“Mike is one of those rare people who can inspire, educate and drive a team whilst being a kind, humorous and empathetic leader. He creates an environment that encourages communication and collaboration in a way that makes you want to work hard and show up every day!” — Robyn Wilson
Mike heads up True’s Innovation Team. His career has taken in posts at PwC (working with the likes of BAT, Glaxo, SAB and Associated Newspapers) and Cazenove, where he led advisory relationships with Tesco and Booker, and the IPOs of Burberry and Inditex. Mike joined True from UBS, where he advised Sainsbury’s and Greggs and led Ocado’s IPO. As Chief Commercial Officer at True, Mike oversees relationships with corporate Partners including Shell, Coca Cola European Partners, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health and many more industry giants.
I’ve known Matt Truman for almost 20 years, as we overlapped in our earlier careers, and I was excited by the vision he and Paul had; their ambition to create a different kind of firm, able to use talent, experience and networks to bring value in a unique way to stakeholders across the industry.
I might say I work with a bunch of really clever, funny and kind people who all try to make shops a better place for everyone who visits them or works in them.
I love working in a dynamic, entrepreneurial environment with people I like and admire, with a shared vision to bring about positive change in the industry. Specifically, I enjoy seeing (and hopefully positively influencing) the development of our people and I love it when we are able to bring the power of True’s network to bear, to effect tangible improvements for entrepreneurs, portfolio businesses and our corporate Partners. There’s nothing I truly dislike, although it is frustrating when we encounter ‘institutional inertia’ — silos, closed mindsets, corporate politics, etc — getting in the way of enacting positive change.
I regret not having the vision to see what Apple could become when I first marvelled at the iPod when it was launched 20 years ago. The shares were about 30c then, now they’re $145 — one of many that ‘got away’!
There isn't one person, although I've been fortunate to work with a number of smart, kind and very supportive people over the years who have given me opportunities I might not otherwise have had and have covered my back when I've made mistakes. I've also been fortunate to work closely with an array of inspiring entrepreneurs, as well as leaders of global organisations at the forefront of the industry from whom hopefully I've picked up a bit of knowledge along the way.
Mike’s expertise at True:
Mike has overall responsibility for ensuring the retail and consumer Partners we work with are getting maximum value from True. His leadership of the Innovation Team covers all aspects of people development and making our proposition better tomorrow than it was yesterday. Mike, with the Innovation Team, also provides invaluable support and guidance to our portfolio businesses.
True co-hosted a consumer and retail trade mission to New York in collaboration with the UK Department for International Trade. Hoxton Analytics, Localistico, Mishipay, Spirable, ADAY, All Shades Covered, Placed and VITL all took part representing the breadth of businesses we invest in.
M&S has partnered with True to draw on the breadth of True's community to access the latest innovative technologies and expertise from within the sector that can best support M&S’ digital ambitions.
“Archie is the glue that holds our innovation business together. Utterly dependable, driven and passionate about True, Archie’s work on developing our real estate partners in particular has opened up a whole new platform for True to develop in the coming years.”
“Tom brings positive energy to every meeting and gathering. Alongside his creative ideas and extensive experience he’s a great asset to True.”