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

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

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, MyHealthChecked plc, Sense Biodetection, Axis Spine Technologies and Medovate 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 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.

Mercia Knowledge Committee – a Group wide Information and Data Development team which Peter Chairs.

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 has been with Mercia since 2017 and has broad investment experience across sectors and geographies. This includes deal origination, transacting and portfolio management with a strong focus on governance and working with founding teams on value creation post-investment. She is currently concentrating on early stage investments in the Midlands and is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund team.

Sandy is also a member of the Mercia Responsible Investment Committee with a focus on ESG issues across the group.

Previous experience

Prior to joining Mercia, Sandy held a number of positions crossing all aspects of commercialising new products and technologies. These ranged from CEO of a VC backed business to corporate R&D.

In the dim and distant past Sandy gained a PhD in Chemistry, won the JJ Turner Prize at the University of Nottingham, and was awarded a Gatsby Business Science Fellowship. She continues to be a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry but is considered a generalist investor with a portfolio split between software, life sciences and digital.

sandy.reid@mercia.co.uk

About

Stephen spent the first 10 years of his career in technology consulting, focused on delivering data warehousing and analytics capabilities to enterprise clients. Having joined the Northern VCT investment team in 2019 based in the Midlands, he now focuses on sourcing, transaction and managing investments in B2B software and the broader technology sector. He holds a BSc. in Information Management with Business Studies from Loughborough University

 

About

Alice joined the Group on a permanent basis in 2018 after working with Mercia over a number of years on a consultancy basis, during which time she has developed a deep understanding of our CASS operations and, more recently, of the General Data Protection Regulation. A key focus of her role is maintenance of appropriate compliance systems and controls, particularly in relation to client assets, including policies, procedures and monitoring. Alice supports the Group Compliance Director in ensuring that the Group-regulated entities meet FCA and, where appropriate, other regulatory requirements at all times, fostering a strong compliance culture.

Alice is also 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

Alice has a background in the financial services industry and the business development and funding arena. Most recently, Alice has provided consultancy services to private and public sector entities with a specialism in regulatory oversight and compliance.

alice.grieve@mercia.co.uk

About

Jill joined the private equity investment team in 2018, and is responsible for originating and transacting new investments and managing portfolio companies. She is based in the Manchester office, and invests into high-growth SMEs across the UK in a range of sectors.

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

Previous experience

Before joining the Group, Jill was an investment director at RJD Partners based in London, investing in businesses across the UK mid- and lower-mid market. Jill has over 10 years of private equity investment experience within several sectors including business services, leisure and travel, education, and IT services. Jill has also worked with the Wheatsheaf Group, a long-term investor in food and agriculture businesses. Before joining RJD, Jill spent several years in the corporate finance and corporate tax teams at PwC, and is a chartered accountant. Originally from the North West, Jill has an MA in French and Philosophy from Oxford University.

jill.williams@mercia.co.uk