Fairstone Chief, Lee Harltley
Jamie Hardesty

Regional investment must continue post-Brexit, says Fairstone chief

Lee Hartley, CEO of Boldon-based financial management firm Fairstone, has paid tribute to the role played by regional investment in supporting the company’s long term growth.

Between 2013 and 2015 Fairstone received £1.5m from the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund, managed by Northstar Ventures.

Today, the business has expanded to be the largest chartered financial planning company in the UK, with over £6bn in client assets under management.

Hartley, CEO and Founder, said: “The impact regional investment can have should not be underestimated – particularly in light of the current discussions surrounding Brexit and the Northern Powerhouse.

“With the investment and support we received from Northstar Ventures, Fairstone was able to increase its annual revenues from £15m at the inception of the relationship to its current run-rate of £36m.

“In addition, Northstar’s involvement and guidance was pivotal in enabling us to transition away from a shareholder base comprising mainly of high-net-worth individuals through to professional Private Equity shareholders – a changeover which was crystallised in the new £25m equity investment in April this year.”

Alasdair Greig, Director at Northstar Ventures, said: “In the last few years we’ve seen the local business community thrive, with start-ups across the region including Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle attracting talent and finance from other areas of the UK and beyond.

“Without access to regional investment, these companies may have been forced to relocate in order to compete for funding.

“Companies like Fairstone are a huge asset to the North East economy and are evidence of how successful regional investment strategies have been in recent years.”

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