CapMan’s operations started as a joint venture between Kansallis Banking Group (KOP), Pohjola Group and Programator. The team was launched in April 1989 in KOP’s internal newsletter with the formidable name “Viikko-Orava” (i.e. “Weekly Squirrel”), referring to the Group’s mascot. The article refers to the unique CapMan concept, which provides a new funding channel for companies that are not yet ready to go public and that are underserved by the debt market due to their growth profile. Simultaneously, CapMan provides a new asset class for institutional investors, who previously mainly had access to public stocks and bonds.
The 1989 CapMan concept serves both growing companies and business in need of restructuring. Solid due diligence and a value creation plan form the foundation for the activities. CapMan’s role is not only to provide financing, but to also develop the business. In many ways, the CapMan-concept holds true still today.