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Impetus appoints Palamon managing director as chairman

UK venture philanthropy firm Impetus Trust has appointed Louis Elson, managing partner and co-founder of Palamon Capital Partners, as its new chairman.

Elson has been a trustee of Impetus since July 2009 and will officially become Impetus chairman on 24 March 2010. 

Elson co-founded Palamon in 1999 and prior to this was a London-based partner of Warburg Pincus. He is a trustee of Phillips Academy – Andover, in his native US, and is a member of the development board of The Prince’s Trust.
Elson will take over from Impetus co-founder Stephen Dawson, who announced his intention to step down in June 2009 after serving as chairman for seven years. Dawson will continue to contribute as a trustee, donor and trusted adviser to Impetus.
Elson says: “After more than two decades of active involvement in the charity world, I was attracted to Impetus because, quite simply – its venture philanthropy model works. It achieves phenomenal results in increasing the impact of the charities it supports, and does so in a way that resonates personally with my private equity background, as both work to make organisations more effective, efficient, and impactful. In the current economy the need for Impetus is greater than ever before as charities have to find solutions to the conundrum of reduced resources and increased demand. I am tremendously excited by Impetus’ future growth plans, and I look forward to working with the Impetus staff and board to help make these plans a reality.”
Impetus vice chair Nat Sloane says: “Louis was a stand-out candidate for the chairmanship as he brings with him an exceptional commitment to social impact coupled with first-rate experience of the financial sector. In addition, having served as a trustee, he has already demonstrated his understanding of, and passion for, the Impetus approach and our goals. Impetus has proven the success of its venture philanthropy model, so the time is right for us to expand our impact across many more charities and social enterprises. We firmly believe that the leadership, perspectives, energy and networks that Louis brings will be invaluable as we enter this next stage of development.”
The Impetus venture philanthropy model involves providing charities and social enterprises with a combination of strategic funding and expertise to accelerate their growth and multiply their social impact. Created in 2002, Impetus has 14 organisations in its portfolio, including the Fairtrade Foundation, Leap Confronting Conflict, FRC Group and St Giles Trust.

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