The Welsh government's investment bank, Finance Wales, has appointed leading private equity figure Giles Thorley as its new chief executive.
Mr Thorley is former executive chair and chief executive of Punch Taverns, and has been a partner at private equity firm TDR Capital since 2010.
Starting on 4 April, Mr Thorley will lead the transition of moving Finance Wales to a 'Development Bank for Wales' structure. Under the new model, Finance Wales will work closer with private sector firms to provide lending for high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Mr Thorley said: “Finance Wales is a key Welsh financial institution and continues to play a pivotal role in the Welsh economy.
I’m keen to build on its strengths and harness its expertise to ensure Welsh SMEs make an even greater economic contribution in future.
“With the recent launch of the new Wales Business Fund and other Welsh Government funds these are exciting times.
I’m looking forward to making the vision for the Development Bank for Wales a reality and significantly improving the funding and support available for Welsh SMEs.”
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “I welcome Giles Thorley’s appointment as chief executive of Finance Wales.
"The role requires experience, expertise and vision to drive forward the recommendations of the Access to Finance Review and ensure that micro, small and medium-sized businesses have the financial backing and support they need to succeed.”
Finance Wales chairman, Gareth Bullock, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Giles Thorley to Finance Wales and I’m confident that the Group will flourish under his leadership.
"Giles is a well-regarded senior business leader with an impressive track record and brings an exceptional blend of skills and expertise to Finance Wales coupled with a deep understanding of debt and equity investment.