In 2013 Matt and Paul quit stable employment and forged True, having successfully grown startup AlexandAlexa. They vowed that True should reflect the ever-changing retail world, rather than conventional, sedate private equity.
Since then, Matt and Paul have been joined by a growing and likeminded team, and today True is Europe’s only consumer and retail private equity specialist. Via its Live Network, it orchestrates purposeful introductions and collaboration between startup innovators, investors, leading industry partners and its own private equity portfolio. All future thinking, all cross-pollinating, all progressing. All inventive, mutually supportive, and delivering reciprocal advantage.
CEO and Co-Founder
Immersed in retail and consumer for 20 years, Matt began at Deloitte and was later Head of European Retail for Lehman Brothers. Nomura and JP Morgan followed. Matt has advised the world’s biggest names in retail and combines robust analysis with astute instinct to stay at the forefront of the sector.
Matt sits on the board of The Cotswold Company, Ribble Cycles and Tyres on the Drive.
Paul started his 20-year retail and consumer career at Deloitte, meeting Matt in the process. He then spent seven years as a corporate financier while at the same time, joining forces with Matt to build AlexandAlexa and subsequently launch True. Paul focuses on True’s investment portfolio, whilst also ensuring that True delivers against its long-term strategy.
Paul sits on the board of The Cotswold Company, Ribble Cycles and Tyres on the Drive.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Richard Anson is the founder of Reevoo, the ratings and review platform. Based in True’s Hub, Rich provides thoughtful, insightful and often inspirational guidance to our startup innovators.
Rich worked on retail mergers and acquisitions for Citigroup, prior to joining True.
Prior to True, Claire was with Calculus Capital, where she completed six deals including an investment in InspireSport and Jumptastic. Claire is a CFA charter holder.
Ashton is a twelve-year retail and consumer veteran, having worked with Tesco, as Commercial Director of its Harris+Hoole coffee chain, and with Nomura’s M&A team.
He’s lived in New York City and Hong Kong, working in emerging market currency trading. He’s an entrepreneur too, having been a founding partner in two retail startups.
After a stint in financial services, Oliver joined True in 2016. Oliver supports all partnership activities and business development, including the investment process. He propels deal flow and supports True’s private equity portfolio companies too.
Kalinka led business development at Grace Belgravia, a startup health and wellbeing platform before joining True. Previously, she advised central banks and hedge funds at Barclays Capital. Kalinka has been involved in dozens of fundraises and is an advisor or board member to over 20 businesses.
Jessica is the first face you see when you arrive at True; she’s our receptionist and fixer. Jessica has worked in several retail and hospitality roles, most recently leading the reception duties at a busy City gym.
Head of Operations & EA to Founders
Before True, Serena was an Executive Assistant at Global Insurance firms JLT Specialty and Zurich Insurance.
Will began his career at Deloitte, meeting Matt and Paul in the process, and subsequently spent twelve years at GE Capital holding several CFO and senior finance roles.
Before True, Oksana worked at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Moelis & Co within M&A investment banking, and Oakley Capital where she advised fast growing disruptors such as The Hut Group and Just Eat.
Mike heads up True’s leading industry partner programme. As a PwC chartered accountant, Mike worked with BAT, Glaxo, SAB and Associated Newspapers. Then, at investment bank, Cazenove, he led advisory relationships, including ones with Tesco and Booker, focusing on research. He was also involved in the IPOs of Burberry and Inditex. Mike moved to UBS where he advised Sainsbury's and Greggs and led Ocado’s IPO.
Head of Marketing
Kim has spent over ten years working in public relations and marketing, representing EE, Panasonic, Nikon, Unisys and the internet registry, Nominet. Kim joined True in 2016, leading its marketing, communications and events.
James was part of PwC’s retail and consumer M&A team before True. And before that, he was with The Hut Group as Head of Commercials, responsible for online retailer, ProBikeKit.
Hannu is a non-executive director at Amer Sports and Samworth Brothers. Hannu has served as Chairman of the Altor private equity funds and was IKEA’s CFO during its incredible growth (1985 to 1998) He was CFO at food retailing group Ahold (2003 to 2005), and CFO and deputy CEO of Stora Enso, the pulp and paper group (2005 to 2009).
Robert is Co-Chairman of Chelsfield Group Limited and Chief Executive of Chelsfield Advisers LLP. He has been a director of various entities within the Caxton Group including Caxton Global Investments Limited and Senior Partner at S J Berwin LLP (now King and Wood Mallesons), where he specialised in private and public international M&A.
Sir Ian is Chairman of Debenhams and sits on the board of Whitbread. He was B&Q’s CEO and later Group CEO of Kingfisher. In 2015, Sir Ian became the Government’s Lead Non-Executive, having formerly been the Lead Non-Executive Director of the Department for Work and Pensions and Chairman of the British Retail Consortium.
Terry is a Non-Executive Director at Hammerson and a board member for Debenhams. He was Sales Director at Currys, Product Marketing Director at Dixons and Managing Director of PC World. In 1998, he became CEO of Argos and subsequently Home Retail Group’s CEO in 2006.
Edward is CEO and Co-Founder of LoveCrafts, which has enjoyed exceptional growth and is a former True portfolio company. He previously built the world’s biggest network for teachers (TES Global) based on sharing lesson plans and was Boo.com’s first employee.
John is a retail property veteran and the former Global Head of Retail at Cushman & Wakefield and sat on its UK and EMEA boards. He has served on Government and advisory panels including the International Council of Shopping Centres. He is a Non-Executive Director of Intu Properties plc.