Newly appointed Managing Director Matt Lacey joined us “in the hot seat” for a quickfire round of questions on what drew him to Waypoint Partners, the company culture, his failures and learnings and new exciting projects he sees on the horizon.
Q: What is the company culture like?
While Waypoint Partners has grown a lot over the last 5 years, and we have hired many new people, the entrepreneurial spirit that made me join remains. I feel like one of the most valuable aspects of our culture is that every hire is made to feel a custodian of the company, that they do not simply have an employee mindset… we want everyone to have a voice that’s valued, contributing to what the company is and does.
This ethos certainly permeates conversations I have with my mentees, reports, and the Partners, and the next best idea on how the company should grow, whether tactical or strategic, could come from any level of the organisation.
Q: What are you currently working on that you are excited about?
Post General Election and Christmas break, 2020 has kicked off with a tumultuous start in the industry, and we have a considerable influx of work coming in across the board. With some interesting new buyer groups out there, we are seeing some earlier stage disruptors entertain M&A discussions, as well as some great more established brands looking to take their next step with a new partner.
While we have a lot of deals to execute on, I want to also make space to spend more time with key actors in the market, to understand more deeply what trends they see coming, where they think their next big win will be or what keeps them up at night. We’ve chosen to have a specialist focus on this sector because we are all really invested in it…
Q: Tell us something people won’t know about you?
I have a Wolfdog, which is exactly what it sounds like – a hybrid between a wolf and a dog. I got him back in 2017 and it was a pretty big life change, in equal parts hectic and entertaining. While he is perhaps not the most usual pet, we did get him through some obedience awards, and I also like to run with him in the park, although we do get some strange looks from other dog owners.
Q: If you could go back and give your 20-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Probably to never fear a path just because it’s less well-trodden. My first job out of university, I joined a finance grad scheme at a well-established firm, it’s the thing to do… I did figure out very quickly that the boutique, smaller players were much more exciting to me. I made the move after 6 months and haven’t looked back since. It’s now the advice I give to others thinking about joining the industry.
Q: When was the last time you failed and what did you learn from the experience?
This is something I am currently grappling with – 6 months ago, my fiancée and I signed up to Muay Thai camp in Thailand that we were really excited about. We have just had to cancel it, because frankly I didn’t train enough to make the most of the experience.
The learning here is that I should apply the same professional structure and diligence to my personal goals too. Without a clear deadline or plan, I kept postponing training for more urgent things, and it made it really easy to slip. We are re-booking it and starting training again!
You can follow Matt on LinkedIn here.