Sir Nigel Rudd agrees to chair new force for UK Business Angels Association

4 July 2012



With Angel investing being recognised as the most significant source of finance for start-up and early stage businesses, the UK Business Angels Association has been launched today as the new name for the national trade association, promoting angel investing in the UK- and with a new Chair, Sir Nigel Rudd, leading industrialist and active angel investor.

  • There are estimated to be 18,000 angels in the UK, investing nearly £1 billion annually in start-ups and early stage companies. This number is growing every year as angels become an increasingly significant source of funding and support for the UK economy.
  • The UK Business Angels Association which was launched at the trade body’s National Investment Summit in London, on 2nd July, will supersede the British Business Angels Association which was established in 2004. It will also have a new dedicated team and will be relocated within Pinners Hall, home of the BBA, enabling it to work closely with the Association and its banking membership.  Angel investing has both expanded and changed in recent years, and the newly strengthened organisation reflects these developments.
  • UK Business Angels also has the backing of several key players in the business finance marketplace, including the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and the £2.5bn Business Growth Fund (BGF), as well as Capital for Enterprise Ltd, NESTA and Lloyds TSB Commercial.

Recent changes to UK angel investment:

Angel investing has been considerably reinforced under the coalition government; firstly through increasing the tax breaks under the Enterprise Investment Scheme to 30%;  and further by the introduction of a new 50% tax break under SEIS, the Seed Enterprise Investment scheme [with one-off capital gains tax relief for 2012-13]. The government has also backed a new £50m Angel Co-Fund managed by Capital for Enterprise and funded under the Regional Growth Fund, designed to leverage angel investment and encourage syndication, offering between £100 and £1 m alongside syndicated angel deals.

Recent years have also seen the emergence of new types of angel investors. Although formal and informal syndicates still offer one of the easiest ways for prospective new angels to enter the market, a new class of Super Angels has recently emerged.  Following the US Silicon Valley trend, highly capitalised entrepreneurs who have successfully exited their own businesses are identifying new opportunities to recycle their money and nurture the next wave of high growth start-ups.

Role of the new UK Business Angels Association:

The new UK Business Angels Association aims to reflect these new developments in the market place, and to represent the diverse angel investment community in the UK.   It will identify gaps and needs in the market and act as a voice to government to ensure that policy developments continue to be supportive of angel investing.

Whilst this is a growing community, it is also clear that there are still not enough business angels available to meet the capital needs of Britain’s entrepreneurs. UK Business Angels has a major role to play in raising awareness and promoting the asset class. The “Be An Angel” online portal ( and campaign is just one of the ways that UK Business Angels is helping to raise awareness and educate prospective investors and companies looking for funding. The Be An Angel website offers a new platform to encourage more private individuals to become investors, offering a resources and advice about how to get involved.

Working closely with its new strategic partners, UK Business Angels Association will seek to establish better linkages between angel finance and bank finance, and with other equity providers such as BGF, who can provide the next stage of growth capital for successful companies, as well as providing a means for angels to recognise some of their returns.

Of his appointment as Chairman of the UK Business Angels Association, Sir Nigel Rudd said,

“There has never been a better time to become an angel investor. And not for a long time has the need for this investment been so great.

“I have been an active angel investor for many years, and helping to fund and support new ideas and young, ambitious management teams, has provided me with some of my most enjoyable and memorable business experiences. And whilst not every investment has worked out exactly as I had hoped, over the long term and across a diversified portfolio, I have made a good return.

“As the chairman of BGF I am also very aware of the need to find and support young ventures that growth capital investors such as BGF can later help to become the great British businesses of the future.

“I am extremely happy to be taking on this new role, and I look forward to working with the new CEO Jenny Tooth to help establish the UK Business Angels Association as the leading voice and recognised champion for a growing British angel community”

Jenny Tooth, CEO of UK Business Angels Association said,

Angel investors are the most significant source of finance for start-up and early stage entrepreneurs in the UK.  I am looking forward to building the newly strengthened trade association, with the backing of our partners, to support this growing and dynamic community. . 

“I am delighted that Sir Nigel Rudd has agreed to take on the role of Chair, bringing his longstanding business experience to the new UK Business Angels Association.   As an active angel investor, Sir Nigel will be a strong ambassador to encourage more individuals to become business angels and identify the opportunities of this asset class.

“Successful angel investing is not just about funding more start-ups; it must also be about making sure that when an idea takes off, the company and management behind it also develops. Ideally there should be a continuum of funding and support, ensuring our best new companies all realise their full potential. And angels also need an opportunity to realise some profit. As chairman of BGF, Sir Nigel brings valuable knowledge and experience of the next step of the funding journey for growing enterprises, and I look forward to forging closer ties between the two organisations.”

About Sir Nigel Rudd

Sir Nigel Rudd is best known as founder of Williams plc in 1982, which went on to become one of the largest industrial holding companies in the United Kingdom until its demerger in November 2000, creating Chubb plc and Kidde plc. He is presently Chairman of BGF (Business Growth Fund), BAA Limited and the technology company Invensys plc.

He is also an active angel investor.

Sir Nigel was knighted in 1996 for services to manufacturing. He has been Chairman of some of the largest companies in the UK, including Pilkington, Alliance Boots and the UK’s largest car retailer, Pendragon PLC, the company he founded with one dealership in 1982. He was a Director of Barclays PLC for 13 years, latterly as Deputy Chairman.

UK Business Angels Association

The UK Business Angels Association is the new name of the BBAA going forward from July 2012 and is the national trade association representing angel and early stage investment in the UK. Each year private investors account for around £1 billion of early stage investment in the UK; the single largest source of early stage capital in this country. The angel community in the UK is also very diverse reflecting a range of different models and approaches including angel networks, small groups and syndicates; super angels and individual investors. The UK Business Angels Association will represent and connect all the various facets of angel investing, including early stage VC funds, as well as advisers and intermediaries; policy makers and academics. The trade body will work closely with all other sources of angel investing both traditional and non traditional finance sources to ensure a coherent ecosystem for financing the growth of start-up and early stage businesses.

UK Business Angels Association is supported by strategic supporters and sponsors representing key players in the financial community being British Bankers Association; BGF (Business Growth Fund); Capital for Enterprise Ltd;  NESTA and Lloyds Tsb Commercial

The trade body has a number of roles which include:

•Promoting angel investment  to individuals with the financial capacity and experience to support growth of entrepreneurs

•Acting as the voice of the angel and early stage investment community

•Engaging in regular dialogue with Government, opinion formers and leaders at a national level to shape policy for the benefit of the industry

•Facilitating contact and exchange of best practice and experience between angels, venture capitalists, banks  and other sources of early stage funding bot traditional and non traditional

•Creating links with other like-minded national and international associations and organisations


For more information visit:

Contact: Jenny Tooth,, 020 7321 5675