Artemis chief executive Mark Tyndall is now heading the hottest fund management company in the UK.
Well, that is what some IFAs have said in response to the deal which sees the Edinburgh-based boutique fund manager merge with ABN Amro, taking control of running more than £2bn of funds and keeping a 37 per cent stake in the business.
Tyndall may technically be the chief executive but he is only one part of a team that has seen Artemis take £900m in its five years since launch.
He founded Artemis in 1997 with colleagues John Dodd, Derek Stuart and Lindsay Whitelaw from Ivory & Sime after deciding to see what they could achieve on their own.
Tyndall does not seem to like the spotlight in the deal with ABN, saying he only agreed to an interview with Money Marketing because his PR told him to.
Ask the 44 year old about his background and you will get the answer: “Oh that's all in the past. We don't want to look back. It's all about what's happening next.” This appears to sum up his approach to life and to the new Artemis.
Artemis has achieved much from sticking to its team approach. Comments from IFAs include that the team is astute with a solid track record. In particular, they point to the fact that they managed to read the technology bubble well by taking a very pragmatic approach.
Tyndall does not speak about what he wants to do with the company, but what “we” want to do. The four directors are hands-on managers who have worked together as a tightly knit team for years, which IFAs see as one of their core strengths.
IFAs are delighted with the ABN merger, seeing it as a shrewd move for Artemis that bolsters its resources and which has also saved ABN's bacon.
BestInvest deputy managing director Jason Hollands says the deal is phenomenal for Artemis, adding that they are in the driving seat as substantial shareholders and retaining the ownership of the business.
At least one message of congratulations following the announcement has come from the good ship New Star. It was only a few months ago that Tyndall kicked out a £42m approach from New Star. Spurning the overtures from John Duffield showed a confidence in the business.
Tyndall says: “The discussions should have remained private but these things never work out like that. We don't have the same culture and in the end we decided it would not have worked. We are too different to have merged and I suspect both businesses are better off without each other.”
Tyndall is a Londoner and a PPE graduate from Oriel College, Oxford. A career in fund management was not planned. “I don't think I had a clue what I wanted to do. I would have liked to have had another year off after university but that was in the recession of 1980 and I panicked. I thought that I'd better get a job.”
He may have some tastes common in the trade, namely golf and sailing, but he is fund manager with a heart. He moved to Edinburgh for “entirely romantic reasons” intending to stay for only six months. Eighteen years down the line, he is still there and happily married.
Having started in the world of finance at 3i, he moved to Ivory & Sime in 1984. It was here he discovered that there is no more fun than running other people's money.
Tyndall intends to keep the headquarters of the enlarged business where it is. He laughs off any suggestion that he might disappear into a plush new office now that he heads a bigger operation.
He says: “We don't have any ivory towers here at Artemis.I smile when people refer to me as the chief exec. We are a very flat organisation and I spend two-thirds of my time running money. This deal is not going to change that.”
This is a far cry from ABN, where the future hung in the balance since the departure of star managers George Luckraft and Nigel Thomas.
Tyndall does not tolerate the cult of the star manager, saying the industry has become a “revolving door” for moving managers. He says: “The concept of a star manager didn't exist when we set up Artemis. We decided the only long-term way to run a business is to have the key executives owning shares in the business. That way, the business is your biggest financial asset and you have to stay and look after it. There are no supermen among us.
“Fund managers do need to have a high degree of self-confidence to do their job but the difference between arrogance and self-confidence can be difficult to tread. It can lead to hubris and that leads to a fall.”
Tyndall says management at Artemis is as tied in and as motivated as ever and is looking forward to the extra resources to deliver more results. And he says he is relieved there are no star fund managers to fight with.
He has now to decide what to do with the funds. Should they be merged, kept separate, change objective? He is turning to IFAs for the answers. The fortunes of the UK growth funds are perhaps most in question. With combined assets of nearly £1bn, merging the two seems unlikely.
Then, at last, Tyndall can get back to what he likes best – beating the markets.
“You can't have much more fun than what I'm doing. It is a relaxed, exciting, interesting place to work and if you are proud of the business you can't ask for much more.”
Born: London, 1958
Lives: Just outside Edinburgh with wife and four children
Education: BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oriel College, Oxford
Career: 1980 -1984: venture capital executive at 3i. 1984-1993: fund manager on North American equities and development capital desks at Ivory & Sime, 1993: joined the board to become head of equities. 1997: set up Artemis
Career ambition: “To make this company work and make it as good as it can be, which doesn't mean as big as it can be.”
Life ambition: To have enough time to take part in at least some of the BT Global Challenge
Likes: Sailing, golf, rowing, fishing, shooting
Dislikes: Bureaucracy. People who try to raise their own profile.
Car: “A pig sty on wheels in the shape of a Shogun and a long-in-the-tooth BMW 740 that is making a loud knocking sound at the back but is still managing to get me around.”
Peers say: “Mark is a highly experienced manager and one of the few who will prosper in the next few years.”