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The Board

Francis Small
Chair

Francis became a Non-executive Director in June 2016 after spending 36 years at Ernst & Young in a wide variety of roles.

After initially working with small and medium sized businesses, he became an audit partner in Financial Services for seven years. He then joined the firm’s Corporate Finance practice where he specialised in cross-border acquisitions, disposals, IPOs and restructuring. He ran the UK Corporate Finance practice before becoming Global Head of Corporate Finance and a member of the Ernst & Young’s Global Board.

Francis lived and worked in the Middle East for two years, advising some of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. After returning to London in 2010, he co-ordinated services to some of Ernst & Young’s largest international clients.

Catherine Lewis La Torre
Executive Director and CEO, British Business Bank

Catherine Lewis La Torre is CEO of the Government-owned British Business Bank and took up the role on 1 September 2020. Catherine previously held the position of CEO of the Bank’s two commercial subsidiaries, British Patient Capital and British Business Investments.

Catherine Lewis La Torre has built a career in venture capital and private equity fund management. She joined the British Business Bank in 2016 from Cardano Risk Management, where she was Head of Private Equity, responsible for managing a global portfolio of private capital fund investments with over £1bn of commitments. Prior to this she was a Partner with secondaries specialist, Fondinvest Capital, in Paris having previously been one of the founding partners of fund-of-funds manager, Proventure which focused on venture and growth capital investing in Europe.

Judith Hartley
CEO

Judith is CEO of the British Business Bank’s two commercial subsidiaries, British Business Investments and British Patient Capital, and took up the role on 1 September 2020. Judith previously held the position of Managing Director of the Bank’s UK Network, a team that is physically located within each of the English regions and the three Devolved Nations.

Judith Hartley built a career in corporate banking with Barclays and Bank of Scotland before becoming involved in the delivery of publicly funded access to finance products. Prior to her current role, Judith was previously the British Business Bank’s Managing Director, Lending Solutions, where she was responsible for the delivery of a number of the Bank’s debt-based products, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, Help to Grow and Start Up Loans. Judith joined the Bank from Capital for Enterprise where she was Managing Director, Debt Markets.

Sue Douthwaite
Non-executive Director

Sue became a Non-executive Director in February 2022. Sue is a Chartered Banker and has enjoyed an extensive career in financial services working in Retail, Corporate and SME banking. Her previous roles include Managing Director of Santander Business in Santander UK, and Head of SME Strategy for Virgin Money.

She has been involved in transformational fintech projects and alliance partnerships in the UK and Europe and the successful delivery of new operating models, systems, and culture. She has been actively involved in the diversity agenda for many years.

Sue is a Non-executive Director of The Melton Building Society, Chair of Nexa Finance Ltd and Board Advisor at Physio Medics Ltd. She is also Chair of the International Advisory Board of Queen’s Management School at Queens University, Belfast, and a member of University of Sheffield Business School Advisory Board.

Caroline Bault
Non-executive Director

Caroline became a Non-executive Director in February 2022. Caroline has 30 years’ experience in financial services and capital markets ranging from equity research to investment banking and asset allocation.

Caroline is Managing Partner at CounselRock Partners, a specialist hedge fund research and alternative investment consultancy. Her prior roles include MD Global Business Development at CAIA, Director European Research at Commerzbank in London and Frankfurt and Executive Director at Goldman Sachs International.

She is currently a Non-Executive director of healthcare management consultancy ETL, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and social impact investment platform Ethex as well as and a trustee of the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity and African Conservation Foundation (ACF). She is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and a member of the CFA Institute.

Investment team

Adam Kelly
Managing Director

Adam was previously Director of British Business Investments’ Structured Capital Solutions portfolio. As part of that role, Adam has led investments in challenger banks and has been key in its support for that sector.

Adam built his career in corporate finance with investment banks, Dresdner Kleinwort and JP Morgan Cazenove before becoming involved in the delivery of publicly funded finance products.

Richard Coldwell
Director

Richard Coldwell joined the team in June 2012. He focuses on the direct lending debt funds, having previously been involved in building the peer-to-peer portfolio.

Richard is a Chartered Accountant with a background in corporate finance having worked for KPMG, ING and GE Commercial Finance.

Geoff Whiteland
Director

Geoff joined BBB in December 2015 and moved to BBI in February 2021 as the team’s FinTech lead after previously holding the position of Director North and Midlands of the UK Network team and prior to that Director, Help to Grow.

Geoff has over 20 years’ experience in banking with a wealth of experience in SME lending and structured lending across debt, mezzanine and equity investments. He built his career in Corporate Banking with NatWest, Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Santander.

Vianney de Leudeville
Director

Vianney joined British Business Investments in May 2018 to focus on the Managed Funds Programme implementation. He came from the British Business Bank Strategy team, where he spent nearly two years working on British Business Investments-related projects.

In a prior life, Vianney spent seven years at RBS in the Strategic Equity team, originating and structuring large equity backed loans and derivatives. He also co-founded a startup selling French wine in the UK.

Jonathan Marriott
Director

Jonathan joined in June 2013 and specialises in asset finance. He has a wealth of SME lending experience having been employed in banking
and finance since 1985.

Jonathan previously worked for Yorkshire Bank, Santander plc and more recently RBS Invoice Finance Ltd where he held a Senior Relationship Manager position. Jonathan is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Mark Barry
Director

Mark joined the investment team in November 2015. He focuses on all aspects of the deal process as well as monitoring existing portfolio companies. Prior to joining, Mark spent three years at PwC, Dublin, where he was a Senior Associate in the Asset Management department.

Nancy Liu
Senior Investment Manager

Nancy joined the team in February 2019 and focuses on the Managed Funds Programme.

Nancy is involved on all aspects of the deal process for new investments and portfolio monitoring.

Prior to joining, Nancy worked as a Private Equity Analyst at Cardano Risk Management covering mid-market buyout fund investments, and as a Risk Analyst for the National Employment Savings Trust.

Misodzi Mukungurutse
Senior Investment Manager

Misodzi joined the team in December 2020 and focusses on all aspects of the deal process for new investments, as well as supporting the monitoring of our existing portfolio.

Misodzi previously worked as an Investment Officer for the UK’s largest Local Government Pension Scheme, Greater Manchester Pension Fund. In her previous role, she managed the pension fund’s non-domestic real estate investments, whilst also supporting origination of UK focused impact-driven debt and equity investments.

Misodzi is a Chartered Management Accountant and holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University.

Luke Whitehead
Manager

Luke joined in October 2018 as an Analyst. He focuses on overall investment process as well as portfolio reporting.

He previously held multiple part time roles whilst at university, including being a HR assistant at Voice Marketing Ltd. Luke has also held voluntary positions whilst in full-time education, including being a volunteer assistant treasurer at his local scout group and acting as the Finance Director for his team whilst participating in the Young Enterprise Programme.

Chris Amory
Manager

Chris joined in October 2018 as an Analyst. He focuses on overall investment process as well as portfolio reporting.

Chris previously worked for Audit Partnership as a Senior Auditor, specialising in profit recovery for one of the company’s largest clients.

Mealad Alighanbari
Manager

Mealad joined BBI in August 2019. He participates on all aspects of the deal process for new investments and actively supports the monitoring of our existing portfolio.

Mealad holds a degree in BSc Economics and previously spent a year working as a Credit Risk Analyst for the Startup Loans subsidiary of the British Business Bank. He is currently working to obtain the Investment Management Certificate.

Jacqueline Kaminsky
Manager

Jacqueline first joined the team as a Summer Intern in 2018, before joining permanently as an Analyst in October 2019.

She supports the team across the various stages of our investment process for new applications, and also actively participates in the monitoring of our existing portfolio.

Jacqueline has a BSc Economics degree and a Masters in Data Analytics. Whilst at university, Jacqueline spent four years managing the University of Sheffield Investment Society’s endowment fund, whilst also being a member of the UK’s first student Venture Capital team.

Joanne Ward
Executive Assistant

Joanne joined the team in December 2016 and is responsible for providing executive administrative support to the CEO and the investment team. Joanne has over 15 years’ experience supporting senior management teams and coordinating projects across diverse working cultures.

Adam Ahmed
Senior Investment Manager

Adam joined the team in May 2021 and focuses on the Structured Capital Solutions Programme.

He is involved in all aspects of the deal process for new investments and the monitoring of the existing portfolio.

Prior to joining, Adam worked at Lloyds Banking Group where he spent over 10 years providing lending products to SMEs, mid and large corporate businesses across various sectors.

Rishi Puri
Senior Investment Manager

Rishi joined the team in April 2021 as a Senior Investment Manager and focuses on the FinTech Programme and Venture Debt Funds.

Rishi has over 10 years’ experience in financial services ranging across investment banking, start-ups and scale-ups. He previously worked as a Senior Associate at MarketFinance, one of BBI’s FinTech delivery partners, where he was accountable for end to end management of capital market transactions.

Jasleen Haer
Investment Analyst

Jasleen joined the team as an Investment Analyst in June 2021. Prior to joining, Jasleen held a similar role at SR, one of BBI’s Delivery Partners, for two and a half years where she gained experience performing due diligence on equity investments and managing a portfolio of start-up companies.

Mads Ladefoged
Investment Analyst

Mads has an Academy Professions Degree in Financial Controlling and a bachelor’s degree in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, both from Business Academy Aarhus in Denmark. Prior to joining the BBI team, Mads graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a Master of Science in International Business Management. During his time at University Mads undertook multiple internships, including a role in the Finance team at a London based SME.