Our specialist sectors

Our Team

People that make things happen

Adam Rudd

Adam Rudd

Director

Adam was Beech Tree's first employee, joining in 2015. He enjoys spending time with his family and staying on top of the latest trends in technology.
Andrea Palmer

Andrea Palmer

Finance Director

Andrea joined Beech Tree as Finance Director in September 2021 and is a Chartered Accountant. She is married with three children and enjoys dining out, travelling and exercising.
Andy Marsh

Andy Marsh

Managing Partner

Andy co-founded Beech Tree and focuses on the Financial Services and Tech-enabled Services sectors. He is family-orientated and enjoys watching his children’s sports teams.
Ben Cartwright

Ben Cartwright

Investment Director

Ben has worked in M&A for the majority of his career and focuses on Financial Services. He is a water polo enthusiast where he competes at a national standard for City of Birmingham.
Leigh Thomas

Leigh Thomas

Investment Manger

Leigh had prior experience in Leveraged Finance and Relationship Management for Barclays. He is a long-standing season ticket holder at Everton and plays football for Altrincham Hale FC.
Luke Burns

Luke Burns

Investment Director

Luke brings experience in due diligence and corporate finance and has a keen interest in the technology sector. He spends a lot of his own time on the golf course and in Manchester's bars and restaurants.
Paul Franks

Paul Franks

Managing Partner

Paul co-founded Beech Tree and focuses on the Technology and Tech-enabled Services sectors. He is married with two children and enjoys most sports, especially football and cycling (as a hobbyist).
Simon Hemley

Simon Hemley

Director

Simon has over 15 years of private equity experience. His weekends often include watching Bath Rugby and coaching an under-8s team - either rugby in the winter or cricket in the summer.
Andrea Palmer

Andrea Palmer

Finance Director

"Working at Beech Tree provides me with the perfect balance of challenge and sense of achievement in this unique industry. I am always excited about what the next day will bring."

Andrea is married with three children and when she is not running around after them she enjoys dining out, travelling and trying to exercise.

Andrea joined Beech Tree as Finance Director in September 2021 having worked in a range of industries since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant.

Andrea started her career at PwC where she spent a happy six years in Audit in the Midlands working mainly with Private Equity backed clients. Andrea then moved to Australia where she worked for a range of companies across a spectrum of industries including construction and a digital creative studio. Following her return to the UK, she has worked in senior finance roles, including Financial Controller for Easyfundraising.

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Leigh Thomas

Leigh Thomas

Investment Manger

"I love having the opportunity to work with really ambitious management teams to co-create exciting business plans. Not only does it enable us to build market leading businesses but it’s incredibly rewarding watching our portfolio companies grow into the next stage of the business lifecycle."

Outside of work, Leigh enjoys socialising with family and friends alongside focusing on his fitness by going to the gym and playing football (currently for Altrincham Hale FC). Leigh is also a long-standing season ticket holder at Everton FC.

Leigh is an Investment Manager at Beech Tree focused on sourcing and executing investment opportunities as well as supporting our portfolio. Since joining Leigh has been involved in our investments in Performanta and Ancoris.

Prior to joining Beech Tree, Leigh spent 7 years at Barclays undertaking roles in both Relationship Management and more recently Leveraged Finance where he supported both Private Equity and Corporate clients in financing strategic transactions such as Growth Capex, Cash Outs and M&A.

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Luke Burns

Luke Burns

Investment Director

"As sector specialists we gain real insight into the sectors we invest in, meaning we know precisely what we're looking for and understand how to help each individual business grow. And by living and breathing in our sectors we've built strong networks and domain expertise which we bring to the table for our partners."

Luke enjoys most sports, especially football – both as a player and a spectator (a loyal Nottingham Forest supporter). At the weekend Luke spends his time trying to improve his golf handicap and exploring the restaurants and bars of Manchester.

Luke is an Investment Director at Beech Tree, bringing a wealth of experience in advising technology & tech-enabled businesses. Since joining he has been involved in our investments in Avid, Transparity, Performanta and Ancoris, as well as the sale of our investment in Wavenet.

Prior to joining Beech Tree, Luke spent three years in Melbourne, Australia, working for a boutique investment bank advising on mid-market M&A transactions. Prior to that he helped establish the Manchester office for GP Bullhound, a European Technology Investment Bank.

Luke is a Chartered Accountant and trained with PwC in the audit department before spending three years in the Transaction Services team working on due diligence engagements. For over ten years now, Luke has been involved in the deals environment working on a variety of M&A transactions for both private equity and corporate clients.

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Simon Hemley

Simon Hemley

Director

"I love working in private equity – always working with interesting entrepreneurs and partnering with them to ensure that growth plans become a reality and that we can accelerate growth together."

Simon is married with three children and lives in Bath. He loves all sports and weekends often include playing tennis, watching Bath Rugby (he is a season ticket holder) and coaching either rugby teams in the winter or cricket teams in the summer.

Simon joined Beech Tree Private Equity as a Director in October 2019 and has over almost20 years corporate finance experience with c.15 years spent in private equity. Prior to joining Beech Tree, Simon spent 8 years at Gresham Private Equity between 2006 and 2014 (working closely with Andy, Paul and Adam) and was a key member of the financial services team. More recently, Simon spent 5 years at LDC where he was appointed Head of LDC’s Bristol office.

Simon has invested in a number of businesses including 7City, LAS, Adey, Amberon, ZipWorld, Kirona, Equiom, and the NEC. At Beech Tree, Simon has invested in and sits on the Board of Transparity and Advanta.

Prior to his career as an investor, Simon worked for 4 years at Ernst & Young where he was a member of their London corporate finance team and advised on private equity transactions.

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Ben Cartwright

Ben Cartwright

Investment Director

"Having the opportunity to work alongside ambitious entrepreneurs and helping them to scale their businesses to become category leaders fuels my passion for what I do"

Much of Ben’s spare time is spent playing water polo, where he competes at a national standard for City of Birmingham. Ben also enjoys playing tennis and is a season ticket holder at Stoke City FC.

Ben is an Investment Director at Beech Tree, splitting his time between sourcing new investments, executing transactions and helping portfolio companies to achieve their growth plans. Since joining the team, Ben has worked on a number of bolt-on acquisitions for various portfolio companies, including the acquisition of Brytannic Extra Finance by Fluent Money Group and, BCN’s acquisition of Blue Logic Group and Avid’s acquisition of IIGL. Ben also sits on the boards of Fluent Money Group, Redstor and Avid Insurance Services as a non-executive director.

Before joining Beech Tree, Ben worked for Deloitte where he was an Assistant Director in the Corporate Finance Advisory team. For over five years, Ben advised a range of clients on a variety of M&A scenarios including MBOs, disposals and carve-outs. Ben is a chartered accountant, having spent three years in the Deloitte Audit department prior to joining the Corporate Finance Advisory team.

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Adam Rudd

Adam Rudd

Director

"It’s a genuine privilege working with management teams who are leading their respective industries. The best part for me is when I look back at the companies we have helped develop and what they have achieved. This is not only in terms of the growth but more importantly the quality of the people we have helped bring together to make the business a real success. After all, the quality of the team and it’s culture is what makes a great business."

Adam is married with 2 children and enjoys tennis, golf and mountain biking when not spending time with his family. Although having 2 children under the age of 10 has had a significant impact on his golf handicap.

Adam is a Director at Beech Tree Private Equity and sits on the boards of Learnlight, BCN, Transparity, Performanta and Ancoris. He has significant experience both investing and advising technology & tech-enabled businesses across Europe. He was involved in Gresham Private Equity’s investments in Invest is and IESA and helped establish the Manchester office for GP Bullhound, a leading European Technology Investment Bank.

Prior to joining Beech Tree, Adam held senior roles in the technology sector team at Gresham Private Equity and KPMG having previously been in industry at AO.com. Adam’s early career included several positions in a UK small cap investment bank where he was an equity capital markets advisor helping companies IPO on both AIM and the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

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Andy Marsh

Andy Marsh

Managing Partner

"Starting up Beech Tree has allowed us to instil the right values into the culture of the business from day one, which, as most entrepreneurs know is so important for the success of their businesses. This as well as the exceptional sector focused team we have built have been the main reasons behind our success to date...long may it continue"

Andy founded Beech Tree Private Equity with Paul in October 2014 and focuses on investing financial services and support services companies. Andy has over 25 years private equity experience investing in these sectors in the UK and Australia - some of his deals include Fluent Money, Avid, Advanta Wealth, Learnlight, Giles, Ansa, IESA, LAS , ICR Integrity and James Grant.

Andy sits on the Investment Committee of Beech Tree and the Boards of Fluent Money, Learnlight, Avid and Advanta Wealth. Before starting Beech Tree Andy worked at Gresham Private Equity for ten years where he ran the Manchester office and sat on the board of Gresham.

Andy is married with 3 children and most weekends involve supporting them (driving them around) in sporting activities. His other interests include the theatre, travel and watching his football team Manchester City. He has particular passion for social mobility and that features in the ESG policy of Beech Tree.

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Paul Franks

Paul Franks

Managing Partner

“The opportunity to set up and run a dynamic private equity business, having come from a mainstream mid-market private equity background, was just too tempting! Working with like-minded ambitious founders of high growth businesses, with the passion and energy that brings, is such a privilege”

Paul is married with two children and enjoys most sports, especially football (both playing and as a coach to his sons’ teams) and road cycling (or on the Peleton in the winter months!). Most weekends involve some form of sport, either participating or watching either his kids rugby or Aston Villa – both have their ups and downs!

Before setting up Beech Tree Private Equity with Andy in October 2014, Paul was Head of the Birmingham office of Gresham Private Equity and a member of the Gresham board. Paul has been involved in corporate finance for 25 years. Paul leads the technology sector at Beech Tree, alongside Adam. It’s an exciting area with technology transforming all aspects of our business and personal lives, so to be at the forefront of this change is amazing. Paul sits on the boards of Ancoris, Performanta, Redstor and RS Connect.

Prior to working in private equity, Paul worked for a number of years in the corporate finance department for PricewaterhouseCoopers advising on a number of transactions including MBOs, public to privates and development capital deals. Paul was also seconded to Bridgepoint Capital.

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