Former Permira chairman Damon Buffini to step down after 27 years

 
Emma Haslett
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Buffini has been at Permira since 1988

Former Permira chairman Damon Buffini will leave the private equity firm at the end of this year, after 27 years.

Buffini handed over his role as managing partner of the firm, which has €20bn in assets under management, seven years ago, but remained chairman until 2010. Since then, he's been a member of the investment committee. He'll remain as an adviser to the firm.

From 1 January next year, he'll take on a role on the non-executive board of the PGA European Tour, it was also announced today.

A former business adviser to Gordon Brown, Buffini became famously annoyed when he heard colleagues complaining about the food at the Michelin-starred restaurant of a hotel they were staying at in in Surrey. The following evening, he asked the kitchen to prepare a supper of burgers, and as they tucked in, he gave a speech telling them they didn't know "how lucky they were".

He was also the target of a campaign by the GMB union when the AA was joint-owned by Permira. When it fired thousands of staff in 2006, GMB paraded a camel outside his church service, with a placard reading "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God".

Today he said:

I have enormous pride in what Permira has achieved over the last three decades. From very small beginnings, Permira has become a global leader. Since stepping down as Chairman in 2010, I have given my full support to the new management team led by Kurt Bj√∂rklund and Tom Lister. With a strong management team, a €5.3bn global fund to invest and the continued good performance of our portfolio companies, Permira is in great shape today and the time is right for me to do something new.

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