ICG Selected as Investment Partner for UK Government-backed Long-term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative

British Business Bank to provide £100m into ICG Life Sciences strategy, Phoenix Group also joins as co-anchor with £100m commitment

ICG, the global alternative asset manager, today announced it has been selected by the British Business Bank to receive investment from the new Long-term Investment for Technology and Science (LIFTS) initiative. Announced today, the LIFTS initiative seeks to mobilise institutional investment into the UK’s Science and Technology companies, and will help enable Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes to invest, offering potential benefits to their members by providing access to investments in high growth companies.

The LIFTS commitment of £100m confirms British Business Bank as an anchor investor into ICG’s Life Sciences strategy, which will continue to invest into innovative Life Sciences companies to support their growth ambitions. In addition to the investment received from British Business Bank, the strategy has received a matched £100m anchor investment from Phoenix, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. Both awards are subject to ongoing commercial discussions and the internal governance processes of all involved parties.

Investments into this strategy will be made by ICG’s dedicated and highly-experienced Life Sciences team. Based in London, the core team has worked together since 2018 and combines both extensive investment experience as well as a deep operational focus. All team members have worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and four of them have been CEOs of biotech companies. The Team has also been involved in over 120 drug discovery and development programmes, and has taken 25 products to market.

Benoît Durteste
Benoît Durteste

Commenting on the funding, Benoît Durteste, CEO and CIO of ICG said:

ICG is proud to have been selected for the LIFTS scheme, which aligns with our longer-term ambition to be the premier European Life Sciences investor. As a UK headquartered global alternative asset manager with over 35 years of experience, we fully support this initiative to unlock UK institutional pension capital and catalyse investment into science and technology. The UK continues to deliver world class research and through our dedicated Life Sciences strategy, we look forward to supporting the growth ambitions of the UK’s most innovative Life Sciences companies.

Allan Marchington
Allan Marchington

Allan Marchington, Head of Life Sciences for ICG, said:

The Life Sciences sector is instrumental in developing and scaling the innovations which will enable the world to tackle many of its healthcare challenges. ICG’s Life Sciences strategy and the LIFTS initiative will play a significant part in ensuring these ground-breaking companies have the investment to achieve their ambitions.

Andy Briggs, Chief Executive Officer at Phoenix Group, commented: 

“Our successful bids into the LIFTS initiative, subject to internal governance processes, are testament to our continued commitment to give our customers access to the potential returns of a broader range of assets, in line with their international counterparts. Currently, the UK lags significantly behind comparable international markets (P7) who typically invest 20% of their pensions in private market assets, compared to 14% in the UK, with the UK remaining the lowest allocating country to private markets within the P7.”

“LIFTS will give us more opportunities to provide stable, patient capital to the UK’s most innovative businesses to accelerate their growth, whilst delivering potential higher returns to our customers. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to deliver a successful outcome with customer protection remaining at its core.”

Louis Taylor, CEO, British Business Bank said:

“Long-Term Investment for Technology and Science is a potentially game-changing initiative. With the intention of catalysing more than £1bn of funding, including from UK pension funds, LIFTS will support the growth and ambitions of the UK’s most innovative science and technology companies, which with the right finance and support can become the world-beating businesses of tomorrow.

“We welcome today’s announcement by the Chancellor, and look forward to concluding agreements with Phoenix Group, Schroders plc and ICG plc, and to working with them as they build towards making their first investments under the initiative by the end of this year.”

For further information please contact:

Catherine Armstrong
Interim Head of Corporate Communications
T. +44 20 3545 1850
M. +44 7710 385 313
Email: [email protected]

About ICG

ICG provides flexible capital solutions to help companies develop and grow. We are a leading global alternative asset manager with over 35 years’ history, managing $86.3bn of assets* and investing across the capital structure. We operate across four asset classes: Structured and Private Equity, Private Debt, Real Assets, and Credit.

We develop long-term relationships with our business partners to deliver value for shareholders, clients and employees, and use our position of influence to benefit the environment and society. We are committed to being a net zero asset manager across our operations and relevant investments by 2040.

ICG is a member of the FTSE 100 and listed on the London Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: ICP). Further details are available at www.icgam.com. You can follow ICG on LinkedIn, X (Twitter) and Instagram.

*as at 31 December 2023

Notes to Editors:

The ICG Life Science team is made up of seven senior members:

Allan Marchington, Head of Life Sciences

Allan is an entrepreneur and has been a life science investor for the last 20 years. He started his career in R&D at Pfizer, before founding, growing and selling his company, Cambridge Discovery Chemistry within 3 years. Following the acquisition, he served on the Senior Leadership team at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, before joining Abingworth. In 2005, he co-founded Apposite Capital a venture and growth stage healthcare investor and in 2018 he founded Bridge Valley Ventures, where the ICG Life Science team came together. For 9 years Allan was a Board Member at the UK Bioindustry Association (BIA).

Toby Sykes, Managing Director

Toby has 16 years investment experience at blue chip firms, including Essex Woodlands (now EW Healthcare Partners) and Syncona. He has investment experience from seed investments through to large growth equity transactions. Whilst at Essex Woodlands, he led the firm’s investment in EUSA Pharma, a UK based spin out of Jazz Pharmaceuticals which was sold to Recordati for €750 million. Prior to Essex, Toby was a Director of Business Development at Cephalon, a NASDAQ-listed oncology and neuroscience biotech company.

Simon Tate, Managing Director

Simon is a highly respected neuroscientist and entrepreneur. He spent 21 years at GSK where he led R&D departments in neurology and psychiatry and was responsible for global pain, epilepsy, and migraine therapeutic areas. In 2015 he led the spin-out of Convergence Pharmaceuticals, as founder, CSO and CEO. On only $33.6 million of equity capital Convergence achieved impressive Phase II data for its lead compound in trigeminal neuralgia, a debilitating pain condition. The company sold to Biogen for $675 million in 2015. Simon continued at Biogen for 3 years before co-founding Bridge Valley Ventures.

Tracy Weightman, Associate Director

Tracy Weightman has over 20 years’ experience in venture capital, company creation and drug development. She has 8 years’ experience as an investor working for Epidarex Capital, Bridge Valley Ventures and now ICG, focussing on company spin-out and creation in the UK market. Prior to that she spent 5 years working on academic spin-outs at Edinburgh University and Cancer Research UK. Tracy has almost 10 years’ experience in drug development and has worked as a Project Manager for leading Contract Research Organisations such as Quintiles.

Peter Kiener, Venture Partner

Peter has had an extensive career in the pharmaceutical industry, first at Bristol Myers Squibb and then at Medimmune, where he was Head of R&D. Following the sale of Medimmune to AstraZeneca for $15.6 billion, he continued as Head of Biologics before starting his own business Zyngenia, backed by NEA. Peter’s most recent venture, Sucampo, sold to Mallinckrodt for $1.2 billion. Peter is an expert in drug discovery and development in the areas of immunology and oncology.

Samantha Budd Haeberlein, Senior Advisor

Samantha is a world-renowned leader in developing new drugs for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. As SVP and Head of Neurodegeneration at Biogen, she was responsible for the company’s Alzheimer’s, dementia and movement disorder programs. At Biogen, she led the development of two drugs which have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, called Aduhelm® and Leqembi®. Prior to that, she held roles of increasing responsibility across Research and Development in the US, Canada, and Sweden with AstraZeneca.

Martin Edwards, Senior Advisor

Martin Edwards is a well-known life sciences investor both in Europe and the US. Martin began his career as a medical doctor in the UK National Health Service (NHS) before moving to Novo Nordisk, where he became Head of Research. Martin returned to the UK in 1998 to become CEO of Regeneron Ltd a UK life science company based in Manchester before joining Novo Ventures, ultimately becoming Senior Partner.

Martin recently retired from Novo Ventures but continues to serve on the Board as NED of 5 Nasdaq listed companies, KalVista Inc. (Chairman), Verona Pharma, Reata Pharma, Inozyme Pharma and Morphic Therapeutics where he contributes his scientific, medical, regulatory and investment expertise.