Fund Manager’s Diary

Friday Great start to the end of the week with the commute I prefer: six miles by bike. Emails and phone calls interrupt the drafting of reports for next week’s Matrix Income & Growth VCT boards and AGMs, and the update for our group board. Meeting with an investment prospect in the “youth with attitude” leisurewear market. Decide it is too racy for us, but refer it to an adviser who should get the deal done. Lunch at Al Duca with David Thorp, lead manager at Baronsmead, to discuss recent Budget changes to VCTs. Finish off reports, cycle home, then two hours driving on the A3 to take my 16-year-old daughter and her friend to a party. Our routine Friday night curry is delivered as usual by Sarkhels, one of South London’s finest, accompanied by Green Wing and My Name is Earl.

Saturday High spirits continue with the best weather of the year. Several hours in the garden catching up on essential business reading. Three hours on the M25 taking 13-year-old son and two pals to Thorpe Park are eased by Coldplay, U2 and the top down all the way. The boys conquer the mighty Stealth ride, the fastest and tallest in Europe.

Sunday Final shopping for family bank holiday in the French Alps next weekend. Kids’ friends come round for the new Ricky Gervais Simpsons episode and my roast Sunday dinner, the one day I always cook

Monday Internal meetings day, catching up on progress with two proposed new MBOs. One, a sign manufacturing company, should complete on Friday, with the other, a transport services company, also set fair. As we have worked on each deal for months, we are in good spirits. Chair investment committee to review potential investment in a food services business that is growing fast, partly due to the Jamie Oliver effect. Long discussion on maintainability of earnings, market penetration and debt structure reaches clear consensus to proceed. The rest of the day is set aside drafting a briefing paper to lawyers for our proposed conversion from a limited company to a partnership.

Tuesday Prepare presentation for a seminar aimed at the marketing communications industry. My colleague Ashley closes the deal to sell one of our media investments, achieving four times our money, a real result given that we only expected two times. I receive a call from an adviser introducing a new MBO that requires us to urgently meet with the company in Kent. Get home in time to watch the Gunners.

Wednesday Monthly meeting with group chief executive officer and finance director to review financial performance and strategy. Slaughtering our budget this year, so we’re all happy. Lengthy meeting with the lawyers about how to implement our company restructuring. Pack for weekend.

Thursday Busy day starts badly. Fail to maintain cycling regime for the first time this week as I need to bring in a DJ. I hate standing up all the way on the tube. All-day meetings with VCT boards and AGMs, catch up on emails, then change and over to annual industry Oscars, the Real Deals/BVCA Private Equity Awards Dinner at Grosvenor House. A sparky night on the Matrix table as we’re just one of four up for “House of the Year”, the only VCT manager shortlisted for anything. We finish runners up to mid-market firm Phoenix- but, hey, there is always next year. Taxi home after midnight. Check packing – I’ve got five hours sleep before the drive to Gatwick and four days in the Chamonix valley.

Mark Wignall is chief executive of Matrix Private Equity Partners and lead manager of the three Matrix Income & Growth venture capital trusts. His diary runs from April 21-27.