Thursday 27 April 2017

Mee heads €4.5m funding round for Global Shares

Tech tycoon Pearse Mee
Tech tycoon Pearse Mee
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Aristocrats and leading Irish entrepreneurs have stumped up more than €4.5m in funding for Cork-based financial services firm Global Shares.

Among those who have invested in the company is technology guru Pearse Mee.

He has injected €900,000 into the Cork business via a company in Jersey.

Mr Mee reaped as much as €94m in 2014 from the sale of his AMT-Sybex software firm to outsourced services giant Capita. Mr Mee's investment in Global Shares was the single biggest tranche received by the firm in the latest funding round.

Fexco founder Brian McCarthy, Blarney Castle owner Sir Charles Colthurst and KPMG partner Eoghan Quigley are also among those who have invested, as have Global Shares executives including Helix Healthcare founder David Raethorne.

Global Shares was founded in 2005. The founder and former ceo of IFG, Richard Hayes, later led an investment group that took a significant interest in the Cork firm. He is now chairman of Global Shares, whose ceo is Tim Houstoun.

The company has developed software used by companies to manage their employee equity plans.

It works with more than 150 firms, and its clients include well-known public and private companies such as UniCredit, Living Social, the world's biggest private company - US-based Cargill, and Brazilian brewing giant Ambev.

It has also worked with vulture funds Oaktree and Apollo.

Global Shares' headquarters are in Clonakilty, where it employs about 100 staff in roles including software development and accountancy.

New filings at the Companies Registration Office show that the company raised just over €4.5m at the end of 2016.

Also injecting equity into the business in the latest round was Northern Ireland's Marquess of Hamilton, Jamie Hamilton. He is the son of the Duke of Abercorn, and was a ceremonial page of honour to Queen Elizabeth as a young teen.

Other investors include an investment company jointly owned by Julianne Hatton, the founder and managing director of recruitment firm CareerCompass.

The Crampton family, which is behind Irish construction group G&T Crampton, has also invested in the Cork company.

The latest set of publicly-available accounts for Global Shares show that it generated revenue of $4.2m (€3.9m) in 2015, and made a $463,000 loss as investment in the business continued.

New business written during 2015 amounted to $2.3m.

Irish Independent

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