…I was born and educated in England, lived and worked in France and am now settled in Switzerland. Being English person who speaks other languages is very satisfying, although my German is a bit rusty now! I am fortunate that I have had the chance to travel to over 60 countries and learn about other cultures and understand the people.
What I find great about working at Argos is the diversity – from the people we work with, to the companies we invest in and the countries we are present in.
Argos is a niche player: with six offices staffed by local teams, we really are local, whilst remaining a strong European player. We focus on what we call “Argos-type” projects, which often are different, complex or with a lot of initiatives to trigger, in businesses with strong fundamentals. We have a large multicultural experienced team to make sense of, and make gains from, these challenges.
I manage the group and fund finance and administration. Having a central role in a successful, growing European group motivates me in what I do – it has evolved and changed so much in the last decade. And I would like to think I will play a small part in setting it on the right track for the next 10 years.
The ethos at Argos is about working hard and succeeding – without success being about aggressive competition. We are all individuals but playing for the same team, so even if we have different aspirations or life goals we work together to ensure that Argos makes it and that portfolio companies succeed.
My philosophy is: work hard, play hard! And at Argos, both happen with passion and heart and soul. I have so many great memories within the company, both in and out of the office – from getting investor reports out on time to taking part in races with the Argos running team and the Argos seminars.
One team gathering that amazed me most was some years ago. We had a dinner in a small restaurant, with local food, local music and local musicians. Someone suggested they play the different national anthems for all the people there… it was amazing how many they knew, and how many there were!
For me, private equity is about growing companies, creating new jobs and enabling the development of better products with positive benefits to the economy. And good returns to investors by the way.
The consideration of other people in my daily work is key. In my position in the organisation, I have strong and regular contact internally at all levels. And externally we have a very people-focused approach. Although it is not a family business, I often think of the multicultural Argos “family” – our people are really central to the pulse of the company.