Launch of Strand Ventures

Launch of Strand Ventures

Strand Hanson, the independent advisory led, modern merchant bank, is pleased to announce the appointments of Iek van Cruyningen and Naiem Hussain to lead Strand Ventures, a new division within the firm that will specialise in advising and investing in early stage companies and larger private companies, primarily in the natural resources, agriculture, energy, technology, healthcare, and chemical sectors.

Strand Hanson’s advisory team are introduced to a significant number of businesses each year that are looking for growth capital, but which are not necessarily yet at a stage to undertake a stock market listing and are therefore seeking access to private equity and pre-IPO funding. Strand Ventures has been established to identify the best of these companies, to potentially advise and source funds ranging from £5 million to £100+ million, both debt and equity, which would allow such companies to grow and prosper. Strand Hanson has access, through its offices in London and South Africa (where the team sees a large number of natural resource companies), to highly relevant deal flow; and it now has access, with the establishment of Strand Ventures, to expert fundraisers to help meet the requirements of these companies. Whilst Strand Ventures will have the ability to draw upon Strand Hanson’s balance sheet to fund opportunities, the majority of funding will be sourced from major external funders, with whom Iek and Naiem have strong, long-term relationships.

Having commenced operations in April 2012, Strand Ventures is already progressing with a number of investments; including a private fundraise for an African agriculture opportunity, which is expected to close in Q2 2012.

Simon Raggett, Chief Executive of Stand Hanson, said:

“We are delighted that Iek and Naiem have joined us, as they have exactly the right experience and track record needed to develop Strand Ventures. This is a logical extension of our business since we currently see a substantial number of excellent companies that are ideal candidates for the types of funding that Strand Ventures can provide. We already have the deal flow and can also provide further value-add advisory services as investee companies develop.”

Naiem Hussain, commenting on the creation of Strand Ventures, said:

“The fact that access to capital for young, entrepreneurial businesses is challenging is not novel – the pool of funders in this market segment has shrunk, which means there are a greater number of good opportunities vying for funding. We are confident that, through Strand Hanson’s deal flow connections in London and South Africa and our strong relationships with funders of early stage businesses and larger private companies, we can develop an exciting new business, with the expectation that many of these companies will ultimately seek a stock market listing as they progress.”


Strand Hanson
Simon Raggett
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 3494

Cardew Group
Tim Robertson/Shan Shan Willenbrock
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7930 0777

Background on Iek van Cruyningen and Naiem Hussain

Iek has over 17 years’ experience in the investment banking industry, having worked in London, New York and Los Angeles. Iek has a broad range of sector and transaction experience, most recently at SilverWind Securities. Prior to that Iek worked for Libertas Capital for over 6 years, where he joined to help establish the securities operation in London before becoming Head of Libertas Americas. During his career, Iek has worked in various equity capital market roles at HSBC, Enskilda Securities, Merrill Lynch and Smith New Court.

Naiem has over 20 years’ city experience, most recently at SilverWind Securities. Naiem’s previous roles include Director in the corporate finance team at FinnCap, Managing Director in corporate finance at Libertas Capital, where he specialised in energy, technology and healthcare, and at Close Brothers, the merchant bank, where he specialised in energy, mining and oil and gas. Naiem was also Head of Asset Management & Investment at Imperial Innovations, managing and advising on a number of technology spin-outs across a range of sectors.

About Strand Hanson

Founded in 1993, Strand Hanson has a strong track record in providing independent, high quality advice to public and private corporate clients, private equity houses and qualified investors across a broad range of sectors.

Strand Hanson’s diverse client base is drawn from a broad range of sectors and geographies with a particular emphasis on natural resources. Strand Hanson is the No. 1 rated oil & gas adviser on AIM, as well as being a leading adviser in the mining and metals sectors.

Consistently ranked as a leading adviser to the FTSE AIM 100.

Strand Hanson has significant experience of advising overseas companies seeking access to the UK markets with over 80 per cent. of the firm’s retained clients based, or having operations, outside the UK.

In the past five years, Strand Hanson has been involved in excess of 45 primary and secondary fundraisings and advised on in excess of 30 M&A transactions with an aggregate transaction value of circa £5 billion.

In addition, Strand Hanson has extensive experience in advising activist investors and financial sponsor clients, both on corporate transactions and restructurings.

In April 2009, the management team, led by Chief Executive Simon Raggett, undertook a management buy-out of Strand Hanson Limited and, in October 2009, welcomed The Hon. Robert Hanson as Chairman and 9.9% shareholder. Robert has significant business interests in Asia, where Strand Hanson sees great potential for significant corporate finance advisory roles, reflecting the increasing prominence of the region in global capital markets.