Thriva are a healthcare company, a tech company doing testing. Awarded contracts via the VIP route worth £64 million by the DHSC. A start up that have raised funds through investors, Thriva have strong connections to a number of Tory Lords.
Investors in Thriva include Guinness Asset Management (GAM) holding 10.6% of the shares. Increasing their shareholdings in May 2020 Guinness Asset Management was formed by Tim Guinness in 2003. Prior to that Guinness had cofounded Guinness Flight in the 80's with the now Lord Flight.
There is no mention of Lord Flight on the GAM website, however his Lords register of interests show that Lord Flight is a paid member of the investment committee for Guinness EIS. (the investment part of GAM).
One wonders if the investment committee were involved in the Thriva investment decision?
Lord Flight is a former Tory MP and a former deputy chairman of the Tory party. He is also on the advisory boards for the think tanks, the Institute of Economic Affairs & the Centre for Policy Studies.
The connections between Thriva and the Lords doesn't end with Lord Flight. Thriva had a meeting with Lord Bethell on 20th May 2020, regarding Covid testing. Lord Bethell was a minister at the DHSC in 2020 and was involved in Test & Trace.
Another investor owning 5.2% of Thriva is Pembroke VCT. One of their directors is Tory MP Jonathan Djanogly. Pembroke VCT Chief Exec is Andrew Wolfson, younger brother of Tory Lord & large donor Simon Wolfson (of Next Plc), who also shows on his register of interests as having shares in Pembroke VCT.
Thriva were awarded their first covid contract worth £64 million in August 2020, via the without competition covid contract award procedure. Thriva had self-referred to the VIP route. DHSC records show £46.3 million spend with Thriva between November 2020 - September 2021. UKHSA records show £53 million spend between November 2021 - August 2022.
Thriva won a second testing contact worth £124 million in July 2021, this was via an open procedure. Lord Bethell again met with Thriva, this time with Dundee Uni representatives in September 2021.
Thriva also appointed director Colin Malloy between September 2021 - April 2023. Malloy is better known as the man behind the Medicine Discovery Catapult Team, the lab testing facility during the pandemic. Thriva don't do their own testing, they outsource, essentially they are a Tech company.
In February this year Thriva appointed a further two members of the Lords to their advisory board. Baroness Blackwood is a former Tory MP & was appointed chair and Lord O'Shaughnessy being a former advisor to Cameron when he was PM.
I am not suggesting anything untoward by any of the parties named above.
I am highlighting that over 15% of Thriva is owned by investors that are clearly linked to Tory Lords. The Guinness Asset Management & The Pembroke VCT investments have seen significant increases in their value since the Covid contract awards.
It is worth noting that the DHSC contracts spend, accounts for circa 80% of Thriva turnover for the last 3 years!
Praise the Lords