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Global enterprise moves to Sheffield to help businesses 

Published: 15th July 2009

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Photo caption (from L to R) Jonathan Lewis, managing director of Governance Integrity Solutions with David Livesley, investment manager at SYIF.

A global enterprise has moved to Sheffield to help UK organisations improve their corporate governance and avoid financial meltdown.

Governance Integrity Solutions on Ecclesall Road has developed an online system for boards of directors at medium to large listed companies in the corporate sector to identify and monitor risk assessment.   

The company, which has additional bases in London and Wales after initially being launched in South Africa, also provides products which support good governance across industry sectors, including pension funds and the public sector. 

To support their UK expansion, Governance Integrity Solutions has received a £150,000 equity linked investment from South Yorkshire Investment Fund (SYIF). The funding will help build awareness of its services to the industry through marketing collateral, such as sales brochures, support services and a new website.

 Jonathan Lewis, managing director of Governance Integrity Solutions, said: “A failure in governance can result in a collapse of the organisation.

 “We can help a board of directors identify risk assessment responsibilities, gain assurance from management that all risks are being implemented and monitored, and enable the company to benchmark itself against its peers.

 “Our web-based solution enables us to load bespoke content which is appropriate to a client's particular sector to help identify where the organisation is doing well and where it can improve.

“This is done electronically meaning it is quick, easy to use and cost effective. We can also tailor content to meet the client needs and their market, while providing training and presentations on governance for boards and management.”

Jonathan sold a similar company in South Africa in 2004 after enjoying rapid growth in a two-year period. He subsequently devised a new product within the industry, offering an improved service, but was restrained from trading in competition against his previous business until 2009.

He used this time to explore expanding the business into Europe and began to research the UK where he identified a gap in the market.

Governance Integrity Solutions were recommended to base themselves in Yorkshire by Stuart Ager, network director of the Global Entrepreneur Programme, part of UK Trade and Investment - www.entrepreneurs.gov.uk 

 Jonathan added: “When looking for a base in the UK, the investment that was available from SYIF made South Yorkshire an attractive option for the development of the business.

“We are now in the process of setting up the company and securing clients. Our three-year plan aims for the business to have more than 20 employees to support the work we will have in place by 2012.”

 David Livesley, investment manager at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, said: “Evidence has shown that any company which is upfront and transparent about its risk management will be more attractive to investors. Good governance can help an organisation work better.

“Governance Integrity Solutions was itself an attractive proposition to invest in. It is providing a unique service and has a successful track record, so we have great belief that the company will grow and grow.”

SYIF can provide seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

 For more information about South Yorkshire Investment Fund, please visit www.syif.com or ring 01709 386377.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).