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Mark Avandi

“I feel blessed to have a job that allows me to indulge my passion.”

I look after one of the Funds at Livingbridge. Looking back over 20 years, the investments have been fascinating but the fun has been about the people I have worked with. Many of the managers and founders of our investee companies have become multi-millionaires and many are now faced with the problem of where to park the yacht. Yacht envy is not an issue for me and I am proud to count a number of ex-investees as personal friends.  

It’s hard to pick a favourite investment but I think I learned most from our time with Wiggle.  It was an early mover into e-commerce and had an opportunity to turn the cycle retail industry on its head.  Over five years we worked with a terrific founder, then professional team, to make what we could of a great market opportunity, and the business grew almost tenfold. What Wiggle was doing was really novel so we were at the bleeding edge of cross border e-commerce in the latter years. 

I grew up in Newcastle and read economics at Nottingham. I’ve been with Livingbridge since 1999, following a secondment some years earlier. I’m not as old as I look – much of my working life has been spent here. My career is probably more engaging presented on a map than in a biography – I’ve spent spells working in all of London, Birmingham, Manchester, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Boston.  Entrepreneurs seem to be wired up the same everywhere.   

Outside of work I enjoy going to the gym (honest!), running (half marathon is plenty) and ski and sail when I can. 

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