I first met MML when I was competing with them on a potential investment and, speaking to their Partners afterwards, found their approach very refreshing. MML delivers the kinds of investments that I’ve always done – working alongside a management team as partners, not owners, to create value for everyone. Partnership runs all the way through the business, internally and externally, and we’re a size where it is still possible to get everyone around a table to share our thoughts on a potential investment. Finally, I like working across the whole spectrum of our job: making new investments, helping the businesses I’ve invested in and working to create value. MML’s approach that ‘the team who do the deal are the people who stay with it’ drives a level of personal accountability that is in line with how I work.
We are consistently open and transparent with the owners and founders of the businesses we back in good times as well as when it’s more challenging. We act as an informed sounding-board with some unique capabilities in internationalisation, drawing on our French, US and Irish offices, and M&A. We aim to be honest, straightforward, with well-informed views and opinions on the best way forward but recognising that management are there to run their business and that our job is to add value where we can.
In practice that can vary widely from monthly board meetings to speaking daily or even more often where there are areas, like M&A, in which we can add particular value. Every CEO & chairperson I work with has my phone number and I’m always available to discuss issues where we can help, no matter how trivial they might seem.
I have two young children born in lockdown, so they take most of my time! Before that I was a keen cyclist and runner, having done a couple of triathlons and a 300km bike race, and my wife and I still base most of our holidays around finding lakes and seas for open water swimming. At the back of my ‘to do’ list I’ve got a half-completed degree in Maths and Computer Science from the Open University as well, which I keep promising to myself I’ll get back to at some point.
For investors in MML Fund VI, MML Ireland I & MML Ireland II
For investors in MML Fund VII