Layton believes that the pursuit of long-term investment returns is compatible with responsible stewardship of business and responsible corporate citizenship. He has 17 years’ experience as an investor, the first seven years of which was spent in more traditional private equity learning core skills at large cap PE firm TDR Capital. The latter half making the investment decisions and working with smaller UK businesses at Sullivan Street, implementing some of the skills learnt in taking the lead driving investments and businesses, as well as experiencing operations and truly working with management. In this time he has invested in, and served as a Director for companies with values of £1m to £5bn and seen the benefits of driven ownership and the pitfalls in the market of financial machinations, short-term stewardship, and governance.
Layton read Mathematics and Philosophy at Keble College, Oxford, and this way of thinking shapes his approach to business today. Analytical with respect to investment opportunities, he is logical and principled in terms of representing the various stakeholders in the businesses in which Sullivan Street is involved.
Layton has an autistic brother living permanently in care and has seen first-hand a sector where the role of the corporate has needed to become stronger and more responsible as the role of governments has receded. As this trend continues in every sector with globalisation eroding the power of individuals and national bodies, Layton believes it is essential that companies step into the void in a responsible manner.
Layton relishes a challenge and any complexity presented by transactions in front of him – he is impatient and intolerant with half-measures and believes every problem to have a solution.