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Family office founded by ex-footballer backs social mobility initiatives

Forbes Family Group, a London-based investment vehicle co-founded by footballer turned tech-executive Dean Forbes has expanded its property and tech allocations to fund ventures that support the creation of entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds.

One of the investment group’s new ventures is a fund option that allows individuals to participate in FFG’s property investments regardless of their financial background. 

If people like me aren’t playing their part in lifting up, elevating and pushing forward the next generation of people from similar backgrounds to me, then who will do it?

According to published statements from the firm, it’s the first group fund option in the UK that isn’t predicated on an individual’s credit rating. FFG also has a £1 million fund that will be deployed over the next three years to support entrepreneurs that share the group’s interests. 

“Our Game”, a provider of products and services for semi-professional and recreational athletes was a recent recipient of the fund. Founded by Francis Duku, his previous role was at The Football Association in the UK where he adjudicated on discrimination matters in the sport.

Project Ten, an initiative that helps young people prepare for work through skills training, is another example. The venture is overseen personally by Forbes and his wife and group co-founder Danielle who manages FFG’s daily operations and investments as its CEO.

Forbes Family Group has also recently made an investment in the British fashion industry via Foxberry Boys, a ready-to-wear clothing brand. According to a source close to Forbes, apart from funding the business, he is keen to take on an active mentorship role and plans to support its young founders through its growth journey.

As a young person Forbes faced periods of homelessness, and prior to starting his investment group spent nearly two decades climbing the corporate ladder. 

Forbes’ openness about the challenges he faced and his desire to democratise entrepreneurialism is reflected in FFG’s mission statement: “If people like me aren’t playing their part in lifting up, elevating and pushing forward the next generation of people from similar backgrounds to me, then who will do it?”

During his years in tech where he made his money, Forbes proved he had a nose for spotting a growing business and helped firms take on new acquisitions. His first leadership role was at US software company, Primavera Systems, where he ran its international operations through to its sale to Oracle in 2008 and became one of its youngest vice presidents. 

After this, Forbes was recruited to a CEO position at Paris-based SaaS company, KDS which was later bought by American Express in 2016, the biggest software deal in the company’s history, where Forbes played a leading role in the deal. 

In 2020, the Irish-based human resources software firm where Forbes served as CEO, CoreHR, was acquired by business software unicorn, The Access Group.

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