Downing appoints head of healthcare ventures

Handshake5Investment firm Downing has appointed Nigel Pitchford to the newly created role of head of healthcare ventures.His appointment comes as Downing looks to further develop its healthcare platform while expanding retail funds alongside its institutional offerings.

Pitchford had previously been at Ieso Digital Health, serving as chief executive since March 2019. Prior to this he was chief investment officer at Touchstone Innovations for five years, and chief investment officer at Imperial Innovations for five years. He also has a PhD in chemistry from Durham University.

Kostas Manolis, head of private market investments at Downing, said: “We have made the strategic decision to further invest in healthcare ventures – given the strength of the market, increased investor appetite post-pandemic, as well as the social impact element that is inherent in this sector, whether that’s improving patient outcomes or access to healthcare and innovation. We are delighted to welcome Nigel to help drive further growth for our business.”

Downing’s healthcare ventures team has, since its inception in 2014, deployed over £36 million of venture capital across 20 businesses in the sector.

Pitchford said: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining Downing and the Healthcare Ventures team. There is already a great team that has built a compelling portfolio, track record and pipeline. I’m looking forward to using my experience to support the portfolio companies and, in turn, deliver enhanced returns for investors.”

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