Press release

Leading private equity chief joins Wellcome Trust Board of Governors

Damon Buffini, one of the City’s leading private equity fund managers, has joined the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust, taking up his position at the beginning of September.

Damon was educated at St John's College, University of Cambridge, where he read law, and at Harvard Business School, where he gained an MBA. He is a founding partner of Permira, a European private equity firm with global reach. He was managing partner from 1999 to 2007 and chairman from 2007 to 2010.

Under his leadership, Permira's funds under management grew from €1.9 billion to over €20 billion and the firm expanded its international network of offices from four to 12. Over the same period, Permira helped to grow and build numerous successful businesses across Europe, including Homebase, Inmarsat and global aviation services group Jet Aviation.

Damon is a co-founder of Social Business Trust, an initiative to grow social enterprises by using the knowledge, skills and capital of UK businesses thereby benefitting one million people in the UK. He is also a main board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a trustee of the Royal Anniversary Trust, which administers The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education.

Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust Board of Governors, said: "Damon is an outstanding and very dynamic individual who will make an excellent contribution to our Board of Governors. He brings a breadth of experience, not just from the financial sector but also from his work within the cultural and not-for-profit sectors. We look forward to welcoming Damon to his new position."

Damon added: "I am delighted to join the Board of Governors at the Wellcome Trust. It is a truly world-class organisation of global scale and achievement, and I am proud to have a role in supporting its activities. I look forward to transferring the experience and skills I have gained at Permira over the last 25 years to help continue its ground-breaking work."

The Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation with an asset base of £13.6 billion at the end of 2010/11, was established in 1936 through an endowment in the will of Sir Henry Wellcome. Since the flotation of Wellcome plc in 1986, the Trust's investment returns have averaged 15 per cent per annum. The Trust spends over £600 million each year towards its mission of achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health.