Our history

Based in a single office in London, we benefit from short lines of communication and a cohesive and distinctive culture.

The senior partners have worked together for over 15 years and most have been at Graphite for over 20. This gives us a wealth of experience and a broad range of long-term contacts, which are of great value in supporting our portfolio companies. We operate as a genuine partnership, with ownership and incentives broadly spread across the team, promoting stability and a strong, cohesive ethos.

We enjoy what we do and like working together in an informal environment. We take collective responsibility for our decisions and are totally committed to the success of Graphite and our investments. We believe this comes across in our dealings with portfolio companies and plays a very important role in building strong partnerships with management teams.

Our funds

Blue-chip investors from across the world invest in Graphite’s funds.

We are one of the most experienced investors in mid-sized businesses in the UK. Since inception in 1981, we have raised and managed eight limited partnership funds, seven of which are now fully or largely realised. We typically raise new funds every four to five years, which have frequently been over-subscribed. We raised £500 million in late 2013 for our most recent fund, Graphite Capital Partners VIII.

We are backed by a group of leading investors from across the globe, including well-known pension funds, insurance companies and endowment funds. Approximately 40 per cent of our latest fund came from the UK, 30 per cent from Europe and the balance from the US and Japan. Until the sale of our fund-of-funds business in 2016, we also managed Graphite Enterprise Trust PLC, the best performing UK-listed investment company in any asset class over the preceding 25 years. From its launch in 1981, it consistently outperformed the FTSE All-Share Index, with net assets increasing more than 30-fold to £706 million.

 

Investors in Graphite Capital Partners VIII

UK 38%
Other Europe 29%
USA 30%
Japan 3%

Returns

Over the last 25 years our investments have generated a consistent return averaging more than 2.5x cost.

We have consistently generated high returns through many different economic cycles, driven by long-term revenue and profit growth by our portfolio companies, rather than cost reduction. Despite the economic downturn, our performance since 2006 has been particularly strong, with most of our investments having been sold at more than twice cost and many generating multiples of over 3x. The portfolio companies in our most recent fully invested fund more than doubled their staff numbers to over 10,000 under our ownership.