owned enterprises; mid-market private equity firms and mid-cap public companies.

About

Graham joined the Group in May 2021 as Company Secretary for Mercia Asset Management Ltd and each of the three Northern Venture Capital Trusts.

Previous experience

Graham joined Mercia from Octopus Investments where he was responsible for providing Company Secretarial services to the Octopus Venture Capital Trusts. Prior to this he was the Head of the investment trust department at Northern Trust, providing third party administration services, including Company secretarial services for thirteen years to the investment trusts.

Graham is a qualified Chartered Company Secretary and a qualified Chartered Accountant. Other roles have included being the financial controller of Close Brothers Investments, the deputy head of the fund accounting department at Morley Fund Management. Graham gained over ten years of auditing experience as an assistant manager at KPMG and as a supervisor at Moore Kingston Smith.

About

Grace joined the Group as Associate Legal Counsel in May 2021. Grace provides legal advice across the Group and the portfolio and supports Sarah Williams, the Group’s General Counsel. Grace is based at the Henley-in-Arden office.

Previous experience

Grace completed her solicitor training with Gowling WLG (UK) LLP and qualified as a corporate solicitor in 2017. Grace has significant experience of advising clients (from large corporates and private equity investors to individual business owners) on a wide range of corporate transactional matters, including investments, acquisitions, disposals and restructurings. Prior to joining Gowling WLG, Grace began her legal career at Eversheds LLP. Grace has an LLB in Law with Politics from the University of Manchester.

 

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

Nigel joined the Group in December 2019 as Portfolio Director. Nigel manages a portfolio of investments from a variety of Funds from across the Group including Warwick Acoustics and Eyoto.

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

Previous experience

Nigel has over 17 years’ experience in venture capital and private equity. He started his career at Deloitte advising investors, and prior to joining Mercia, was a partner at YFM Equity Partners where he worked originating and completing new investments, as well as managing acquisitions, realisations and fundraisings. He trained as an engineer, holds an MBA and has experience in investments in software, data, engineering, support services, telecoms, chemicals and technology companies.

 

About

Sarah joined the Group as Head of Legal in October 2018 and was promoted to Group General Counsel & Company Secretary in July 2020. She is responsible for providing legal advice across the Group and the portfolio, and managing the Group’s relationship with external legal advisors as well as performing the role of Company Secretary. Sarah is based at the Henley-in-Arden office.

Previous experience

Sarah qualified as a corporate solicitor in 2007 and has extensive experience in all aspects of corporate transactional and advisory legal work. In her previous role at Shoosmiths LLP, she specialised in mergers and acquisitions, venture and growth capital transactions, MBOs, MBIs, and corporate governance advice.

sarah.williams@mercia.co.uk

About

Angela joined Mercia in January 2019 as Head of Portfolio and Platform and was promoted to Managing Director, Mercia Investments in July 2020. In her current role, Angela is responsible for the Direct Investment portfolio and overseeing the value-add support which Mercia offers to its investee companies

Previous experience

Angela has over 20 years’ experience in venture capital and private equity. She started her investment career at NatWest Development Capital and has since worked at North West Equity Fund, Barclays Ventures and, immediately prior to joining Mercia, as a partner at YFM Equity Partners where she specialised in portfolio management including trade sales, secondary buyouts and fundraisings. She has held board positions at companies involved in the software, support services, manufacturing and communications sectors.

angela.warner@mercia.co.uk