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A new chair & board members to support BBRC’s ambitious plans for growth

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two new board members and a new chair to strengthen the board and support our future growth.

Ruth Foreman, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital’s new chair

Investment industry leader Marika Mansley joins as deputy chair, and Burgess Salmon’s Richard Leeming joins as a non-executive director. Meanwhile existing board member Ruth Foreman takes up the role of chair.

Marika was previously chief investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership – a regulated investment manager for the pension funds of ten local authorities, primarily located in the South West – where she established the investment function. Prior to that, she was chief investment officer for the Environment Agency Pension Fund, where she turned the £3.5bn public sector pension fund into one of the most admired and best run medium-sized institutional investors. She has extensive expertise of what institutional investors want in their investment manager, and will be using that to help BBRC. Prior to that she helped establish and develop Rathbone Greenbank Investments as a specialist responsible investment division of Rathbones, where she led their approach to impact investing, supporting a range of pioneering opportunities.

At BBRC as well as her duties as deputy chair, Marika will be using her extensive experience to work with the team to help BBRC develop and strengthen its investment proposition and raise funds from a range of potential investors.

Commenting on his appointment, Marika said:

I am delighted to have been invited to join the Board of BBRC, combining as it does my passion for impact investment and this great region I have made home for nearly 20 years. With fantastic people and great opportunities, if we can help unlock and channel finance then we can support local growth and have a real positive effect on the area whilst giving our investors the returns and impact they seek.

Newly appointed chair Ruth Foreman has practiced as a chartered accountant for all of her working life and previously ran her own practice and subsequently the Bristol Office of one of the international firms. She was appointed Pro-Chancellor of the University of Bath in 2020, after roles as chair of Council and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, where she led a major governance review for the university, which resulted in an update of its governance structures and processes. 

Ruth has been involved with Bristol & Bath Regional Capital since it was established in 2015, bringing her working knowledge of social impact evaluation to the team. Her other major volunteering role is with St John Ambulance, for whom she is the unit manager for Bath, a first aider and community advocate.

New chair of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, Ruth Foreman

Ruth says:

Ed, the team and the board have worked incredibly hard to get Bristol & Bath Regional Capital to the position it is now. I am pleased to be taking on the role of chair and look forward to working with them as we continue to evolve and grow.

New non-executive director of Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, Richard Leeming

New non-executive director Richard Leeming has spent his career in banking and finance, with a particular emphasis on real estate development. Currently the head of the Financial Services Sector Group at Burges Salmon, his work has included funding over £1bn of student accommodation, a 500-unit residential development and multiple other real estate finance transactions across the UK and wider Europe. Richard also champions and takes active steps to support potential talent, including mentoring colleagues through to partnership, being a strong ally of Burges Salmon’s LGBT group and being one of the initial members of the firm’s Gender Task Force. He is also a mentor for Stepping Up Bristol.

Ed Rowberry, chief executive, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, says:

“We are delighted that Ruth has agreed to take on the role of chair, having provided instrumental support to Bristol & Bath Regional Capital since its formation seven years ago. We are also excited to welcome Mark and Richard to the board, bringing their wealth of investment experience and talent.

Having a strengthened board is vital to supporting our ambitious growth plans. Over the next few years, we want to become a significant driving force in the development of the region through innovative, place-based investment that delivers social and environmental impact and helps tackle the housing crisis, to create a flourishing regional economy.”

BBRC chief executive, Ed Rowberry

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