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Toby O'Connor
Venture Partner 

I have worked for some great organisations and people, firstly as a young officer in the The Brigade of Guards and then at J.P. Morgan for most of my International investment banking career. Wherever you end up in the world, on whatever the situation or transaction, the training and the approach within a proven framework stands one in good stead.  Very different environments doing very different things but both organisations embedded in cultures of excellence. 


"Every great company was started by a person with a vision. No great company was built by one person alone."

When it came to becoming a CEO of a merchant bank in transition, I looked to bring those standards and commitment to building a culture without which great firms do not exist.  That building process does not happen overnight but one likes to think that close to attention to people, governance and creating the right environment to operate in, is a big part of a company’s success.  


The world is moving quickly and different perspectives are important.  I did an executive masters degree at the London School of Economics in International Strategy and Diplomacy after being a CEO.  It was a great group of students who were senior level executives, from the military, the Foreign office and from NGOs; we all had done things and had much to learn.  I was aware whether it be working in New York, London or Singapore that while senior managers have great strengths teams can often be inhibited by the conformity of the way things are done that can come from years of being in an organisation or simply wanting to please the boss.  Being open to different perspectives and ways of doing things is vital to a successful organisation facing new challenges in a developing market place.  


I enjoy the transaction as much as the strategy. I have worked with small companies as well as as for some of the largest on market leading transactions.  For a number of years I worked with private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds on a range of buy outs, sales processes, reorganisations, and capital markets transactions in a wide range of sectors.  Recent engagement has included areas of preventative health care, sustainable engineering and manufacturing, education, sport, travel and consumer.   


Working with entrepreneurs and early stage companies I often notice extraordinary skill sets and well as gaps in management and organisation capability.  I roll up my sleeves as a trusted partner to work with management to accelerate growth and business objectives, as an advisor, on the board, or in an interim senior management role. 

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