NatWest Equity gains company secretary

NatWest Equity Partners has appointed Barry Lawson as company secretary as part of its plan to break off from parent company NatWest Bank.

Lawson remains head of compliance, a job he has done for two years since joining the bank from venture capitalist 3i where he was a compliance officer and a company solicitor.

NatWest Equity provides private equity for management buyouts and buy-ins, and it invests up to £200m in each company. It has £2bn of funds under management.

Lawson says: “We exchang-ed contracts for our own MBO in December. We hope to complete in the near future.

“I am combining two roles in my new job, which is unusual. But there are lots of crossover aspects of these roles like corporate governance.”

Lawson is the only lawyer in his department.

The role of company secretary was previously carried out by NatWest-owned company Gartmore Investment Management.

David Hankin has been appointed assistant company secretary, but instead of coming from a legal background he was a credit analyst for NatWest Equity.

Lawson says: “We are having to take on a lot. The responsibility is disproportionate to the number of people we have got.”

Despite this, he says he does not plan to expand the department or outsource more work than the company has traditionally done.

He says SJ Berwin will remain NatWest Equity’s principal legal adviser. “They are the [foremost] law firm for Financial Services Authority advice,” he says.

Other firms NatWest Equity has instructed in the past include Travers Smith Braithwaite, Pinsent Curtis and Osborne Clarke.