In 2013 Matt and Paul exited startup alexandalexa.com, an online luxury childrenswear retailer in which they invested in 2008, for more than 4.5 times invested capital. They went onto form True.
Since then, Matt and Paul have been joined by a likeminded and ambitious team, and today True is Europe’s only consumer and retail sector-specialist that operates across the entire investment vertical.
Via its Live Network, True orchestrates purposeful introductions and collaboration between startup innovators, investors, leading industry partners and its own private equity portfolio. All future thinking, cross-pollinating, and delivering reciprocal advantage.
CEO and Co-Founder
Matt has been involved in the retail and consumer sector for 16 years. Graduating from the University of London with a 1st class degree in business and economics, he began his career at Deloitte before joining Lehman Brothers as an equity analyst, where he was made Head of Retail. He subsequently joined JP Morgan where he led the European retail franchise. Over his 13-year career in the City, Matt advised a collection of the largest and most disruptive retailers in the world. He co-founded True with Paul Cocker in 2008, initially as a private investment vehicle to build and ultimately realise his own e-commerce business in his spare time, before launching the business full time in 2013.
Matt sits on the board of True portfolio companies: Ribble Cycles, The Cotswold Company 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.
Richard is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at True, Chairman of The Blogger Programme, Non-Executive Director of Old Street Labs, and a Senior Teaching Fellow at UCL’s School of Management.
Richard advises high growth early stage businesses, consults to corporates on innovation and how to act more like a startup, and guest lectures at UCL business school on entrepreneurship.
Marketing Communications Manager
Natasha has over six years' experience in public relations, most recently holding the PR Manager role at LG Electronics. Her background is in the technology and consumer sectors, working for businesses such as Amazon, Panasonic, and Whitbread.
Innovation Programme Manager
Carien runs the innovation programme for True's leading industry partner, the John Lewis Partnership. Prior to joining True, Carien worked within the innovation, procurement and marketing departments for some of the largest consumer beauty groups including The Estée Lauder Companies and LVMH, as well as being part of the team that built up beauty-tech business Ruuby.
Before joining True, Rich worked on retail mergers and acquisitions for Citigroup, where his focus was on the execution of private equity deals in e-commerce, food and beverages.
After working in Alternative Finance at Triple Point Matt went on to co-found a real-time bookings platform catering to the male barbering sector. Matt supports True’s partnership activities and deal flow.
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.
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.
Programme Events Coordinator & Receptionist
Courtney is the first face you see when you arrive at True; she's our receptionist and fixer. Previously working in hospitality, Courtney also looks after the events within the innovation programme True runs on behalf of its leading industry partner, the John Lewis Partnership.
Kalinka led business development at Grace Belgravia, a startup health and wellbeing platform before joining True. She started her career advising central banks and hedge funds at Barclays Capital. Kalinka has been involved in dozens of fundraises and advises over 20 businesses.
Deepak leads international expansion activities for True. Prior roles have seen him lead early stage investment deals, conduct M&A transactions and manage other global engagements for a variety of noteworthy institutions. Previously, he served as EMEA Head of Corporate Engagement for Goldman Sachs where he built a widely acclaimed UK company late stage accelerator. Prior to leaving the US in 2006 he was an investment banker at J.P.Morgan in New York City and a corporate Lawyer at Mintz Levin in Boston.
Prior to joining True as a graduate, Oscar undertook placements at Downing LLP and Adam Street Advisers.
Prior to True, Ben was an investor in the London team at BGF leading investments into both private and listed businesses. He has also worked within the private equity teams at Greenhill, Goldman Sachs and Octopus Ventures. He started his career at KPMG and is a qualified ACA.
Jessica looks after the needs of the office and the True team. Jessica has worked in several retail and hospitality roles, most recently leading the reception duties at a busy City gym.
Rosy has a background in fashion and luxury services. Prior to joining True, Rosy was a Lifestyle Manager at Quintessentially supporting high net worth individuals.
Head of Operations & EA to Founders
Before True, Serena was an Executive Assistant at Global Insurance firms JLT Specialty and Zurich Insurance.
Matt has garnered private equity experience with Phoenix Equity Partners, Lyceum Capital and Lloyds Development Capital. Before this, he was a strategist for Control Risks, Burlington Strategy Advisors and Deloitte.
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.
Chris is an experienced strategist and operator, who advises branded business on growth and turnaround situations in the premium/luxury consumer goods space. He has been a CEO, board member and independent consultant to 70+ businesses, particularly fast-growing, creatively-driven businesses, working mostly with founders and business owners.
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 consumer brands such as EE, Panasonic, Logitech and Nikon. Kim joined True in 2016, leading all 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. He was the Chairman of the Altor private equity funds for 13 years. Hannu was IKEA’s CFO during its incredible growth (1985 to 1998), 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). He was also CFO of private equity firm IK Partners, for five years.
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 Barclays and 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 Chairman of Intu Properties plc.