Helen Golightly OBE

Helen Golightly OBE

Chair
Helen has been the Chief Executive Officer of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership since 2015 and leads the delivery of the North East Strategic Economic Plan, working with partners to grow the local economy by securing investment in the region and improving skills and business support for residents and businesses. Under Helen’s leadership, partner engagement with the North East LEP and the region’s Strategic Economic Plan has helped deliver over 76,000 jobs over the period 2014 - 2019 and the employment gap between the North East and England (excluding London) has reduced by 26%. She has been instrumental in securing over £2billion investment for the region, resulting in the delivery of over 200 projects securing 20,000 more jobs for the region.
Nick Badman

Nick Badman

Non-Executive Director
Nick Badman has extensive experience of both entrepreneurship and the UK SME segment gained as an investor, advisor and director. After qualification and early practise as a corporate lawyer with Clifford Chance, Nick had an 18 year executive career with 3i Group – latterly as UK Managing Director and a Senior Partner in its Pan European Buyout Business. Subsequently Nick established and led a Centre for Entrepreneurship and an innovative early stage investment fund at Cass Business School, City, University of London - where he continues as a Visiting Professor focussed on entrepreneurship. Nick currently advises a number of SMEs on growth and financing issues and sits as an external member on the Investment Committees of Albion Ventures, Angel CoFund and Venturesome – the impact investing activities of Charities Aid Foundation.
Alan Fielder

Alan Fielder

Non-Executive Director
During an extensive career with Barclays Bank, Alan held a number of senior corporate appointments in London, New York and latterly as Corporate Director for the North East & Cumbria. Subsequently he engaged in a wide range of consultancy assignments on a self-employed basis, and acted as Non- Executive Chairman for the Yorkshire Bank in the North East. He is currently Chairman of Governors at Barnard Castle School, and has also served on the boards of both Darlington College and various of the North East Regional Investment Funds. This latter experience he considers to be particularly relevant to his new responsibilities with the North East Fund. Aside from his business interests he is a very keen mountain walker.
Jason Hobbs

Jason Hobbs

Chief Executive Officer
Trained as a chartered accountant, Jason is responsible for the monitoring and reporting of the funds in addition to managing the financial systems of the business and liaising with the European Investment Bank and other stakeholders. He has worked in regional venture capital for the past 13 years, having joined NStar in 2004 helping to establish and manage the North East Proof of Concept Fund and the North East Co Investment Fund. In 2010, Jason transferred to North East Finance where he served as finance director throughout the investment life of the North East JEREMIE Fund.
Alastair Smith

Alastair Smith

Director of Legal, Compliance & Operations
Alastair was recruited to help establish the predecessor to the North East Fund and from 2010 served as its portfolio manager and company secretary. As a solicitor in private practice, he advised investors, entrepreneurs and companies on fundraisings and general corporate, commercial and regulatory matters; he also previously worked as an investment manager with Scottish Enterprise. He is now responsible for overseeing the activities of the fund managers and monitoring compliance of the North East Fund and its portfolio with the regulatory framework. He works with the fund managers and with NEF’s stakeholders to ensure that the project achieves its objectives.