Branding is an increasingly important issue for private equity firms these days. Placement agents will even argue it is a critical factor in determining the likely success or otherwise of a fundraising.
Therefore, it was not surprising that when co-founder Andrew Sells departed UK mid-market private equity firm Nash, Sells & Partners in July 2000 (not unreasonably taking his name with him), the firm should think carefully about a new identity as it prepared to launch its third fund.
The new moniker it came up with – Sovereign Capital – may have had some in the industry scratching their heads. But Sovereign marketing director Julie Sieger recently explained to PEI that it was all perfectly logical. Sovereign, you see, refers to the UK being a sovereign state and Sovereign (the firm) only invests in UK companies. In addition, “sovereign” also has positive connotations of gold and value-creation.
Warming to the theme, Sieger proceeded to tell PEI how Sovereign, having arrived at a name, then went in search of a logo. And with a little more lateral thought, the right logo for this budding brand became clear.
Think “sovereign” and you'll most likely as not think about kings. And if you're thinking kings then it's a small leap to… er…king penguins. So what better logo for a private equity firm than a penguin? “We've yet to meet anyone that doesn't like penguins,” Sieger explained. “We even have a “RELAX” area on the website where the busy exec can escape for a few minutes to play “King Penguin Goes Fishing”.”
So for all penguin fans, go visit Sovereign's website and try to beat our top score of 68: http://www.sovereigncapital.co.uk/fun.html