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New company secretary at Northern Gritstone

Northern Gritstone, the investment business focused on science and technology-enabled businesses in the North of England, has appointed Claire Blackburn as company secretary and compliance officer.

Blackburn has advised Northern Gritstone since its inception while working in her previous role as Director of Governance Services at Indigo Independent Governance. She will be based full-time at Northern Gritstone’s office in Manchester, where the company has recently invested in AssetCool, Silveray and Re:course AI.

Claire is a Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute and currently chairs the North West branch of the Institute. She has advised large publicly listed and private equity backed corporations on their governance and compliance requirements for nearly two decades, including working at Eversheds Sutherland and KPMG.

Launched in July 2021 and chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, Northern Gritstone’s investment philosophy is ‘profit with purpose’, combining strong returns for investors with wider positive, societal and economic impact.

Last month, the company announced the final close of its initial fundraise at £312 million and has already made 16 investments in some of the North of England’s most exciting future science and technology-enabled businesses.

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone said: “Claire has provided vital support to Northern Gritstone since its launch in 2021, offering expert advice on all aspects of governance and compliance. As we look to increase our investment activity, we are delighted to welcome her onto the team on a full-time basis and work with her to ensure the smooth running of our processes going forwards.”

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