Our Co-founder Matt was born in a small Suffolk town, and educated at the University of London — before being ushered into Finance by his dad. He cut his teeth at Lehman Brothers, where he ended up as Head of Retail and Consumer, and MD before its demise. It was working at JP Morgan that made it clear to Matt he was interested in the work but not the culture of the industry. He found a like-minded partner in Paul — between them they had worked with brands from Tesco to Ocado — and gained a unique view of the entire vertical, from startup to Amazon. They joined forces to create cultural change in the investment industry, and reimagine it as something fundamentally more helpful to founders and dynamic businesses. The result is True. Matt is driven by a dynamic entrepreneurial approach, a desire to try things, to lead and drive the firm forward along with a sense of fairness, teamwork, a dose of speculation and good manners.
I started True — there was no choice ...
My job is to be helpful. I have the best job in the world, I get to see everything from the smallest to the largest and everything in between. I get to meet the people reimagining the world. My goal is to help them grow and thrive. At its simplest, my job is to buy something for £1, grow it to £3, bring outstanding people and networks around those businesses and leave it in a better position than we found it.
I love the people I get to meet, there is nothing better. I don’t really dislike anything, there are always problems and hardships but part of the joy is coming through them and learning from them. I have one sadness, that my dad didn’t manage to beat cancer and see True as it is today, flourishing and alive!
If I had to pick one, my parents. My parents taught me life’s values; they gave me great drive, unlimited ambition, resilience, grit and sacrificed a lot for my schooling. They also gave me manners, fairness and the desire to help people.
Matt’s expertise at True:
Matt (alongside Paul) is in the unique position of having been involved with most Partners, leaders and founders across the years.
Matt’s job is to grow the firm and its culture principally by allocating human and financial capital. He is responsible for the whole ecosystem — for growing it, for constantly reimagining it and for making it the greatest place to work.
Following a year of rapid acceleration in digital adoption – to coin a Bezos phrase – many brands and retailers are looking at how, using technology, they can turn cost centres into profit centres, a practise that we, at True, love.
Here at True we're fortunate to witness the innovation activities of a wide range of players from early-stage brands through to emergent, scaling operators all the way to some of the largest global businesses. In addition to ongoing, organic innovation we are increasingly seeing a trend towards acquisition as a means for larger companies to expand their capabilities and reach. Here Matt investigates why more businesses are turning to investment to innovate.
At a time of massive economic upheaval, history brings a sense of perspective, believes True co-founder and executive chair Matt Truman