Alex Fortescue
1968 – 2024

It was with profound sorrow that we received the news of the sudden death of our friend, colleague and Managing Partner Alex Fortescue whilst cycling near his home on May 17th, 2024.

Alex was an exceptional individual: a gifted investor, an inspirational and ambitious leader deeply committed to the success of Epiris and all those he worked with, a kind-hearted man with humanity and a huge appetite for life and for work.

He started his career in 1990, graduating from Imperial College London with a first-class degree in Electronic Engineering and joining OC&C Strategy Consultants. He spent nine years at OC&C and took an MBA at INSEAD before joining Apax Partners where he spent eleven years, becoming Global Head of the Retail and Consumer Group. He joined Epiris as Chief Investment Partner in 2011 and became Managing Partner in 2016.

Alex was a talented and prolific investor who made great use of his agile intellect, insight and creativity. He had vision and ambition and was able to persuade those he worked with that anything was possible if only they set their sights high enough. His track record includes plentiful evidence of his skill – investments such as New Look, Parkdean, Davies Group or AXIO – and at the time of his death he was busy working to build our investments in Bonhams, The Big Table, Appello and Inchcape Shipping Services into deals which could be held up as epitomes of the private equity model in which he believed so strongly.

He loved investing and he loved building businesses, including our own. He joined Epiris in 2011 to be the lynchpin of leadership succession, allowing an older generation of partners to retire and the next generation to take the business forward, a task he achieved with grace and delicacy. He led Epiris with his characteristic enthusiasm through a period in which we carved out a clear and distinct niche in highly competitive markets, culminating in the hugely successful raising of Epiris Fund III, and built and developed a team that can take the business into the future. We know that Alex was so proud of everything we achieved together.

Alex was passionate about Epiris and about life. His bottomless reserves of energy were the stuff of Epiris folklore – one of our friends who wrote with their condolences described him as “superhuman”. His natural curiosity gave him an astonishing breadth of knowledge; he relished debate and was always at the heart of any conversation around our coffee bar, at dinner or on a chairlift. He was engaging and good-humoured company with a love of food and wine that made him an excellent travelling companion. We all have many happy memories of socialising with him at home and around the world – over pulled pork in Tallahassee, sea cucumber in Beijing, or at the sumo wrestling in Osaka. Alex genuinely brought out the best in everyone around him.

Alex lived life to the full. He was a keen sailor, skier and cyclist. He was a family man and is survived by his wife and three adult children. We will all miss his energy, his optimism and his company. Most of all, we will miss his friendship.