1. Where is home?
I am originally from Elgin and have lived for extended periods in Aberdeen, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Jakarta and Singapore. Since moving back to the UK in 2010 my home has been in rural Northumberland.
2. What was your first job?
Coming from a modest background, as a child if I wanted anything I had to find the money myself. So I have been working from age 8 on a wide range of jobs. My first ‘real’ job was when I left university to join Royal Insurance in Aberdeen as a fast track trainee.
3. What part did your education play in deciding your future career?
Initially not much. Like a lot of people of my vintage I fell into university with a limited understanding of what I was letting myself in for. Later though I was given the opportunity to do a company sponsored MBA at INSEAD. That gave me the necessary width of vision, confidence and understanding. There is no doubt that my career accelerated after that.
4. When did you join TRI Cap and what motivated you to become a member?
I joined TRICAP shortly after I returned from Asia. I had crossed swords with a past member on another investment and he introduced me to Rob Dick. Rob’s common sense and enthusiasm convinced me, a confirmed ‘non-joiner’, that TRICAP was for me.
5. What keeps you involved?
I like the people.
6. What are the key elements that attract you to particular investee companies?
A coherent and thought through business plan backed by a credible team.
7. What annoys you in life?
My own shortcomings and weaknesses.
8. How do you relax?
9. Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
10. What advice would you give to any aspiring young business people who are just starting out?
Think before you act.