James MacLeay is a senior investment manager at WestBridge, having joined as an investment manager in November 2018.
Explain a little about your role at WestBridge.
I’m a senior investment manager at WestBridge, having joined as an investment manager in November 2018. My role comprises making new investments, working with the management teams of our portfolio companies and leading our ESG and Responsible Investment strategy. My geographic focus for new investments is the South West & Wales, London and Scotland across all sectors but with a focus on technology. Within our portfolio I’m a director on the boards of DB Pixelhouse and bChannels, and am alternate director of Eque2.
Tell us about one of your career highs.
The great thing about private equity and investing is that every deal and business is different, and as each investment goes by you learn more and are challenged in new ways. Our investment in Eque2 was an exciting learning curve for me personally and also a landmark deal for WestBridge as an investor. I am looking forward to partnering with the management team and their plans to grow the business.
What’s one of the best pieces of advice you’ve ever been given?
Not exactly ground-breaking but ‘honesty is the best policy’. When it comes to relationships, deal negotiations, business practices and everything in between, acting with integrity is fundamental.
If there was one thing you could change about the world of private equity, what would it be?
With billions invested in thousands of portfolio companies across the UK, private equity firms have the potential to drive serious change and improve their impact on things like employee welfare, equality, diversity, climate change, emissions and sustainable supply chains. Taking responsible investment more seriously would have a significant impact on our nation both socio-economically and environmentally.
Finally, what to you enjoy doing outside work?
I’m a keen skier, below average golfer and new dad! I enjoy spending time with my family and am also involved in my local church, where I help out with the Sunday school.