Management Team 

Crescent has the most experienced venture management team in Northern Ireland.

The team principals have worked together for many years with a track record of investing successfully and delivering success. We bring experience, diligence, ambition and creativity to every investee company. Find out a bit about us now before you meet us in person.

Colin Walsh Managing Director

Colin is Chief Executive and founder of Crescent Capital and has been an active venture capital investor in the local high tech sector for the past twenty years. He leads a team of investment professionals who have completed investments for Crescent in over thirty companies in Northern Ireland.

Crescent has raised over £60m to date from government, private and institutional investors; its investments include several which are widely regarded as being among the most promising locally owned businesses, including Lagan Technologies, APT, Omiino, Maildistiller, Nisoft, Speechstorm and Andor Technology plc.

Colin has achieved a number of successful trade sales and two flotations, including Trafficmaster plc which he was instrumental in floating on the London Stock Exchange in 1994 when working at Hambros plc. Colin was a director and subsequently chairman of Trafficmaster until 2009.

He invested in Andor in 1997 and was instrumental in achieving its flotation on AIM in 2004.  Andor grew to become a world leader in the field of scientific imaging cameras with revenues of almost £60m per annum and over 400 employees. Colin was chairman of Andor until its sale in early 2014 to Oxford Instruments Plc for £176m.

He is currently chairman of Acheson Holdings Limited and also holds directorships at NiSoft Holdings Limited, Fusion Antibodies Limited, Replify Limited and Belfast Power Limited.

Colin recently completed a two year term as CBI chair for Northern Ireland and is also the trustee for NI on the UK board of Barnardos.

Having served on the boards of several local companies and been chairman of many, he has first-hand experience of the various challenges facing the business sector within Northern Ireland. He has considerable experience of business strategy and governance issues, mentoring senior management plus the restructuring, growth and development of companies across many sectors.

 

Colin Walsh
Deirdre Terrins

Deirdre Terrins Investment Manager

Deirdre has extensive corporate experience in managing new technology offerings and market creation. Her international sales background in Siemens, (Europe) and Xerox (US) was developed further in venture and change management roles in the US, UK and Asia. Deirdre has managed innovative product and process assignments in both public and private sectors. She has sectoral expertise in telecoms, IT, analytics, renewables, ecommerce, enterprise systems and innovative products. Her new product development background includes the successful introduction of ‘disruptive’ technologies into new markets. She has directed investment in startups, high growth, MBO and IP commercialisation companies from origination to exit.

For Crescent, Deirdre originated and directed investments in Maildistiller (acquired by Proofpoint Inc), Omiino (acquired by Xilinx Inc), SpeechStorm (acquired by Genesys), Analytics Engines, B9 Energy Control, Ampliphae, Flowlens and Clinishare.

She has served on the boards of other portfolio companies dealing with recovery, turnaround, technology refresh, market pivot challenges and organisational change.

Deirdre acts as advisor to high growth companies and as mentor and coach to entrepreneurs. Her approach is to focus on product-market fit and value build with high grade entrepreneurial teams.

Deirdre is active in coaching female entrepreneurs and leaders and in promoting gender equality in business.

Bob McGowan-Smyth Investment Director

Bob is an experienced finance professional, venture capitalist and non-executive director, having been a board member of over 20 commercial organisations.

He has a long and successful track record in the venture capital industry in Northern Ireland.  He also has practical finance director experience.

Bob joined Crescent as a non-executive director in December 2004 and, in October 2012, moved into an executive role.

Between 1996 and 2004, Bob was Chief Executive of Enterprise Equity (NI) Limited, a Belfast based venture capital fund. Under Bob’s leadership, Enterprise Equity performed strongly with a number of highly successful exits being achieved. Notably in 2000, BCO Technologies plc was sold to Analog Devices, Inc. for £100m and, in 2004, Ben Sherman Limited was sold to Oxford Industries, Inc. for £80m.

He currently represents Crescent on the board of Shnuggle Ltd and represented Crescent on the board of PathXL (acquired by Philips).

Bob is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Bob McGowan-Smyth
Oonagh McIntaggart

Oonagh McIntaggart Office Manager

Oonagh McIntaggart joined Crescent in 1995 and directs the management of the Crescent Capital office and the programme of investor communications and relations. She manages resource scheduling for the Investment Team and commissions all support services for the day to day running of the office.

In addition, Oonagh provides PA support for the MD and Investment Managers. She co-ordinates administration of FCA regulatory requirements and facilitates communication with investee companies within the managed funds.

Oonagh has extensive investment administration and office direction experience. Oonagh holds an IPD (Personnel Practice) and has experience of Personnel Management from previous roles.

Ed Finnegan Chief Financial Officer

Ed Finnegan is a seasoned professional with wide ranging expertise in Financial Direction. He specialises in financial management and control functions, development of management information and accounting processes for high growth business. Ed manages all aspects of accounting for Crescent and its two Limited Partnerships.

He has extensive experience of working with investee companies to guide financial and planning processes. On a day to day basis Ed fulfils systems project management roles, oversight and skills coaching for portfolio companies backed by Crescent. Ed has been instrumental in the successful exit of investee companies and in the investment readiness process for others.

Ed has held senior finance roles at board level including finance director, company secretary of UP Holdings and as company secretary to a NI division of a RoI plc, Unidare. He has held advisory roles for Andor Technologies plc (acquired by Oxford Instruments Inc) and  Maildistiller Ltd (acquired by Proofpoint Inc).

Ed Finnegan
Vivienne Spence

Vivienne Spence Office Administrator

Vivienne Spence provides commercial and managerial administration for Crescent Capital. She oversees the daily operation of all ‘back office’ functions and provides executive support to the three Investment managers.

Vivienne has been with Crescent Capital since 2000 and has extensive experience in commercial administration from her previous roles in the public sector, electrical contracting services and the charities sector.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of executive directors Colin Walsh and Bob McGowan-Smyth and non-executive directors Alex Hambro and Tom Keenan.

Alex Hambro Chairman

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Alex Hambro, has been in the private equity industry for 27 years during which time he has acted as a principal investor, manager and sponsor of private equity and venture capital management teams.

Alex managed the venture capital and private equity fund investment portfolio for Hambros plc, prior to its sale to Société Générale in 1998. Alex is an independent consultant for a number of private equity and venture capital fund management groups and family office investors advising his clients on the establishment of alternative investment funds and investment strategies.

Alternative investment fund managers that he has advised include Star Capital, Craigmore funds, Sand Aire Private Equity and Prospect Investment Management Limited.

In addition to his private equity activities Alex is Chairman of Judges Scientific plc and Benchmark Holdings plc and a non-executive director of Hazel Renewable Energy VCT2 plc, Hazel Targa VCT PLC and Octopus Eclipse VCT plc.

 

Alex Hambro
Tom Keenan

Tom Keenan Non-Executive Director

Tom joined Crescent’s board as a non-executive director after the first closing of the Fund. Tom has over 25 years corporate finance experience and in that period has advised on many high profile acquisitions and disposals and been appointed to some of Northern Ireland’s largest insolvency cases. 

Tom is principal of Keenan, an independent advisory firm that he founded in 2008, offering services around transactions, restructurings and investigations to 2008 Tom was a partner in Deloitte LLP for 13 years and headed up its corporate finance services in Northern Ireland. 

Tom is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, and is non-executive Chairman of Union Street (Lurgan) Limited, an international textile business.