James Fraser reflects on his time leading the Financial Services team

James Fraser reflects on his time leading the Financial Services team


You set up the FS team nearly 10 years ago, what makes you the proudest?

I am very proud of the fact that FS investments account for about a quarter of the capital invested in Permira V and VI to date and that Permira has established a leading reputation in the sector. I joined the firm and set up the team just before the onset of the Global Financial Crisis and this could have made FS investments look very high-risk and unattractive. So I am delighted that our FS portfolio is in such a strong position today.

Any other highlights from the past 10 years?

I am particularly pleased that we have been able to expand the FS portfolio beyond its historical strength in the UK with investments in Luxembourg, Sweden, Hong Kong and the US in the past year.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Financial Services is a complex and highly regulated sector. It is critical to have an in-depth understanding of the businesses our funds invest in and important to have credibility with vendors and management teams. It does take time to build the expertise, capability and trust needed to be successful both internally and externally and I believe that we have been able to achieve this in a relatively short period.

A final word about the team you built? 

The team is in very strong hands with Philip Muelder taking over as sole Head. He is supported by Principal Chris Pell and a talented and growing team. I am sure they will continue to go from strength to strength in the years ahead and wish them luck.