Aaron Atwal - Investment Manager

What’s your background? 
I started my career in the Sales and Trading division at Morgan Stanley, where I spent four years. After leaving the bank, I joined Bain & Company, the management consulting firm, where I mainly worked in the private equity practice, focusing on commercial due diligence work for buyout firms. I moved from there to Epiris in 2017.

What’s your role?
As a member of the investment team I split my time between analysing potential new investments and working with the management teams of our existing portfolio companies to help drive the strategic agenda. Activities range from conducting due diligence to working with and developing strong relationships with management and other industry participants. I am also a Board observer at our portfolio company Diamorph.

How has that changed since you joined?
I have been given the opportunity to learn fast, and with that to take on more responsibility. That applies both to sourcing and executing deals, and to working with the Diamorph team. I was promoted to Investment Manager in 2019.

What do you like most about the job?
At Epiris I look at and think about a variety of fascinating companies across all parts of the economy. I also get to collaborate with passionate and highly skilled management teams to help them tackle difficult issues and transform their businesses.

What is it like to work at Epiris?
It’s fun, challenging and extremely rewarding. Epiris is a fast-growing business with a dynamic team, little bureaucracy and a relatively flat structure. This creates great opportunities to grow and develop, to take on more responsibility and to learn from senior members of the team. Working within a small team also means that I get greater exposure to a wider range of sectors and the management teams of our portfolio companies than I would have, had I worked for another, larger firm.

What has been the highlight of your Epiris career?
It’s a tough question and several situations come to mind. However, one situation I learnt a lot from was actually a deal that we worked on but which we decided ultimately not to pursue. We had been carrying out due diligence on a potential investment target for some time and its business model looked promising. However, the chemistry with the company’s management team just wasn’t there and we decided to walk away. The relationship that we build with the people we choose to back is often as important as the commercial and financial analysis. If you invest in a management team for many years, as we do, it is incredibly important that you gel with them. We don’t just want to put money in a business, we want to back management.