As the saying goes, the only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come, and looking back, it’s clear that 2023 was a remarkable year of milestones for ECI. Here are some of the highlights from a fantastic year:
Exceeding our goals: the closure of our biggest fund to date, ECI 12, which hit its hard cap of £1bn, was a testament to our ability to generate market-leading returns. We were especially proud to have exceeded our target given the tough market conditions. The fundraise represented a 40% increase over our previous fund, and we are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our investors and are delighted to have welcomed several new international investors to the ECI family.
Joining a global force for good: Earning our B Corp certification cemented our commitment to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Delivered with the backing and enthusiasm from the whole team, our B Corp certification is an important step in our ESG journey and we’re proud of key initiatives during the year, such as progressing our ESG Toolkit to help management teams build more sustainable businesses.
A new home, rooted in sustainability: Bidding farewell to our office at Brettenham House after 37 years, we moved to 80 Strand in September. The move was not only tailored to our evolving business needs but was also an opportunity to deliver on our sustainability objectives. ECI’s new office marks the next chapter in our journey and embraces our green ambitions to have a modern office with a low carbon footprint. We look forward to welcoming you here in 2024 if you haven’t visited already!
Four exits: In a year that was widely recognised as a slower M&A market, we were thrilled to complete four highly successful exits in 2023. The exits generated an average 4.7 x return and were a testament to our expertise in backing ambitious businesses and working collaboratively with their exceptional management teams.
New editions: As well as four exits, we also added two new businesses to the ECI family last year. In September we welcomed Commify, the European leader of business messaging solutions, and in November, market-leading compliance management platform ISMS.online joined the fold. As 2024 develops we’re looking forward to helping them both achieve the next stage of their growth.
Recognition that mattered: The recognition of our peers is always rewarding and 2023 marked a record year for ECI when it came to prestigious industry awards. We received five separate awards for our deals and fund, and we were particularly proud to win every major house/fund of the year award as well as picking up gongs for individuals and deals throughout the year:
• Mid-Market House of the Year – Real Deal Private Equity Awards
• Growth & Buyout Fund of the Year – GP Bullhound Investor Allstars
• Mid-Market Buyout House of the Year – British Private Equity Awards
• Investor of the Year award – UK Tech Awards
• ESG Deal of the Year – British Private Equity Awards
• Tom Wrenn: Private Equity Investment Leader of the Year – Real Deal Private Equity Awards
Our people: As well as recognising and rewarding the invaluable contributions of the whole ECI team, building our expertise with new hires was also paramount to our success in 2023. We welcomed Badr Khan and Chris Ginnelly as growth specialists. Isabella Fox and Louis Jans joined our investment team, Victoria Gustavsson joined the origination team and Chloe James joined our marketing team. Their combined expertise will help us to continue to drive growth for ECI and our portfolio.
Partnership for change: Our collaboration with charity, The Bread & Butter Thing, was a source of inspiration last year and we were particularly proud to have achieved our goal of raising enough funds to buy them a new van. The Bread & Butter Thing provides a crucial service that makes life more affordable for families on low incomes and we were delighted to help them on their mission.
“With the close of our largest fund to date, four successful exits, and a public commitment to being a force for good, 2023 was an exceptional year for ECI. It was a testament to the great people we work with and the brilliant, hard-working team at ECI and means we continue to be well-placed to back exceptional management teams and invest in companies looking to become global leaders.”
Chris Watt, Managing Partner