HgCapital began life as Mercury Private Equity, the private equity arm of Mercury Asset Management plc, a long-established UK-based asset management firm. Mercury Asset Management was acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1997. In December 2000, the executives of Mercury Private Equity negotiated independence from Merrill Lynch, and HgCapital was established as a fully independent partnership wholly owned by its Partners and employees, who together work with a common purpose and culture.