Why did you decide to join the world of private equity?
Prior to joining Livingbridge, I was working at The Parthenon Group on commercial due diligence projects. I really enjoyed learning about new businesses and the markets they operated in, but I was always disappointed that I didn’t get to see what happened to the companies after we parted ways. Private equity was a great way for me to see how the companies I worked with developed first-hand, and to meet the brilliant management teams behind them.
You joined Livingbridge in 2014. What first drew you to the firm?
I was really fascinated by the stage of business Livingbridge was investing in. Livingbridge tends to invest in a company quite early on in its development (which I consider to be the most exciting time to get involved) and is often a company’s first institutional investor.
And of course, Livingbridge’s reputation in the market has always been stellar, so when the opportunity to join arose, the decision to take it was easy.
You focus on technology and software businesses. What do you enjoy most about working in these areas?
When you look at the world, it’s immediately clear just how much of it is being transformed through technology and software – it’s great to be able to partner with businesses that are fundamentally changing the way things are done.
We like to back fast-growing businesses, but we also need to feel that we can genuinely add value. Being able to use our knowledge and expertise in scaling software businesses to help companies in such an exciting space is incredibly rewarding.
You have partnered with some great portfolio companies since you joined the firm. Are there any that have truly stood out to you?
I’m really excited about what we’re doing with RealVNC, a remote access software provider we backed in 2021.
It had a world renowned reputation for inventing what is now an internet standard technology, but had never fully taken advantage of this heritage commercially. What we are doing is taking a business with great technology and working with the team to build it into one that can compete on a global scale.
What are some of the characteristics you look for when identifying a business to invest in?
Software is a very attractive space for investors and demand is high, so we always want to ensure that we are the right fit for a business before we spend time on an opportunity. We look for companies where our capabilities align with the management team’s vision for the business, and where the culture and ambition of the team matches our own.
It fundamentally boils down to: Can we add value; and can we work together?
You like to keep fit outside of work. What are some of the activities you enjoy?
I do a lot of running and cycling, and I like to try and beat my colleagues at the Private Equity Triathlon each year…which I do semi-successfully…
However, now that I’ve got a young baby at home, my time for exercise is slightly more limited!