By Marcus Leach

Piper, a leading specialist in consumer brands with strong growth potential, has recruited Leon Hughes to its team.

Hughes, former Director of E-Commerce at Maximuscle, is an expert in the field of e-commerce and social media. He has previously worked as a consultant for clients such as Shell, Powergen, Divertimenti and Aga Rangemaster.

At Maximuscle, he established the online and IT infrastructure, creating more than 20 global e-commerce sites, with total revenues growing from £7m in 2002 to £40m in 2011.

At Piper, Hughes will build on the company’s excellent track record of investing in branded direct and online consumer businesses, including Boden, Maximuscle, Gray & Osbourn, Diet Chef and Celtic Sheepskin.

His appointment will enable Piper to diligence prospective investments more effectively, alongside its in-house consumer insight research capabilities. Existing portfolio companies will also be able to draw on Hughes’s expertise to accelerate their growth, in keeping with the Piper model of providing high added value to its investee companies.

"We are delighted that Leon has agreed to join the team. Having worked alongside him during our ownership of Maximuscle, we know his skills and knowledge will enormously benefit both Piper and our investee companies. Indeed, he has already been able to contribute significantly to the growth of two of our portfolio companies," Libby Gibson, a partner at Piper, said.

Leon Hughes said that he was looking forward to the new challenge.

"I am much looking forward to working at Piper. Having seen Piper’s partnership style first-hand and the team’s passion for adding more than just the money, I feel confident that this is an excellent move for me. I can already see huge opportunities to support and help a number of existing Piper investments," he said.

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