The supporter profile in this edition of The Flagship is James Pitt, Vice Patron and Trustee of the RNRMC.

James joined the Royal Navy in 1984 as a seaman officer and served for five years before going on to pursue a successful business career initially in investment banking and latterly since 2000 in private equity. Today James is a Partner of Lexington Partners, the world’s largest independent manager of private equity secondary and co-investment funds, where he is based in London and is responsible for the firm’s international direct investments.

Why support the RNRMC?

I have always felt that to be worthwhile supporting, any charity must meet three criteria: 

  1. Represent a worthy cause: the men and women, who serve in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, work tirelessly on the nation’s behalf in sometimes very arduous circumstances and can be separated from their families for extended periods. Their working and living conditions are often not comfortable. They deserve our wholehearted support.

  2. Be highly efficient: too many worthy charities are simply inefficient in their fundraising, grantmaking and administration. From the very outset, however, the RNRMC was set up to enhance the efficiency of the historically disparate Naval Service charitable sector. Its headquarters are on Whale Island, where Navy Command is based, and it is fully plugged into the needs of the Service. An impressive 82p in every pound that the RNRMC receives is distributed to beneficiaries.

  3. Have personal relevance: although I ultimately went on to forge my longer-term career outside the RN, those early formative years that I spent as a young officer serving in a variety of destroyers, MCMVs and a submarine were tremendously important to me. I retain a great fondness for the Naval Service and huge respect for all those who serve.

In evaluating supporting the RNRMC, I was fortunate that I had been approached to be a Trustee in 2013 and so was able to take a close look at the charity’s operations (which I am pleased to report are first rate!) before making my first annual donation in 2017.