This chapter provides a historical perspective of the development of 3i and its impact on British industry. The institution, established initially as the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation and commonly known by its initials, has come a long way since its origins in the aftermath of the Second World War, although it has never lost sight of its original purpose — to serve the small- and medium-sized company sector by providing the long-term and permanent capital which larger companies are able to raise through the capital markets. This book includes a series of case studies illustrating particular aspects of 3i's investment method, aiming to give due weight to the relationship with its customers without distracting attention from the main narrative.
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