Beltrae Partners


Ian DV Kerr

Photo Ian Kerr.jpg

Ian is a founder shareholder of Beltrae Partners. Ian graduated from Queen's University in 1987 with a PhD.  He subsequently joined JP Morgan, the American investment bank, in London to specialise in corporate finance. Ian spent 5 years with JP Morgan working in London and New York. Ian returned to Belfast in 1993 to create a corporate finance team for Price Waterhouse and was made a partner in the firm in 1996. 

The team became the market leader in N.Ireland and completed a number of ground breaking deals such as:

  • 1993 MBO of Ben Sherman from Dunkeld plc for £8m

  • 1994 MBO of Belfast International Airport for £33.5m

  • 1996 Sale of Belfast International Airport for £107m

Following the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand in 1998, Ian headed the Corporate Finance team for the merged firm in N.Ireland.  During this time he led and completed a number of innovative transactions, such as:

  • 1999 MBO of Balcas Timber

  • 2001 Sale of BCO Technologies plc for £101m

  • 2002 MBO of CTS Ltd from Galen plc for £130m

Ian advised on the first PFI project to complete in N.Ireland (Royal Victoria Hospital car park) and went on to advise on 7 other completed PFI projects including, schools (Drumglass, St Genevieves), Higher education (BIFHE, NWIFHE), water (Kinnegar), DVTA & Land Registry.

Since forming Beltrae in 2003, Ian has completed over 175 M&A transactions, including:

  • Advised FarmVet Systems Ltd on its sale to the French Pharmaceutical company, Vetoquinol (awarded Insider Media 2019 NI Deal of the Year) .

  • Acted for Relay Software Ltd on sale to Applied Systems Inc, a major US multinational company.

  • Acted as a NED and Chairman of PathXL Limited for 11 years and prepared the company for its eventual successful sale to Philips - the golbal multinational healthcare company.

  • Advised the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society on the sale of its Balmoral site to a property development joint venture and its relocation to a new site at the Maze.

  • Advised Irish Life Plc on a significant investment in a GB based new start-up venture and on its strategic investment in Invesco Ltd

  • Advised Avoca Handweavers Ltd on its sale to Aramark Inc

  • Advised Relay Software Ltd on the sale of a majority shareholding to Hg Capital

  • Advised Towergate Group on acquisition of Dawson Whyte insurance brokers

  • Advised Omiino Ltd on its sale to Xilinth Inc (sum undisclosed)

  • Advised Golf Holdings (Winemark) on aquisition of Russell Cellars Ltd. (sum undisclosed).

  • Advised BT PLC on aquisition of BIC Systems Ltd. for £17.1m and 3 other M&A transactions in Ireland.

  • Advised on MBO of Brookvent Manufacturing Ltd.

  • Created and advised on buyout of Botanic Inns Group

  • Advised on sale of three of Ireland's leading consulting engineering firms - Kirk McClure, Morton and Ferguson McIlveen and PH McCarthy Consulting Engineers Ltd

  • Advised Glover Site Investigations Ltd on acquistions of Ground Restoration Ltd in Bristol and Discovery Drilling Ltd

  • Advised on sale of Campbell Freight Ltd and Campbell Freight Ireland Ltd

  • Advised on the sale of Finlay Communications Ltd and Finlay Communications (Ireland) Ltd

  • Advised on sale of Hamilton Shipping Group to Denholm Group

To date Ian has completed over 260 corporate and property transactions with a combined deal value in excess of £3bn. Outside of Beltrae Partners Ian sits on a number of boards as a non-executive director, including:

  • PathXL (Chairman) 2008 to 2016 when the company was successfully sold on to Philips.

  • Neurovalens Ltd (Modius Health) (Chairman)

  • NI4Kids Ltd (Chairman)

  • The Brunch Box Sandwich Company Ltd (Chairman)

  • Queen's University - QUBIS Investment Committee member

  • Techstart NI (Advisory Board Member)

  • Golf Ireland Transition Board

  • BPL Investments Ltd

  • Chef Investments Ltd


Queen’s University Belfast

BSc, PhD, MFP (New York)

Activities & Affiliations

Ian is a keen golfer who, in his younger days, represented Ireland at school and university level.  He is an active member of Royal Portrush where he has served on Council and on the Open Championship Committee. 



Conor McCullough David McCloy Greg Hamill James Mairs