I rejoined Livingbridge at the end of 2023 to work in the Value Strategy team; the primary reason for coming back in my mind was simple – the people. I strongly buy into the ambition and values system at Livingbridge and really believe in the quality of talent and the investment platform that has been built. I think Livingbridge is pretty uniquely positioned to support entrepreneurial management teams to deliver accelerated, sustainable growth, particularly in a more challenging macro environment. If we can consistently build great businesses, we should deliver strong long-term returns for our investors – the two objectives dovetail really well in my mind.
What prior experience do I bring
Prior to coming back to Livingbridge, I spent a couple of years at a web3.0 Fintech start up. The business offered investors the opportunity to invest in high value, contemporary art on a fractional basis. The software platform was built on private blockchain technology and increasingly utilised AI to help assess which artists and artwork to invest in.
We were a small team looking to launch a new business model in a poorly understood and immature investment class. This experience really emphasised the importance to me of continually prioritising the activities that were really going to move the needle, energised and focused execution, and working alongside a bunch of likeminded, motivated colleagues. While super important in an earlier stage business, I think it is applicable to companies of any scale.
One of my favourite books is Legacy by James Kerr. The book examines the reasons why the All Blacks have been one of the most successful teams in world sport and what other organisations can learn from their ethos and approach. Being a kiwi, I obviously found this particular interesting!
Sitting at the heart of the All Blacks culture is a strong sense of identity and an obligation to leave the jersey in a better place than you found it. This is combined with clear alignment around a collective vision and set of objectives – what is termed a “force multiplier”. Personal integrity and accountability are also core parts of the DNA, as is the success of the team being more important than any individual’s personal goals. The most successful companies I have been involved with during my career share a lot of these characteristics.
That would be Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell (who wrote a fantastic book called Outliers). The pod takes a fresh look at significant historic events, individuals or ideas and challenges the perceived wisdom. It covers a broad range of themes from how personal bias impacts decision making to the perpetual inequality in the US educational system. Some of the episodes are mind-blowingly good and I really recommend it!
When I am not working, I am...
When I’m not working, I’m normally learning about a new wine region or looking to add to my very nascent collection. A perfect holiday includes the opportunity to visit some vineyards and buy a couple of cases to send home.