Alum Of The Month
Program: New York
Intake: September 2008
Current Role: Managing Director, EPIQ Capital
What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Business Management, Newcastle University.
What made you apply for the Mountbatten Program?
I had always spent time in the US during summers while at school and university because my sister relocated to New York in the early 2000s. During this time, I was introduced to a former Mountbatten alumnus who spoke very highly of the program, and this put it on my radar. I knew I wanted to spend more time in the US after graduating. I always felt there was a lot to learn here, and I appreciated the energy and mindset that people had towards personal achievement. As I prepared to graduate, applying to Mountbatten was a no-brainer for me. The program offered the opportunity to immerse myself in a new city and culture, while providing access to top firms.
Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked at UBS in the investment bank, specifically on the exchange traded derivatives team. While the work itself was not the most stimulating, the placement provided a crash course in business etiquette, mentality, leadership, networking, and communication. I got to see how effective leadership can navigate a team through periods of instability, given that my first day of work coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing financial crisis. I also built a clearer understanding for the financial sector, how it interconnects, and where I wanted to land moving forward in my career as the year ended.
What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
Entering the investment world at the start of the great financial crisis provided an accelerated learning curve on how to navigate bear markets. I saw firsthand the cost of human sacrifice that can arise. It allowed me to better understand the opportunities that present themselves during market resets, and how to better support people during times of personal financial stress.
What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
There were so many moments of hilarity and adventure that it’s hard to pick just one. I enjoyed the lazy weekends in Manhattan, the authentic dive bars, and the way we managed to make our $250 bi-weekly salary last two weeks, or not! We were also lucky enough to spend time exploring the country, taking bus trips to Boston, Washington, Atlantic City and Vegas, while tacking on a trip to Mexico for Spring break too. If pushed to choose just one moment, though, it would be the long weekend I shared with Mountbatten friends at a Pennsylvania Lake House – the stories of which I’ll never forget.
Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship?
Run your own race and don’t be distracted by others. If you invest in yourself every day and have patience, the rewards will come.
Upon reflection, what do you consider has been the biggest impact of your Mountbatten year?
US citizenship, a wife, and two children aside, I came back to the UK after the year in New York feeling very empowered and a lot more confident, given the business knowledge I’d acquired. More than anything, though, I formed incredible friendships – many of which are as strong today as they were in 2008, thanks to the collective adventures we lived through and the bonds we formed.
What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
I moved to London and began working as an Investment Manager at Sarasin & Partners. While I loved living in the UK again and shared a flat with great friends from Mountbatten, towards the end of my time in New York, I had also met my now-wife in a bar in Washington DC. After a 4-year long-distance relationship, we got married, and I moved with her to San Francisco in 2014. It was an exciting time to move to San Francisco as the city was booming with tech innovation and significant wealth creation. I started working for ICONIQ Capital, a multi-family office serving Ultra High Net Worth founders and entrepreneurs. We oversaw many prominent figures in Silicon Valley at the time, and it was highly rewarding to sit and interact with these thought leaders. As a portfolio manager for the families, my role was to act as a CIO / CFO in their personal lives, allowing them to focus on running their businesses. We became their trusted advisors, managing their households, which included the investment portfolios, real estate, household staff, aviation, debt, tax, and trust & estate needs.
Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
In 2018, I spun out of ICONIQ with one of the original Partners to help form EPIQ Capital, taking $1Bn in assets with us. This was a hugely exciting but challenging business endeavor to be a part of. It was intensely demanding but I’ve never learnt more in my life, and it was nice to help build a company from the ground up. It’s continued to go from strength to strength, and today we have close to 60 employees spread across 3 offices and we manage $5bn in investments, with a further $35bn on family balance sheets that we advise and oversee. Our families are generally first-generation wealth creators, with between $100M and $1Bn in net worth. As these families encounter liquidity events through M&A or IPO events, we assist with their divestment plans, reinvesting the proceeds into public and private assets. We remain central to strategy planning around their tax and estate needs, and are involved in philanthropy efforts too, facilitating connections among like-minded donors within our network to help maximize their collective impact.
Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
As I think about the future, we only recently moved to Dallas in 2021, which has been a great decision for our family. San Francisco unfortunately continues to suffer post covid, and I think it will be many years before the city rebounds. In contrast, Dallas continues to offer promising opportunities and a strong inflow of business activity. I’m committed to expanding our company’s presence here in Texas and nationally, and we’ll see where that takes us in the years to come. My wife Carina, meanwhile, practices Dermatology here in Dallas, and has a skincare line Vetted Dermlab. She is unbelievable at what she does, and it’s been fun to watch her journey. On the personal side, we’d love to continue to travel more and spend an increasing amount of time with our friends and family back in the UK and Europe. It’s been incredible to witness the achievements of my friends from Mountbatten in their careers. However, as many of us now have families, we’ve come to appreciate the importance of reuniting and spending quality time together outside of work, as our priorities shift.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My friends from Mountbatten would be disappointed if I didn’t mention that I have a dog that can count. I was also very honored recently to be included in the D-CEO Dallas 500 list which highlights influential leaders in North Texas.