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Northern Gritstone continues hiring spree with investment manager recruit

Alison Maughan Northern Gritstone

Investment company Northern Gritstone has hired Alison Maughan as investment manager to oversee the firm’s investments in university spinouts and startups rich in intellectual property.

It’s the latest recruitment boost for the firm, which appointed Mark Wyatt as investment director earlier this month.

Northern Gritstone is a combined investment company created by the University of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield in April last year.

Maughan joins from her previous role as investment manager of life sciences at Deepbridge Capital.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of providing much-needed capital (and, in turn, jobs and economic growth) to the North,” Maughan told UKTN. “There is some brilliant university IP here and it will be fantastic to facilitate its development and commercialisation.”

Maughan added: “My degree and previous investment experience is scientific and so I’m keen to continue to support life sciences and healthcare deals.

“However, I’ll also be eager to spend some time with companies operating in energy and sustainability sectors which complement Northern Gritstone’s ‘profit with purpose’ mandate.”

In May, the Northern Gritstone secured the first close of £215m, with capital coming from local pension funds, angel investors and institutional investors.

Chaired by Lord O’Neill, former Treasury minister and chief economist at Goldman Sachs, Northern Gritstone has since invested in life science company Imperagen, Sheffield-based Iceotope and Sheffield AI spinout Opteran.

Alison will be based in Northern Gritstone’s office at Circle Square in Manchester. Circle Square is also the new home of one of HVM Catapult’s research centres.

“I am very pleased that Alison has joined our investment team as we continue to attract top-class, early-stage investors to Northern Gritstone’s ambitious vision of helping to catalyse a Silicon Valley of the North,” said Duncan Johnson, CEO, Northern Gritstone.

Between 2012 and 2021 university spinouts have secured £10.9bn in equity funding, according to Beauhurst data.

The most active investor in UK spinouts is Parkwalk Advisors.