St Helen's Private Equity Ltd (SHPE)

About Us

Company History & Background / Tax / Directors

Company History & Background

Established in 2004, St Helen’s Private Equity Ltd (SHPE) was set up and admitted to PLUS SX (formerly Ofex) in January 2005 to enable private investors to invest in a portfolio of pre-IPO opportunities and special situations, which they would not normally see, and 'smallcap' companies. The company was de-listed from PLUS SX on 8th May 2012, and converted to a private limited company.

SHPE believes that small entrepreneurial companies provide exceptional opportunities for investors.  Many businesses with bright, seasoned and ambitious entrepreneurs and exciting business plans are looking for private equity at valuations which may reward investors.  Some of these will succeed and become larger enterprises generating significant returns for shareholders and in particular those investors who backed the business at the pre-IPO stage.

The most rapid risk adjusted value change in a company’s history is usually at the pre-IPO stage if it is successful.  SHPE was set up to find and invest in such companies.

The Private Equity sector is high risk and high reward and, whilst the Directors believe the pre-IPO stage is lower risk than the earlier or start-up stages, some pre-IPO companies will succeed and others will fail whilst some pre-IPO companies will not progress to an IPO.

The key is selecting those companies that have the greatest chance of success.  The Directors believe that, with their experience in working with enterprising companies, they have the ability to identify businesses with good growth and earnings potential.


SHPE is a UK company subject to UK corporation tax.  As an investment company without trading subsidiaries it does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). However, on the basis of the current investment strategy, shares in the Company should be eligible for inclusion in most Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs).

The Company gives no undertaking that shares in the Company are, or will be, eligible for inclusion in SIPPs. Investors will need to take their own tax advice.


Jon Pither (Non-Executive Chairman)

Jon brings considerable experience of public and private companies and is a Director of Marechale Capital. For 20 years from 1970, he developed Amari plc, an international group of engineering companies, acquired by Glynwed International plc in 1988.

Subsequently, Jon developed a range of corporate interests, including being Chairman of Active Capital Trust plc, and a number of other public and private companies. He is also Deputy Chairman of the Alumasc Group plc and Jourdan plc.

Mark Warde-Norbury

Mark graduated from Durham University and spent fourteen years with the investment bank Robert Fleming and Co. and its subsidiary Save & Prosper Group. As a senior manager in the bank, he helped to launch and manage Fleming Private Banking operation in the UK, working in conjunction with the commercial banking and corporate finance departments.

Mark left Flemings in 1998 to become a major shareholder in, and director of Marechale Capital (formerly St Helen’s Capital plc). He is an associate of the Securities Institute.

Mark founded St Helen’s Private Equity plc in 2004.

David Abell

David is an accomplished and experienced businessman. He started his career with British Leyland and was the Chairman and Chief Executive of Leyland vehicles Limited from 1978-1981. From 1981-1996 David was Chairman of Suter Plc and he is currently the Chairman of Jourdan Plc.

Hamish Williams

Hamish is a Director of Impetus Capital Limited (a business growth consultancy based in the Thames Valley).
In his work with Impetus Capital he has coached and mentored Owner Managers and Management Teams of a number of small and medium sized businesses, advising them on managing growth. His clients have included businesses in the publishing, software, distribution, and support services sectors including a Fast Track 100 company. Through his association with Marechale Capital (formerly St Helen’s Capital plc) he helped several companies become 'investment ready' and acted as Corporate Adviser to a number of companies listed on PLUS.

In 1999 he gained an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, winning the 1999 European Foundation for Management Development Case Writing Award for Entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and is a member of the Advisory Panel to TVIN (the Thames Valley Investment Network).

Nicola Brookes

Nicola is an experienced Finance Director having spent over 20 years in that role in a number of diverse companies ranging from a fully listed Public Group to start ups, venture finance backed businesses and ‘smallcap’ quoted companies. This background has given her an understanding of the strategic issues as well as the key operating and financial management aspects of successful management in times of both economic growth and recession. She has won public recognition through her selection as one of the “business” magazine’s “Forty under Forty” and as a Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year finalist.