British Business Bank welcomes Stephen Welton CBE as Chair

Press release 04 October 2023

The Government has today announced the appointment of Stephen Welton CBE as the new Non-executive Chair of the British Business Bank.

Stephen Welton takes over from Lord Smith of Kelvin, who has held the position for six years since September 2017. In 2013, Stephen was appointed as an advisor to the UK Government regarding the establishment of the British Business Bank and, in 2017, served as a member of the Industry Panel advising HM Treasury on the Patient Capital Review. He was also a member of the Prime Minister’s 2021 Business Council and member of the Innovate Council 2018-2021.

Stephen Welton has extensive experience as an investor in private capital markets around the world.  He was the founder CEO of the Business Growth Fund (BGF) from 2011 to 2020, then Executive Chair between 2020 and 2022, and later Non-executive Chair until July 2023. BGF is the UK’s most active investor in scaling businesses and the model has been successfully replicated in a number of other countries internationally. He also serves as Chair of the BGF Foundation.

Prior to BGF, he was one of the founding partners of global private equity firm CCMP Capital (formerly JP Morgan Partners) and, before that, managing director of Barclays Private Equity and Henderson Ventures, which he also co-founded. Stephen has significant board experience and is currently a Non-executive Director of FTSE 250 ICG plc.

I have dedicated much of my career to investing in growing companies and backing entrepreneurs and innovators. I believe passionately that finance is a vital ingredient in helping smaller businesses start up, grow and achieve their ambitions, and to maintaining their enormous contribution to the UK economy nationwide.

That is why I am delighted to take up my position at the British Business Bank as Chair. This is a pivotal time for the economy as we look to drive innovation and growth, while substantially increasing the level of long term investment in the UK . I look forward to working with the team at the Bank as well with as colleagues in Government and the private sector.

Stephen Welton CBE, Chair of the British Business Bank

On behalf of the British Business Bank, I would like to thank Lord Smith for his outstanding service to the Bank and leadership of the Board during his term of office.

The British Business Bank is delighted to mark this new phase in our organisation’s growth and development by welcoming Stephen Welton, who will take up his position as our new Chair this month. He has an impressive record of leadership, significant investment and scale up expertise, and has demonstrated a deep commitment to smaller businesses over several decades. He will be an invaluable asset to the Bank.

Louis Taylor CEO, British Business Bank

Stephen Welton started his career in banking, has a law degree from Durham University, and is a qualified Barrister-at-Law.  He was awarded a CBE in June 2023 for services to Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship.

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Notes to editors

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £12.2 billion2  of finance to more than 96,000 smaller businesses ².

As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.

The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at the British Business Bank.

  • 2

    Figures as at the end of March 2022