In conversation with investor Andrew Dixon, Founder of ARC InterCapital
This article appeared in Thrive
You started your career as a banker at Société Générale and Goldman Sachs. How did you make the jump to running your own angel investment portfolio?
I started investing in start-up businesses while working at Société Générale and Goldman Sachs, so it wasn’t a jump so to speak. It was more like a gradual shift. I had always been interested in building and scaling businesses but my day job stopped me from focussing my energy in that direction. I was spending my day tracking the commodities markets – I was Vice President of the Precious Metal Division at Goldman Sachs at the time – so angel investing seemed like the best way to get involved in the entrepreneurial community.
Looking back, this was a very valuable experience; it allowed me to dip my toe in the world of angel investment without feeling like everything was on the line. It allowed me to make mistakes and learn valuable lessons without jeopardising a salary. The first businesses I invested in were a couple of small start-ups; one in Seattle and one in Wimbledon. One of those businesses succeeded and one failed, but despite that I really enjoyed being part of a company’s growth journey. I wanted to build something tangible as opposed to structuring commodity derivative hedging products.
After those first early investments, I left Goldman Sachs in 2000 to start ARC InterCapital. Taking angel investing full-time was made a lot easier by the fact that I felt I could return to Goldman Sachs if something went wrong. I remember feeling very sad to leave so many good friends and a great firm, but I felt I had little to lose.
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