Hamilton Bradshaw

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Industry Private Equity
Founded 2003 (2003)
Founder James Caan
Headquarters London, England
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
James Caan, CEO
Tristan Ramus, Managing Director, HBHC
Deepak Jalan, Chief Investment Officer
Products Leveraged buyout, growth capital, management buyouts, real estate, venture capital
Revenue £400 million (rev. of holdings)
Total assets £35 million
Number of employees
Website www.hamiltonbradshaw.com

Hamilton Bradshaw is a mid-market private equity firm with headquarters in London, England. The company was founded in 2003, by UK serial entrepreneur and Dragons' Den panelist James Caan. Hamilton Bradshaw's main offices are located in Mayfair, London. Hamilton Bradshaw (HB) can be segmented into private equity, venture capital, recruitment, and real estate.

Hamilton Bradshaw's focus is on acquiring companies that have unique selling points (USPs). In Caan's book, "The Real Deal", he affirms that, “If you don't have a Unique Selling Point – you're dead in the water."[1] To ensure that this is present in business opportunities that Hamilton Bradshaw evaluates, one of the first things that its investment team does is assess the business plan.


Hamilton Bradshaw was founded in 2003 by BBC Television's Dragons' Den panelist and CEO James Caan, along with Tristan Ramus and Deepak Jalan. By 2002, Caan had sold off his stakes in Humana International, Recruitment International, and Alexander Mann. These sales allowed Caan to take a "gap year", studying advanced management at Harvard.[2] The sale of Alexander Mann also led to James Caan forming a company that would focus on private equity.[3] Caan says that his success at Alexander Mann has "given me the opportunity to do what I do today."[4]

One of the things that makes Hamilton Bradshaw quite unique is that unlike a lot of private equity firms...my company only invests my own money. So the good thing is that when they work, all the return is mine. The sad thing is when they don't work, unfortunately, I lose all my money.[5]

Hamilton Bradshaw employs staff in finance, media, investment, and operations. Tristan Ramus is a Managing Director and is Hamilton Bradshaw's non-executive director on company boards and is directly involved with the executive leadership of many of Hamilton Bradshaw's holdings.[6]

Caan's past experience is reflected in Hamilton Bradshaw's holdings in recruitment. Caan's first company, recruitment pioneer Alexander Mann, became one of the UK's most successful recruitment firms of the late 20th century.[7] While Hamilton Bradshaw has a diverse range of investments, its CEO's experience in recruitment has led the company to invest in these types of businesses.

Dragons' Den and investment opportunities[edit]

After CEO and founder James Caan joined Dragons' Den in 2007, Hamilton Bradshaw's scope was expanded. This is because Caan's investments on Dragons' Den are managed by HB. In fact, James Caan has pursued 15 pitches on the Den, with investments totalling over £900,000.[8] In 2009, company's assets increased by 82%, partially due to the amount of investments Dragons Den brings in.[4] Caan states that his television dealings are time-consuming but rewarding.

Most of my investments in Dragons' Den are probably the most demanding...but to a large extent, that is one of the fun parts in investing in Dragons' Den.[5]

While Hamilton Bradshaw and its staff is involved in holdings related to the Den, HB is not centred on these venture capital investments. Most of the company's business comes from other sources and opportunities.[9]


Hamilton Bradshaw's portfolio consists of 44 companies. These holdings are in a range of industries, from finance to leisure. The primary sector is recruitment; nevertheless, Hamilton Bradshaw's portfolio includes firms in fitness, commercial, online recruitment, education, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and technology. Also, HB controls Caan's venture capital investments related to Dragons' Den.

Investment criteria[edit]

Hamilton Bradshaw directs its focus and investments largely at companies it believes have Unique Selling Points. Along with this, the company looks to invest in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES). Hamilton Bradshaw attempts to create value by injecting capital into these SMEs and improving their processes.[10] The company affirms this on its web page: "Our role, however, is strategic and we do not look to interfere in the day-to-day running of businesses. The support we provide to management teams extends across all areas including strategy, operations and financing. We are commercial and creative in our approach, and have the flexibility and inclination to address difficult situations that other investors would avoid." [11] Hamilton Bradshaw's investments are generally between £500,000 and £3 million, but the company's largest investments are well into the millions of pounds.[12]

Hamilton Bradshaw is divided into four areas, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Recruitment, and Real Estate. Additionally, James Caan and Hamilton Bradshaw have Advisory Partnerships with businesses. These partnerships are for Hamilton Bradshaw to impart business knowledge and assist in operational efficiency. For small-business owners or those seeking investment, Hamilton Bradshaw offers an online feature to submit business proposals to Caan and his staff.


  1. ^ Caan, James. The Real Deal. London, UK: Virgin Books, 2008. Print.
  2. ^ http://startups.co.uk/james-caan-dragons-den-alexander-mann-and-hamilton-bradshaw/
  3. ^ "Hamilton Bradshaw Limited | Jobs & Recruitment". VC-Jobs.com. 2010-02-22. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  4. ^ a b Hussain, Ali (2010-01-10). "Fame and Fortune James Caan". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  5. ^ a b "Dragons' Den: The Dragons' Stories: James Caan's Story - 2 of 6". YouTube. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Diary of... Tristan Ramus Managing director, Hamilton Bradshaw Human Capital | People". Recruiter. 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  7. ^ Caan, James. The Real Deal. London, UK: Virgin Books, 2008. Print
  8. ^ "The Dragons Investments". Dragons-den.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  9. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/james-caan-a-dragon-in-his-den-1779143.html+hamilton+bradshaw+not+just+dragons+den&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk
  10. ^ "Venture Capital – Investment Strategy". Hamilton Bradshaw. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  11. ^ "Private Equity – Our Approach". Hamilton Bradshaw. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  12. ^ "Private Equity – Investment Strategy". Hamilton Bradshaw. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 

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