Can a private equity firm headquartered outside London be successful? The answer would most likely be a firm ‘No’ twenty years ago. Founded in Manchester in 2005, Palatine proved that the city could be home to a successful private equity business and become a leading centre of PE in Europe. By 2021 being Manchester-based was no longer a big differentiator, so Palatine asked us to look at their brand and position.
Being Manchester-based was no longer a big differentiator. By 2021 Palatine had successfully raised three conventional buyout funds alongside a pioneering commitment to environmental and social governance (ESG). Palatine is now a leading light in impact investing, focusing on companies tackling some of the most significant issues society faces today: inequalities in education, access to healthcare, and climate change. And with the next generation of leaders coming through the business, it was vital to articulate what the company stands for today and give them a vision for the future. By 2021 being Manchester-based was no longer a big differentiator, so Palatine asked us to look at their brand and position.
We interviewed people at all levels of Palatine’s business, studied the competition, talked to investors, and scoured the press. There was no shortage of horror stories, with plenty of accusations of PE firms asset stripping. But not Palatine. There is no financial engineering here, just a commitment to doing things the right way. We captured and articulated what Palatine stands for as ‘positive equity.’ Their pioneering work in sustainability was critical to this, but our idea harnessed something bigger. It was a testament to the strength of Palatine’s relationships with its management teams. And it was about their approach to building businesses that continue to flourish long after their investment period.
To relaunch Palatine, we created a new mark with positivity at its core and a new visual language heavily featuring a wildly optimistic use of bright yellow. Our people photography captured individuals and broke with conventions through their honesty and gritty use of black and white. We made a series of films to explain the position and applied the new branding to everything from their website to pitch decks.
“Whilst we had a clear view on what we stand for and how we operate, Squad were able to articulate this in a way we couldn’t. They got to our position quickly and efficiently, giving us an approach we can drive through all parts of our business.”
(Gary Tipper, Managing Partner, Palatine)