Levelling Up: Foresight Group director highlights importance of regional investment

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on March 12th 2022, 8:08am

Speaking on The Leaders Council Podcast, Matthew Pomroy, director at leading listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager, Foresight Group, discussed the importance of regional investment in helping grow UK industry and make the government’s levelling up ambitions a reality.

At a time where the UK government is pushing its levelling up agenda as the nation bids to bounce back from the effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic, plans have been outlined by minister Michael Gove to “shift money and power” to other regions of the country and spread the economic power held by London and the southeast all over the country. To make this a reality, regional public and private sector investment will inevitably play a crucial role.

Foresight currently supports more than 120 SMEs across the UK – with 88 per cent being based outside of London and the Southeast. Matthew Pomroy, a director in the Private Equity team, is based in Foresight’s Manchester office.

Sitting down with The Leaders Council’s Scott Challinor and highlighting the importance of this work to the levelling up agenda, Pomroy said: “From a Foresight point of view, we take very much a regional approach with our investments. We look to raise funds locally from Local Government Pension Schemes, and we look to establish offices and grow teams within particular regions. We have offices in Manchester, where I sit, as well as in Cambridge, Nottingham and Edinburgh. We look to develop from there and build a network with local businesses and with the local advisor networks to try and support aspects such as job growth, positive social impact and address health issues. All of these are earmarked as critical points to the levelling up agenda.”

Pomroy also revealed that Foresight policy involves monitoring businesses in accordance with five key areas, one of which includes exploring the extent to which firms reinvest into their regions of origin.

“At Foresight, we have five key areas that we look at within businesses we work with. When we’re supporting those regional businesses, we look at their awareness, their environmental approach, their social engagement, their governance and their third-party interactions. We look to monitor businesses in that way and help support them and ensure that they are reinvesting back into their regions. That is to drive that local job growth, to improve the local health conditions, and much more.”

While the immediate future will undoubtedly come with significant challenges, Pomroy is optimistic for the future of Foresight Group and its relationship with regional businesses as it looks to work with greater numbers of firms to generate growth.

“The coming months will bring a number of challenges for Foresight with businesses and individuals grappling with rising inflation rates, shipping costs going through the roof, supply chain issues and post-Brexit regulatory changes. We are also seeing a lot of recruitment challenges as well across the market.

“However, it should be an exciting year ahead for us. We've got we've got more funds under management than we've ever had. We are constantly in the process of fundraising and looking to grow our team and presence across the UK. We are always excited to work with new businesses and I think we are in for an exciting 12 months and beyond.”

Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash 

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Authored By

Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
March 12th 2022, 8:08am

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