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Passion Capital drops co-founder after sexual assault charge

Passion Capital assault charge

The millionaire co-founder of Passion Capital, one of London’s largest tech investment companies, has been removed from the firm after he was charged with sexual assault.

The Metropolitan Police said that Stefan Glänzer will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on Thursday. He was arrested in September last year following an allegation made in June.

In a statement, the Met said: “On Monday, 7 March he was charged by postal requisition with one count of sexual assault by touching.”

Glänzer co-founded Passion Capital in 2011 with Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero.

The venture capital firm has invested in many prominent UK tech startups, including the challenger bank Monzo and insurtech unicorn Marshmallow.

Although Passion has said Glänzer had not had an “active role” in the company since 2018, he remained a limited partner.

Passion Capital said in a statement that it was “removing his involvement and membership in all Passion entities that he held from his previous role”.

The statement goes on to say: “Whilst we continue to consider our legal position and options for holding him to account for bringing the firm into disrepute and allegedly behaving in a manner wholly incompatible with our values, we offer our most heartfelt apologies to all of our portfolio company founders and teams, co-investors and fund investors impacted – and most importantly any victims.

“To be very clear, we unequivocally condemn any forms of assault or harassment in any situation and there are no words to describe the shame we feel for not speaking up and doing more to sever all ties as soon as we learned of the allegations last month.”

Passion Capital’s ESG document outlines its approach to sexual harassment in its portfolio companies, stating that it encourages them to “take the possibility of sexual and other types of harassment seriously”.

The document adds: “We will produce a template code of conduct for sexual harassment in the workplace (reflecting our own policy) which we will share with our founders and encourage them to adopt or to incorporate into their employee handbooks or other policies.”

A spokesperson from British Bank, the UK-government owned development bank that invested £17.5m in Passion Capital in 2015, said: “As a limited partner, the bank has supported Passion Capital in its actions to remove Stefan Glänzer from these funds.”

Last year Passion Capital launched its third fund, a £45m investment pot to back early-stage UK tech companies.

Glänzer has not responded to UKTN for further comments.