By Bridget Montgomery and Tom Potter-Brown
This week Marcus Armstrong explains how he conquers the world of start-up financing every single day.
Marcus Armstrong is the founder and CEO of Falcon Group, parent company to the phenomenally successful venture capital arm, Falcon Ventures. Here’s a breakdown of his day, as told by the entrepreneur himself.
05:00: Morning routine
I’ve woken up early for as long as I can remember; I don’t use an alarm anymore. I get up and head straight to the gym. I have a great PT at the Third Space who puts me through my paces every morning.
07:00: Straight to work
I’m in the office by seven am every day and I usually spend the first hour going through emails, reading stock market reports and checking on the progress of our investments.
I started the Venture arm three years ago and we now run some of the most successful start-up funds in Europe.
09:00: Leadership huddle
I meet with my LT every morning so I know exactly where we are with each investment and every new pitch that comes in to us. Being an entrepreneur myself, I know what it takes to get a brand new business off the ground. I know how important it is to have the right entrepreneur – you can have the best business idea in the world but if it isn’t run by someone who is prepared to do anything to make it a success, it isn’t going to work.
10:00: Brunch briefings
I like to stay on top of trends across all industries so I know which start-ups have more potential than others. A great way to do this is to attend business briefings. I’m a member of a few private clubs like Blackmans and the Hospital Club – both of those hold really interesting talks and events.
12:00: Networking and lunch
I try to get out of the office as often as I can, to meet with clients and investors. I’m fortunate that I get to travel as part of the job, to meet with clients from all over Europe. Luckily my girlfriend’s father has a yacht in the south of France so I have somewhere familiar to stay! I might take an investor to lunch. My favourite lunch spot at the moment is Scott’s, but for dinner I like J Sheekey and Nobu. If I don’t have a client lunch, either me or my PA will nip out to Borough Market just around the corner from our offices. The stalls there have amazing food, and Roast-to-go is a great option.
14:00: Progress reports
I meet with key team members to get the latest on our key investments. We’re working with a really exciting brand at the moment called Skilld. It’s a ground-breaking careers site that is going to rock the recruitment world. It’s zeitgeisty and much-needed, so I’m passionate about launching it in the most impactful way possible.
I have really high expectations of everyone in my team, but I’m committed to rewarding them generously. Every member of the team, whether they’re fresh out of Uni or a seasoned analyst for example, gets a share of the profits. But I demand a lot in return and some might say I’m not easy to work for. I’m successful because I know what I want, and I don’t accept anything less than the best. My team knows this, especially those who work closely with me on key projects.
16:00: Forward planning
I always have round-up meetings with my VPs towards the end of the day. These can sometimes go on quite late. If I have to stay overnight close to the office, I like the Shangri-La at the Shard. It doesn’t happen often though. We do a lot of business in Dubai, so I’m often in the office late on calls abroad.
I try to leave by seven in the evening and a car takes me home to Richmond. I would love to live closer to the City though, perhaps still slightly west of it, somewhere like Holland Park.
My evenings are often taken up with business calls and checking emails, but I also enjoy reading. I like to keep up with up-and-coming start-ups that might need investment, and I’m a massive fan of Lee Child novels. I can’t remember the last time I had chance to read one though!