Meet the team that will deliver the Greater London Investment Fund

Last month, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan launched the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF). The FSE Group is delighted to be partnering with Funding London to deliver the £55 million debt part of the fund and is excited to introduce the fund management team. GLIF will provide debt funding between £100,000 and £1million to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate growth.

The FSE Group’s London team will be led by Kala Desai. Kala has personally structured many debt transactions for businesses operating across a spectrum of industries. Kala has over 15 years of city-based leverage finance experience working mainly on private equity transactions as a Managing Director at RBS with a particular focus on senior debt, mezzanine and cashflow lending.  In addition, Kala has worked as an active member of investment committees for debt transactions of all sizes, through consulting roles at Newable and previously at RBS. In her role at Newable, Kala advised on lending opportunities that benefitted under-served communities and economically deprived areas. Kala has a BSc Honours degree in Business Studies specialising in Finance from Cass Business School.

Jerry Donohue will be joining the team as a senior fund manager. Jerry has over 20 years’ experience in SME finance and direct lending in the London market. He has previously managed SME direct lending funds at AXA Investment Managers and Cordet Capital as well as middle-market leveraged loans at GE Capital and Deerfield Capital.  Jerry earned an MBA degree in Finance and Investments from George Washington University and a BA degree from The Catholic University of America.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Paul Shadbolt will also be joining the team as a senior fund manager. Paul worked for Lloyds Bank for 37 years, the last 20 years leading teams of relationship managers to look after a portfolio of some 2000 SME clients. In Pauls final years at Lloyds he was an Area Director, SME Banking for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. He has also worked as a Senior Commercial Manager for a team in Cambridge, preceded by Pall Mall St James in London and Ilford in Redbridge. Paul is an experienced senior team leader and a wealth of lending experience to general trading SME’s.

Completing the FSE London team is David Booth. David has more than 35 years lending experience in corporate and commercial banking with major UK and European banking groups. He joined The FSE Group in June 2018 as fund manager for the Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme. As part of the London team, David will focus on the London Boroughs to the South West and South East of London.

Kala Desai, Head of Funds, London at The FSE Group, said:

“GLIF is providing London businesses with a fantastic opportunity to be ambitious in their plans for growth.  With this high calibre team, we are ready to make a real difference to the SME funding landscape across London and are looking forward to completing our first deal.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.


The funding will come from a number of sources:

£35 million of European Regional Development Fund;

£50 million from the European Investment Bank;

£7 million from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB); and

£11 million in returns from previous investments made through Funding London (on behalf of the Mayor).

The fund will be administered by fund managers MMC Ventures and The FSE Group and allocated through three sub-funds:

Venture Fund: £45 million (investment from £100,000 to £2 million) (MMC Ventures)

Small loans: £27.5 million (£100,000 to £500,000) (The FSE Group)

Large loans: £27.5 million (£500,000 to £1 million) (The FSE Group)

To apply to the fund, SMEs should contact the fund managers directly:

Venture Fund:

Small Loans and Large loans:

Funding London

Funding London was established in 2004 to provide venture capital and loans to SMEs which has previously found it difficult to secure such funding, on behalf of the Mayor. So far, the organisation has invested more than £51 million invested into 607 SMEs, secured £286 million in outside investment for small businesses, and created or safeguarded more than 4,300 jobs.

European Regional Development Fund

The GLIF will receive up to £35 million from the England European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. In London, Greater London Authority is the Intermediate Body responsible for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration.

European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender. The GLIF will receive £35 million from the EIB.