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Welcome

For all the volatility, unpredictability and complexity, at LDC, we meet dozens of management teams, week in, week out, whose ambitions remain entirely undeterred. Our partnership with the Daily Telegraph – discovering 35 of the UK’s most ambitious businesses – provides plenty of further examples.

Last year, we backed 20 such teams with this same outlook – a belief in their ability as leaders, a confidence in their businesses and a desire to partner with a supportive backer to help them achieve their goals.

This trend has continued into 2017, with another six, high-performing businesses partnering with LDC to help them deliver their game plan for growth - ChargePoint, Rush, Fishawack, Blue Bay Travel, Hill Biscuits and Addo Food Group. And we’re at the start of an exciting journey with each of them.

Often, their decision to raise funding has been driven by this very uncertainty, and the opportunity it presents in their marketplace to build scale and value. Renowned economist Roger Bootle - founder of LDC portfolio company Capital Economics - explores this theme in his exclusive interview.

Providing certainty is undoubtedly part of LDC’s ethos as an investor. Last year, we celebrated 35 years in business – an important milestone in our own history.

What is perhaps most significant, is that we continued to invest at the same rate throughout some of the deepest recessions of the last three and a half decades.

In fact, the business was founded after the recession of the early 1980s, successfully capturing the emerging sense of opportunity and optimism of the time.

And some of our best-performing investments have been achieved thanks to this enduring commitment to the UK’s small and mid-sized companies and the determination of the teams we’ve backed. Over the last three years, we’ve returned over £2bn of proceeds, generating an average money multiple of 2.5x and an IRR of 37%.

Some of these businesses were backed in the recession of the late 2000s and the subsequent period of low growth. You can learn more about how our partnerships with management helped some of those businesses unlock potential and build lasting value in this edition.

This market commitment – and the need to constantly evolve in order to maintain it – is a cornerstone principle at LDC, which runs throughout our unique regional network. Interestingly, it’s something we have in common with many other leaders who are equally committed to building enduring businesses, as our round table feature highlights.

Finally, what collection of stories about ambition and partnership would be complete without a contribution from LDC’s own Ambassador, endurance adventurer Mark Beaumont? Find out what’s driving him towards his biggest and boldest mission yet as he prepares to make history with his latest world record attempt.

History bestows a sense of perspective, and that perspective is important. It serves as a reminder that uncertainty – for all its downsides – also means anything is possible. We certainly see exciting growth opportunities for the UK on the road ahead, and are on the ground ready to support, in every region, with the track record, the experience and the capital to drive success.

I hope you enjoy reading contributions from our people, portfolio and networks over the coming pages.

MARTIN DRAPER
CEO, LDC