Meet the Team: Milly Cooke

Why did you decide to join the world of private equity? 

I studied Geography at university, before deciding I wanted to look further afield. I did a couple of internships in the financial services sector, including a private banking internship which first introduced me to the world of private equity. This ultimately inspired me to look for a role in private equity, where I could have skin in the game, as well as the ability to work alongside some incredibly inspiring entrepreneurs along the way. 

I think this is the biggest privilege of my job; the fact I get to pick the brains of industry experts and discuss their market outlook and perspectives on a daily basis. I don’t think you get this level of exposure in many other industries. 

You joined Livingbridge in 2021. What first drew you to the firm?

Livingbridge showed great momentum in the market; as I joined, they had just raised a new fund, double the size of its predecessor. I also find the mid-market a really exciting space to operate in; it requires a huge range of skills – from negotiating with founders – you’re always meeting an interesting mix individuals! – through to deep analysis. Livingbridge also offers a fantastic training programme, which I don’t think you get at many other private equity firms. 

And lastly, the firm has an incredibly diverse team in terms of background, ethnicity and gender. This has an impact on the quality of conversation and debate which is something I notice on a day-to-day basis. 

What do you enjoy most about your work on the new investment team? 

I love the origination processI think it is amazing that I can reach out to so many founders and CEOs and find out about their aspirations, what they want their growth journey to look like, and whether there is a way Livingbridge can support them. There is also a real sense of ownership in our sector work (I sit in the healthcare team), we are very much encouraged to take a theme and market trend we like and run with it to build out an exciting pipeline. 

What are some of the key qualities you look for when identifying a company to invest in? 

I look for an ambitious management team who are aligned in terms of where they want to take the business. Ultimately, the management teams are the ones defining strategy and translating this into action and outcomes, so its crucial they share the drive and vision required to get there 

Is there anything you find challenging about the industry? 

The most challenging part of the job is being inundated with huge amounts of information, particularly when you are in the middle of due diligence. What sets the best investors apart from the rest, is the ability to sift through large amounts of data and identify what’s truly important. 

What does your ideal weekend look like? 

Ideally on holiday. If not, you can usually find me cycling around Richmond Park or spending far too much money on exercise classes!  

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