Overview

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The Virgin Group is a global, growth investor founded by Richard Branson.

The Virgin Group's investment portfolio is diversified across multiple asset classes and geographies with majority and minority investments in listed companies, private companies, venture capital and real estate in both Virgin branded and non-branded companies.

The Virgin Group is made up of Virgin Group Holdings Limited (VGHL) and its subsidiaries, and certain assets owned directly by VGHL’s sole shareholder, Richard Branson.

The Virgin branded businesses span multiple sectors: Travel & Leisure, Health & Wellness, Music & Entertainment, Telecoms & Media, Financial Services and Space. The strength, diversification and maturity of the portfolio enables the Virgin Group to realise certain holdings, reinvesting profits and proceeds from sales to support, develop and grow new and existing businesses.

The principal activities of the Virgin Group are i) investment management and ii) brand licensing. Both of these activities are undertaken for the entire Virgin Group by Virgin Management.

Overview of the Virgin Group

Virgin Management

Investment Management

In order to provide support to the Virgin Group on a global basis, Virgin Management operates in the UK, the US, Switzerland, Australia and South Africa. This diversified operating model allows for the effective management and coordination of the Virgin Group’s portfolio of investments. Virgin Management provides shared administrative functions across Investment Management and Brand Licensing, and also provides the services of a head office and central support for the Virgin Group and Virgin Unite.

Brand Licensing

VEL Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries, principally Virgin Enterprises Limited, license the Virgin brand through trademark license agreements with companies to use the Virgin brand. These include both companies which form part of the Virgin Group (Investee Businesses), as well as companies in which the Virgin Group holds no ownership interest (Licensees). The infographic below summarises the Investee Businesses and Licensees and where they are based.

For over 50 years, the Virgin brand has been renowned for providing unique and exceptional customer experiences. Each Virgin branded company brings a fresh, innovative and distinctive consumer proposition, shaking up the status quo to create businesses that lift experiences out of the ordinary. This clear focus on the consumer has given the brand the ability to expand into new sectors and new geographies. From Virgin Money’s unique customer store concepts to Virgin Red’s fresh perspective on rewards and how Virgin Voyages is set to re-invent the cruising experience - each Investee Business and Licensee strives to put the customer experience at its heart.

Virgin’s brand purpose is Changing Business For Good.

Investment portfolio 

Alongside the management of the portfolio of existing Investee Businesses and Licensees, Virgin Management advises on new investments on behalf of the Virgin Group and Branson family in key sectors. These include:

Image from Virgin Limited Edition
Image from Virgin Limited Edition

Venture capital and start ups

The venture capital portfolio is focused on new opportunities where there is a clear value proposition and a credible business model. Some of the companies the Virgin Group has backed in the past include the video doorbell Ring; mobile payments app Square; and the Rise Fund, which specialises in Impact Investing.  

Image from Virgin.com
Image from Virgin.com

Space

The Virgin Group has been an investor in the space sector for more than a decade. Its principal investments are Virgin Galactic – the world’s first and only publicly listed spaceflight company – and Virgin Orbit, a dedicated small satellite launch provider.

Image from Virgin Galactic
Image from Virgin Galactic

Clean energy 

The Virgin Group invests in renewable projects with high growth potential underpinned by established technologies, which can drive positive change. One example is BMR Energy, which has clean energy projects across the Caribbean and Latin America.

Image from Virgin.com
Image from Virgin.com

Philanthropy

Alongside commercial activities, the Virgin Group is committed to philanthropy through its support for Virgin Unite - the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and the Branson family, and Virgin StartUp, a not for profit organisation that delivers government-backed loans, mentoring and other support to entrepreneurs in the UK.