New CEO takes the helm at NEL Fund Managers as Yvonne Gale steps down


A well known North East dealmaker has taken over as the new chief executive of regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers.

Jonathan Luke has served as the Newcastle-based firm’s portfolio director for the last four years and was promoted to deputy chief executive earlier this year as part of the company’s succession plans.

His appointment comes as Dr Yvonne Gale steps down from as CEO, having been at the helm of the financial organisation since 2015. Dr Gale, will be working alongside Mr Luke over the coming months to help complete a smooth transition before taking up a non-executive director role with NEL.

Mr Luke joined NEL in 2004 after a career in the regional banking sector. As portfolio director he has provided a direct link to the firms in which investments are made, reviewing their progress and acting as a sounding board for management teams. He has also regularly chaired NEL’s investment and portfolio committee meetings.

NEL Fund Managers is responsible for running two of the five funds which make up the £120m North East Fund. Through the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund and £9m North East Small Loan Fund it has made more than 250 investments across the region over the last four years, and during the summer, it took the total amount it has invested from the two funds past £20m.

Mr Luke said: “NEL has been helping ambitious North East businesses achieve their growth potential for more than 30 years, and despite all the challenges facing the regional economy today, there’s no shortage of robust business plans coming our way.

“The personal relationships we build with management teams, the understanding we develop of their businesses and the sounding board that we provide right through the investment relationship are the key elements of our way of working.”

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