This time 10 years ago, former journalist and private equity professional, Fay Margo, founded Brackendale, a PR and investor marketing agency in the alternative asset space. It quickly became apparent from the outset that there was a gap in the market for professionally designed and well-written investor marketing materials. All too often private equity houses had the financial acumen but lacked the design and writing skills necessary to make their pitch decks stand out in a positive way to potential investors.
This recognition would blaze the trail for the services Brackendale now offers, helping differentiate us from our competitors as we set out on our journey to become the multilingual, award-winning one-stop-shop for investor communications we are today.
Fast forward a decade and we’d like savour this anniversary milestone; to share our story and take stock of how far we’ve come since our humble beginnings.
The Early Years
Our first client in 2013 was European fund manager Cipio Partners, where Fay had previously worked in-house, as well as some of its portfolio companies. Over the following months Fay worked tirelessly sourcing new clients and growing the business.
We completed our first pitch deck design for Qualium Investissement, with whom we still work regularly to this day. We have since worked on hundreds of pitch decks and are well-placed to know exactly what funds investors do (and don’t) want to see.
We reached a milestone in 2017 with the translation and design of our first ESG report for French buyout fund Activa Capital, with separate graphics for the French and English versions. The ESG report won the accolade of ‘ESG Best Practice Honours', in the private equity small & mid-cap category at the SWEN Capital Partners ESG Awards the following year. Fast forward six years to today, and Brackendale has written and designed many ESG reports with more in the pipeline.
Graphic Design Director Jon Parker has been there from the get-go, travelling across London and Paris with Fay, pitching to potential clients, many of whom are still on our books. His graphic design talent has been invaluable to Brackendale over the years, distinguishing us from our competitors and contributing to our growth journey.
Beyond designing award-winning ESG reports, Jon has been instrumental to Brackendale’s own image. The original logo, designed by Jon in 2013 from a sketch by Fay on a Post-it Note, was inspired by a bicycle wheel. This seemed only fitting given that cycling is Fay’s passion; she gets some of her best business ideas in the saddle.
Against all odds, the pandemic brought a period of rapid growth for Brackendale. We were able to make the most of remote work with private equity houses finding themselves in an uncertain fundraising and deal-making environment, turning their attention instead to their PR and communications strategies.
Already working from home, Fay was able to be one step ahead as she found optimal ways of managing work and home-schooling, with more support available now that her husband was also working from home. Senior graphic designer Catherine Brookes, who had worked with both Jon and Fay at IR magazine, had joined the previous year, to meet increasing client demand for our graphic design services. Additional support came when Laura Shelley joined in the latter part of 2020.
Brackendale Today – Scaling Up & Moving to London
The start of 2021 marked the beginning of the modern Brackendale, a process which would take us to where we are today – starting this fresh chapter with a full rebrand of our logo and website. The new logo, designed once again by Jon, is a nod to the original bicycle wheel which started it all, while showcasing the connectivity and interlocking nature of our services.
This phase of growth brought with it a significant levelling up of our business operations, welcoming Guy Waller, who had worked with Fay almost 20 years previously, as our resident LP and Senior Advisor, and a renewed commitment to walking the talk on ESG, as well as bolstering our investor marketing services.
Bringing on Guy represented a significant step in our journey, as he brought invaluable fundraising and private equity expertise, following his decade at Partners Group and subsequent work at Certior Capital.
ESG is a crucial part of our business, and a passion shared by the whole Brackendale team. We have been proud partners with the World Land Trust since July 2021, through which we donate a tree to be planted in a tropical forest for every invoice we send out in a bid to combat deforestation. We've planted 322 trees so far, and counting.
As a female-founded and majority female-staffed company, we are also very proud to have sponsored the all-women rowing team, The Bristol Gulls, to row 3,000 miles in an Eco Boat across the Atlantic Ocean in February 2021, to support the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans, and raise money for Clean Up Bristol Harbour and the RNLI.
At the end of 2022, we embarked on our latest step up – moving to our Victoria office in London - where the team could work side by side, travel to meetings, and share knowledge and team camaraderie. The team continued to grow in size, and after Guy and Laura came Param, Jonathan, Gareth, Alesha, Lorna, Janine, and most recently, Zoé and Archie.
Brackendale has grown from a spare room in Sevenoaks to a renovated outbuilding in the bottom of Fay’s garden in Forest Row, into an award-winning global marketing and communications boutique in a London office, and a 13-strong team. As the team continues to expand upwards and outwards, we cannot help but be proud of the progress we’ve made so far, safe in the knowledge that the best is yet to come.
Written by Archie Graves, PR & Marketing Associate