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Name: Paul Humphray
Company: MSIF
Job title: Investment Director
NPIF area: Liverpool City Region and wider North West

Describe a typical day as a fund manager?

I like to get into the office early to avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic, and read through the usual business media daily news emails and prepare for meetings during the day.  These can include SME owners looking for funding, follow up visits with our Portfolio manager post investment, or networking events with intermediaries. In between I will work on assessing businessplans and financial accounts and forecasts and putting forward appraisals of applications to our Investment Panel.  After finishing with another trawl through emails I’ll leave the office around 5.30/6pm again to give traffic time to dissipate.

What is it like working with SMEs across the North?

It’s really rewarding and something I’ve enjoyed doing for the past 25 years or more. I really admire people who have made the decision to run their own business with all the responsibility that entails not least towards employees.  One of the best and most interesting parts of the role is visiting businesses to see how they operate – a site visit just helps bring a business to life and aids understanding. We are really lucky to have such a wide variety of businesses here in the north west.

What characteristics do you look for in a new deal?

Ideally we are looking for growth potential which will usually involve job creation along the way. The owner/management team skills are also key to a successful investment. As I work on the debt side, the ability to meet loan repayments is imperative.

What sectors should we keep an eye on in the North?

The digital and creative sector has a number of hubs across the north that are producing some eyecatching outputs.  Here in Liverpool City Region, there is also a growing focus on renewable energy and the related support services and the new Liverpool 2 Superport facility will help bring renewed business to the whole port hinterland. I’m always keen to try and support manufacturers and whilst George Osborne’s  March of the Makers didn’t quite materialize, there are still a surprising  number of small businesses producing items.

Proudest career achievement to date

I’m always delighted and proud to see businesses I’ve supported be successful, and thereby help to grow the local economy and there are many examples of that. It’s also nice to know that you’ve helped make a difference and again I’ve a number of emails from business owners saying they wouldn’t be where they are without my help.

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m a keen football supporter holding season tickets at both Wigan Athletic and Liverpool and also watch my grandson play in the Wigan Youth League where I’m also Treasurer. I enjoy a game of golf but need to spend more time practicing to get my handicap down below 20 – but not sure my wife would appreciate that!  Finally as my colleagues will attest to, I love my holidays – 20 years going to Goa now.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

The MSIF group of funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Limited which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.

BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682.

Editors Notes

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