PwC has been appointed by Cardiff Capital Region (CCR), a conglomerate of ten local authorities across South East Wales, to run its Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) in a programme encompassing end-to-end fund management services spanning deal origination, transaction execution, portfolio management and subsequent exits over an initial five-year period.
The £50m IIF is being funded from the CCR City Deal, a £1.2 billion programme that over its lifetime is expected to deliver up to 25,000 new jobs and leverage an additional £4 billion of private sector investment across an area stretching from Bridgend to Monmouthshire, including the South Wales valleys.
The IIF will support job creation, upskilling, social inclusion and meeting wider environmental goals. Focusing on funding innovative and established businesses with equity investments of between £2 million and £7 million, both as primary funders and as co-investment opportunities, it will prioritise businesses in key growth areas including the creative industries, fintech, medtech, cybersecurity and compound semiconductor production.
PwC’s Cardiff office currently employs around 400 client-facing advisors, a figure that is forecast to rise significantly as PwC grows its overall South Wales practice, in particular investing in its Execution Managed Services propositions, which introduce specialist providers to take care of operationally intensive processes and change management programmes.
PwC and CCR will now agree an investment strategy for the IIF ahead of its launch in autumn 2022 with an expectation that it will be open for applications from October onwards. PwC’s engagement as the primary fund service provider is based on standard market practice, with pricing based on assets under management and fund performance.
John-Paul Barker, Market Leader for PwC in Wales & the West, said:
“This is a landmark piece of work for PwC in Wales; it’s an opportunity to demonstrate to the market that we are not only a firm that advises, but a firm that ‘does’. Crucially, it’s aligned to our purpose as a firm – it enables us to contribute directly to the modernisation of the regional economy, the promotion of social inclusion and fairness, and to drive growth in areas that will support the transition to net zero.”
Rhys Thomas, Chief Operating Officer for Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, said:
“We are delighted to announce the appointment of PwC as Fund Manager for our new Innovation Investment Fund. PwC has an impressive track record in fund management which coupled with a deep knowledge of the regional business community and our mutual commitment to objectives around inclusivity, social mobility, driving innovation in the economy, and widening access to capital. This makes PwC the ideal partner to fulfil the significant ambitions we have for the economic and social impact that this fund is capable of generating.”