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Wol Kolade

“I am utterly fascinated by the world of business and PE gives me the privilege of being able to interact with some of the UK’s best and brightest business people.”

My job is to lead the Livingbridge team. My workload is varied – from meeting management teams of prospective new investments or visiting existing portfolio companies to explaining “why Livingbridge?” to potential new investors. A few years ago, I was appointed to chair the Private Equity Industry Association. It was a difficult time for the industry but I learnt a whole lot of new skills and met some very interesting people. Private equity doesn’t operate in a vacuum and increasingly I find myself explaining to government, the media and other stakeholders that the work we do with entrepreneurial companies is hugely beneficial to the wider economy.

I am a Kings College London engineering graduate and I have an MBA from Exeter Business School. I started my career with Barclays in 1990 and after a short period in various head office roles I joined a predecessor firm of Livingbridge in 1993. I remember learning about 'venture capital' as it was called back then in an economics class at my secondary school and from then on it was very clear to me what I wanted to do.

I have a deep interest in healthcare and education, and sit on the boards of a number of schools and universities. I am chairman of the Guys and St Thomas’ Charity, a 500-year-old charitable foundation with total assets of £600 million. I also sit on the board of NHS Improvement as a non-executive director, working to help the NHS to meet its short-term challenges and secure its future. I also sit on the advisory council of Level20, a not for profit organisation working to improve gender diversity in the private equity industry.

I have a big family and love company, so most weekends we are either entertaining or being entertained. I am also a bit of a movie buff.

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