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3i Groups (III, 820.5p) CEO Philip Rea has ample experience in dealing in his companys shares. Experience that is worth noting.

In May/June 2006 he bought 30,000 shares at an average price of 830p

In August 2007 he sold 76,203 shares at 1070p.

And now, on March 4th 2008, he is seen buying 60,000 shares at 809p

In the Interim management Statement of January 24th, Yea stated: ‘Our mid-market position and the depth of our international network have allowed us to continue to source good investment opportunities notwithstanding the more difficult economic outlook.’

If there is one person who knows what is going on on the ground, in terms of the economic performance of the companies 3i have invested in, then it’s Rea.

Reas purchase of 60,000 shares takes him to 336,000 shares, so this is what I would deem a significant investment in proportion to his current holding in the company. I’d like to see a few other directors lifting their stakes too.

But because Rea has his ear to the ground, I see this as a vote of confidence not only in 3i, but also in the broader market.

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