Born in Leicester in 1962, the son of an African American serviceman and a British woman, he was educated at the Gateway school in Leicester. He was brought up by sing single mother on a housing estate. Buffini graduated in law from St John's College, Cambridge University, and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Buffini was appointed to then Prime Minister Gordon Brown's business advisory panel.
Buffini worked for LEK Partnership, and under the firm's scholarship scheme undertook an MBA from Harvard Business School. On return to the UK he joined Imperial Group working as a management consultant, before being recruited by Jon Moulton (now head of rival firm Better Capital), in 1988 to join Schroders leveraged buyout team, known then as Schroder Ventures Europe.
Buffini became a partner in 1992, and promoted to Managing Partner of the UK business in 1999, and Managing Partner in 2000, just before he led a management buyout group and renamed the firm Permira. Buffini took home £3.2 million plus bonuses in 2004.
Buffini is also a former non-executive board member of SVG Capital plc and chairman and co-founder of the Social Business Trust. He is also a main board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a trustee of the Royal Anniversary Trust, which administers The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. In September 2012 Buffini was appointed to the Board of Governors at The Wellcome Trust. wiki
He is a member of Cambridge University Endowment Fund Advisory Board.