Livingbridge invests in JP Morgan and HSBC consultancy firm Catalyst Development

Lucy White
Livingbridge's Paul Landsman (left) led the investment in Catalyst, which is headed by Andrew Middleton (right)

Private equity firm Livingbridge has today made a “significant” investment in Catalyst Development, a specialist financial markets consultancy which has served names as big as JP Morgan and HSBC.

The 23-year-old business advises on regulatory change, organisational improvement and talent development in investment banks, clearing houses and asset managers.

With a number of UK and EU-driven changes to regulation on the horizon, such as Mifid II and GDPR, Catalyst looks well-placed for speedy growth.

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“Since the financial crisis, there has been a growing need for expert, trusted advisers to help financial institutions navigate change,” said Catalyst chief executive Andrew Middleton. “Our ambition is to become Europe’s leading financial markets specialists.”

Catalyst has worked with more than 70 clients in over 30 financial centres worldwide, including nine of the world's top 12 investment banks.

Global banks spent around $30bn (£23bn) on consultancy fees in 2016, up from $17bn in 2008. According to Catalyst, its clients are now increasingly requiring “specialism at scale” to tackle large, complex programmes of change.

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The Livingbridge investment will allow Catalyst to expand its services, strengthen its infrastructure and treble headcount. Livingbridge will also provide extra capital for acquisitions, to help boost international growth.

The mid-market private equity firm has experience in backing business consultancies, including clinical service business Four Eyes Insight, recruitment consultants Up Group and procurement consultancy Efficio.

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