Infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight launches in Dublin, Ireland
Foresight Group (Foresight), a private equity and infrastructure investment manager, has announced the opening of its new office in Dublin, Ireland. This is Foresight’s first office in Ireland and will be located at Carmichael House, 60 Lower Baggot Street. It is the first of three offices planned to be opened this year, the others being in the UK in Leeds and Newcastle.
The team based in the Dublin office will mainly source, execute and manage investments for the AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund (the Fund) as well as support Foresight’s other activities in Ireland. With a cornerstone investment from Allied Irish Banks (AIB), the Fund reached its first close at €30 million in early July 2022.
Barclay Clibborn has joined the Foresight team as Principal of the Fund and Philip Gardiner has joined as Investment Director. Barclay brings over 20 years’ experience, most recently as Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Bord Gáis Energy, with prior experience in corporate finance, environmental services and telecommunications industries. Philip has over ten years’ experience financing SMEs, with eight years at private equity investor Renatus Capital Partners where he was responsible for managing investments in growing Irish SMEs across a broad range of sectors.
Barclay Clibborn, Principal, AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund, Foresight Group: “I am delighted to join Foresight in establishing its first office in Ireland. A growing number of businesses across Ireland and Northern Ireland are now placing sustainability, particularly net zero, at the core of their growth plans. I am looking forward to meeting these businesses, and the broader advisory community, to explore how Foresight can accelerate their growth plans and enhance long term value.”
The AIB Foresight SME Impact Fund will provide €2 million to €5 million investments to smaller companies in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, with the ability to make smaller or larger investments. This will support businesses with their net zero plans, stimulate high-quality, local job creation and accelerate the transition towards a low carbon economy – ensuring a greener future across the island of Ireland. The Fund aims to raise €75 million.
The Fund will benefit from Foresight’s extensive experience of supporting smaller companies through various economic cycles and from its sustainable infrastructure investment division. Foresight is one of the UK’s most active SME investors; in 2021, its private equity funds invested into 58 SMEs and created more than 500 high-quality, local jobs across the UK.
Phillip Gardiner, Investment Director, Foresight: “Foresight’s SME funds have created thousands of local jobs in regions throughout the UK. It’s a privilege to be given the responsibility of helping to replicate that in Ireland, tapping into our island’s dynamic sectors in order to help our brilliant SMEs flourish both at home and abroad.”
Foresight’s sustainable infrastructure division is one of Europe’s and Australia’s most established teams, managing more than 330 sustainable assets globally and generating power from more than 3GW of green energy assets. In Ireland, Foresight has recently invested in the MaresConnect interconnector project which will link the power markets of Ireland and Great Britain and has existing SME investments operating in the country, such as Hospital Services Ltd and Usheru Ltd.
James Livingston, Partner, Foresight Group: “Our presence in Dublin offers us a significant foothold in a critical market. In Barclay and Phillip, we have two highly capable, experienced and respected professionals joining to build our presence in the market. This is a very exciting milestone for Foresight Group, as we continue to expand our footprint to enhance the services we offer to dynamic small businesses throughout the UK and Ireland.”