The hardest lesson that you learn as an investor is that you are mostly going to be wrong about how exactly the future plays out – predicting the future accurately is too difficult for anyone I’ve ever met. Despite that, you’re doing something really important: taking responsibility for people’s pensions and savings. Fully absorbing those two points, and making the right investments in that context, is really the challenge of investing over the long-term. How do you deal with that? In my view, there are three key elements. Firstly, by partnering with the right people, whether in your investment team or a management team: the right group will reach better decisions than any individual. Secondly, by investing in companies where you believe the management team has significant control of their destiny; predicting externalities is much too like crystal ball gazing. Finally, and probably most importantly, only investing in situations where even if you are wrong to the downside, the outcome is sustainable. When you manage to achieve those two things, you will make the right decisions, and deliver the best outcomes for both the companies that you invest in and the investors who trust you.
I had known the team for a long time, and knew the MML investment ethos was very similar to my own. We’ve both always been focused on growth, and helping management teams to take their businesses to the next level, but couple that with a healthy respect for the capital we manage for our investors. That culture was essential for me; I’m bringing a different approach by focusing on the infrastructure space, but needed to work with a team that I knew thought the same way. Luckily, I found this fit with Bal, Ian, and team, and I’m looking forward to building a great infrastructure business inside what is already a great investing business.
Life seems to be moving very quickly right now – a six year old and eleven year old who successfully manage to absorb almost all of our time. We moved back from California to London during the middle of COVID, and we have been thrown into the deep end: coaching U11 rugby, playing football with a very intense six year old, and being reintroduced to the London school system. Otherwise, it has been great to be closer to family in Europe, trade Californian wine for European, and start to get into the cultural life of a global city again. I do miss the beauty of Northern California though!
For investors in MML Fund VI, MML Ireland I & MML Ireland II
For investors in MML Fund VII