Media centre

3i builds on healthcare success with senior hire

3i, the leading international private equity company, has further strengthened its healthcare team with the addition of Dr Paul Preston as Healthcare Services Industrial Advisor, building on its strong momentum following the significant success of Westminster Healthcare. Paul will reinforce the 17-strong pan-European Industry Group. He joins 3i on 1st December 2004.

The 3i Industry Group is a team of sector specialists that support the investment business by providing market insight and by benchmarking the relative quality of companies in their sectors. 3i''s healthcare sector team comprises 12 investment professionals across Europe and three Healthcare Industry Group members. 3i recently completed the £525m sale of Westminster Healthcare, successfully quadrupling its investment made in 2002.

"The healthcare industry is a vibrant sector with great potential for a high level of investment activity," said Brian Hargreaves of 3i''s Industry Group.  "Paul''s appointment is a tremendous endorsement of the success of 3i''s Healthcare team and Industry Group. We are committed to ensuring the right calibre of people join us.  Paul''s reputation, knowledge and experience certainly add important scale and scope to our team".

Paul has over twenty years experience in the healthcare sector, the past four as a Director of General Healthcare Group and Managing Director of BMI Healthcare.  Throughout his time at BMI, Paul has concentrated on improving operational efficiency, helping to create the largest and most profitable independent acute provider in the UK.  He initiated a review of knowledge management across the company and introduced a number of marketing, purchasing and service delivery initiatives that have kept the company at the forefront of the industry.  Paul has most recently helped to launch a new trade association, the Independent Healthcare Forum, which concentrates on representation and development of operational policy for the sector.  He brings with him extensive experience gained in commercial roles across the pharmaceutical and hospital products sectors.

Paul said: "It is an exciting time to be involved in healthcare.  As independent provision becomes an increasingly important component of most healthcare economies there is a fabulous opportunity to bring extra capacity and innovation to market, not just in the UK but elsewhere across Europe. This creates a great opportunity for private equity companies to support this growth across a number of areas.  I was particularly attracted to 3i because as a major player they have global presence and I am looking forward to working alongside professionals who are recognised as top class in this field."


  • Appointed to the Board of General Healthcare Group in 2000, maintaining the company in the top 50 of the Sunday Times Top Track listing of Britain''s biggest private companies.
  • Led the negotiations with the lead clinicians, to form Centres for Assisted Reproduction (CARE) Ltd. in 1996, a company now with a turnover in excess of £10 million.
  • Spent time in Australia working on the acquisition of Australian Medical Enterprise (AME), a publicly quoted hospital company, returning in 1997 for a further two weeks to prepare an investment strategy for entry to the market.
  • Launched Independent Healthcare Forum, a new trade association for the independent sector.
  • Experienced in working with professionals in a highly regulated but largely autonomous environment.

Notes to editors

3i brings capital, knowledge and connections to the creation and development of businesses around the world. It invests in a wide range of opportunities from start-ups to buy-outs and buy-ins, focusing on businesses with high growth potential and strong management.

3i invests in businesses across three continents through local investment teams in Europe, Asia Pacific and the USA. To date, 3i has invested over £15 billion (including co-investment funds). 
In the 6 months to 30 September 2002, an average of £3.1 million (including co-investment funds) was invested each working day.

Back to top